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5 Bargain Stocks to Buy Before 2013

BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- With the S&P 500 up double digits this year, it certainly doesn't feel like there are any glaring bargain stocks out there -- but oh, there are.

Back in April, "stocks are cheap" was the cool thing to say on Wall Street. But as stocks rallied hard from June to today, investors suddenly changed their tunes: Stocks may be cheap, but we don't want to buy them. The rally has been used as an excuse to stay that stocks are overpriced, but a closer look shows that they're not.

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Yes, this quarter's rally has been sizable, but fundamentals like earnings and dividend payouts have more than made up for the price appreciation in big indexes like the S&P 500. That's left a handful of ignored stocks looking like bargains in this market - and with investor sentiment at an extreme low right now, contrarian investors have an opportunity to grab them while they're cheap.

Of course, I'll throw in my standard caveat when I'm talking about value in the stock market: stocks are cheap doesn't mean that all stocks are cheap. Stock picking still matters in this market.

In our search, we're focusing in on stocks that currently trade at or under book value per share -- a number that (generally) means that a company costs less to buy than the value of the stuff it owns.

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Often, stocks trade under book value for good reasons. It could mean, for example, that a company has a major black cloud ready to disrupt its businesses, or that its liabilities are under-represented on its balance sheet. To combat those value traps, we're focusing on larger bargains with consistent profitability, and assets that are primarily financed with equity rather than debt.

Without further ado, here's a look at five of the stocks from Wall Street's bargain bin.
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Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

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