NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Years ago, I paid little attention to technology-related companies, primarily due to valuation. Over the past several years, that has changed, and my deep-value-related screens have been revealing loads of seemingly cheap and small tech-related names. Some of these have been trading at such relatively low multiples of nearly everything since 2008 to 2009 that you've got to wonder if that is just the "new norm." The truth is I'm not sure at this point. But I aim to find out.To that end, I've developed a small tracking portfolio of some of these names, all of which meet the following criteria:
- Minimum Market Cap of $250 million Trading for less than two times net current asset value Profitable during trailing 12 months Forward price-to-earnings ratio is less than current P/E Long-Term debt-to-equity is less than 30% All are technology-related names
The smallest BITES name is laser-based manufacturing solutions company Electro Scientific Industries. Certainly not a household name, the company garnered a little press late in 2012 when it joined the "special dividend club," paying shareholders, including yours truly, a special $2 per share cash dividend, ahead of all the uncertainty of tax law changes for 2013. After paying out nearly $60 million for that special dividend, the company still has $143 million, or $4.84 per share in cash and short-term investments on its balance sheet. ESIO data by YCharts
I'll be updating the progress on this portfolio of technology misfits over the coming year. At the time of publication, the author was long IM, ESIO. Follow @JonMHellerCFA This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.