Last up on our list is General Motors (GM), a name that doesn't fit the conventional definition of a book value bargain. The firm's balance sheet is a little more labyrinthine than the other names on this list, thanks in large part to hefty pension obligations and looming union contract negotiations. But even with that in mind, GM trades for a price-to-book ratio of 1.42, a substantial discount to biggest rival Ford's P/B ratio at 2.3.
More importantly, that book value includes lots of cash -- $37 billion in cash and investments at last count. That's enough to completely wipe out GM's debt load right now.
In the last five years, GM has shed unprofitable brands and significantly improved its build quality, churning out cars that are dramatically more competitive with their Japanese rivals than ever before. While the U.S. is the largest car market in the world, it's far from GM's biggest business. Nearly 70% of GM vehicles are sold outside of North America today, with a huge share coming from emerging-market countries such as China and Brazil.Combine serious automotive market tailwinds with a share price that's only 15x trailing earnings, and GM looks like a bargain right now -- even if it's not exactly a deep value play. And meanwhile, the government's sale of its stake in GM should help boost the voting power of common shareholders as a class in 2014. To see these value-centric names in action, check out the Bargain Bin Buys Fall 2013 portfolio on Stockpickr. -- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.
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