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TheStreet Open House

Buying RadioShack's Ugly, Undervalued Stock

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- As a deep value investor, I am constantly on the hunt for a bargain -- the proverbial "50 cent dollar."

This sometimes means I'm buying names that no one else wants, companies that have admittedly seen better days. It is, indeed, a risky business and not for the faint of heart. I sometimes refer to it as "buying ugly." The practice does not always bear fruit, but can be very rewarding when you are right.

You know the story: A formerly solid company puts up some bad numbers, or perhaps is beginning to look like a dinosaur for the times and the extinction process has begun. The stock gets hammered as more investors head for the sidelines, and, before you know it, the company's market cap is a fraction of its former self. Sometimes, the damage done is warranted. I look for situations where there has been an overreaction, at least in my view.

It's no secret that the electronics retailing business has been extremely challenging in recent years. We've seen big chains like Circuit City go bankrupt. It is a highly competitive business, and the brick-and-mortar stores are having difficulty at the hands of online retailers like Amazon.com (AMZN - Get Report). We've seen Best Buy (BBY - Get Report) closing stores and laying off workers. Its stock is down 30% in the past year.

The story has been worse for RadioShack (RSH - Get Report), whose shares have fallen off a cliff. The stock is down 68% in the past year and 58% year to date. This name once changed hands for more than $70 a share, and has fallen below $4.

Truth be told, the company's best days are, indeed, behind it. But that's not the issue. The question is whether RadioShack shares are worth more than their current $3.91 price. Even the best companies become overvalued, and sometimes the worst are undervalued. This is not a bet that the company will be restored to its former glory, but rather that its stock, in all its ugliness, is undervalued at current levels. Welcome to the warped mind of a deep value investor.

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