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Natural-Resources Giant Flashes a 'Buy' Signal

Now's a good time to look at a five-year chart of BHP shares with the focus on price and year-over-year retained quarterly earnings, which as of the end of 2012 was higher than 17%. BHP Chart BHP data by YCharts

While the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average keep knocking the ball out of the park day-after-day, so does the MSCI Australia Index of Stocks as represented by the iShares Australia ETF (EWA) with the same name. Take a look at its five-year chart below. It's time for BHP to catch up as there appears to be a "disconnect" that few are taking notice of. EWA Chart EWA data by YCharts

Here's the big news about BHP's share price. On April 10, Matt Badiali, the editor of The S&A Resource Report, pointed out in The Growth Stock Wire that BHP's stock is down 30% from its 2011 peak and that its price-to-book value is quite attractive.

Badiali wrote: "Take a look at the chart below. It tracks the last 13 years of BHP's price-to-book ratio. Book value is simple. It's essentially the value of all its mines. And right now, BHP is trading at an extreme low compared to book value.

"BHP is trading at about 2.7 times book value. Its price-to-book ratio has fallen below that level five times in the past 13 years. If you bought BHP stock at those points, you made double-digit gains every time."

That is a noteworthy observation. I would add that another compelling reason to consider BHP is because of its self-professed corporate strategy. The best way to describe it is to let the company speak for itself.

"Our strategy is to own and operate large, long-life, low-cost, expandable, upstream assets diversified by commodity, geography and market. Our strategy has remained unchanged for over a decade and has enabled us to deliver superior margins throughout economic and commodity cycles for many years.

"Our diversified, low cost, tier one asset base enhances the resilience of our cash flow by reducing our exposure to any one commodity or currency and provides for more predictable and robust financial performance. It allows us to invest in and grow our business throughout economic cycles thereby delivering superior long-term value to our shareholders."
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