BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- U.S. stocks have been in rip-roaring rally mode for the last year and change, shoving their way to new all-time highs as recently as last week. Since the end of 2012, for example, the S&P 500 Index has gained almost 36%. In this sort of environment, you'd be forgiven for thinking that "cheap" valuations are nowhere to be had anymore.
But you'd be wrong.
In fact, despite the fact that 2013 was essentially straight up without any really painful corrections, despite sluggish jobs growth and despite politically induced drama around every corner, there are still bargains to be had in this market. While this isn't quite the stock picker's market we had circa 2009, for investors willing to get selective in their value plays, equity indices still aren't hugely overpriced right now, and there are still plenty of interesting opportunities.
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Translation: There are still buying opportunities in this market. To find them, we're tearing the lid off of Wall Street's "bargain bin."
In our search, we're focusing in on stocks that currently trade near book value per share -- a number that (generally) means that a company costs less to buy than the value of the stuff it owns.
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.