NEW YORK (Stockpickr) -- When it comes to investing, never confuse "cheap" and "bargain." Many struggling stocks can look cheap by a range of measures and likely deserve their dowdy valuations. Yet low-priced stocks that hold clear appeal, well, those are bargains.With that in mind, the current tough stock market offers an ideal time to review lists of cheap stocks that are true bargains. Right now, we're looking at the most unloved stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. These 10 stocks sport the lowest price-to-earnings ratios, based on projected 2012 profits. >>4 Cheap Greek Stocks to Bet On To be sure, many of these low-P/E stocks are likely to remain that way. Merck ( MRK) and Pfizer ( PFE) will be hard-pressed to boost sales and profits as any new drugs will merely offset the loss of existing drugs that will soon lose patent protection. Pfizer, for example, will lose exclusive branded rights to blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor in November, which is why analysts think 2012 sales will fall 5% (to $63 billion). That's a hardly a recipe for an expanded P/E ratio. Might major oil firms Chevron ( CVX) and Exxon Mobil ( XOM) also stay inexpensive under the weight of tepid sales growth? They're expected to see sales rise 5% and sink 5%, respectively, in 2012. They're boosting profits at a more impressive clip, thanks to stock buybacks and other balance sheet moves, but investors will only reward these shares a higher multiple when more robust organic growth is in place.
Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.