A Pitch to HitMy leadoff hitter this week, Mine Safety Appliances ( MSA - Get Report), should actually be hitting cleanup. Mine Safety manufactures and supplies a sophisticated and comprehensive line of products used by workers around the world in the fire service, homeland security, construction, oil and gas, chemical and other industries, as well as the military. Somehow, this company has been able to remain beneath the radar screen. Insiders still hold 25.55% of the company. On average, it only trades approximately 226,000 shares a day -- although it did have a big move up on Friday, prompting me to sell my pre-existing position. Now let's get to the bottom line: making money. This hidden gem certainly delivers on that account.
Its forward price-to-earnings (PE) ratio is 16.45; the return on equity (ROE) is 22.61% and it has plenty of money left after it pays its bills to throw in the "kitty" with free cash flow of about $60 million. Mine Safety just broke through its 21-day moving average at $41.35. I think we are in the sweet spot here. It's going higher!By the way, remember what I said last week: If you don't want to drop $41,000 for 1000 shares, buy a deep-in-the-money call, because there is minimal premium to pay. For example, you can buy 10 contracts with a Dec. 30 call for somewhere around $12,500. In other words, you will control 1000 shares of Mine Safety all the way until the third Friday in December, with virtually no premium for approximately $12,500. That is the beauty of options -- the ability to leverage your position. But beware, options move fast and if you are not on top of your game, options can exact some significant pain! Batting Second: Boston Scientific ( BSX - Get Report), which closed Monday at $25.04. In my opinion, this could be one of the most undervalued stocks on the New York Stock Exchange. I'm not just telling you this because it's "Boston" and my good friend, Curt Schilling, pitches for the Red Sox. No, this is more about the "Scientific" part. Boston Scientific manufactures minimally invasive medical devices used in interventional cardiology, radiology and other medical applications. The stock is trading at a forward PE of 12, and Boston Scientific's return on equity is almost 30%. Are you ready to talk about cash flow? How about almost $2 billion in cash flow from operations and free cash flow of $655 million?