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Buying into a good company won't mean much if you pay too much. I employ a buy-and-hold approach, but I often ask myself if I can get shares at a better value. Don't get me wrong: I'm not trying to time the market or call the top and bottom. Rather, I simply choose to be patient when building a position. If shares of a company on my buy list are a little hot without good reason, I'll wait for things to normalize. It doesn't always work, but there are plenty of places to look for new money. Looking for a few? Here are four of the best stocks on my watchlists offering good value.
Bilgari Holdings (NYSE: BH )
The holding company has been featured in "10 Stocks Ideas for June" and another article by my colleague Michael Lewis. It didn't seem to have had much effect on Mr. Market, but they certainly got my attention. The company has a market cap of around $590 million despite owning nearly $460 million in Cracker Barrel stock (a 20% stake) and all of Steak 'n Shake and Western Sizzlin. Whether or not a new dual class structure will help bring more attention to the company remains to be seen (B shares would trade in the mid- to high-$20 range, compared with $400 per share today). However, there is definitely an undeniable value opportunity brewing for investors.
Domtar (NYSE: UFS )
This established pulp and paper player is scraping against new 52-week lows despite an improving financial picture and a dividend that yields over 3%. Shrinking margins and cash-flow warrant some concern, but an improved focus on diversifying its business should help. The company has acquired four personal-care businesses in the past two years, including a recent purchase of AHP, which is the nation's largest manufacturer and supplier of store-brand diapers. After sharing many classes in college with paper-engineering students, I could go on all day about the differences -- or lack thereof -- between brand name and off-brand paper products. But ... I'll spare you a detailed talk on diapers. The point is that the market is healthy, recession-proof, and bound to help Domtar return value to shareholders in the long term.
Gevo (NASDAQ: GEVO )
The developmental-stage synthetic biology company may soon be ready to live up to its lofty potential after restarting commercial operations. Don't expect an overnight turnaround: It will take a few years to really ramp up its isobutanol business and gain access to more facilities. Still, revenue should jump from a measly $24 million in 2012 to more than double that in 2014. Losses will continue to pile up for several years after, but so will its commercial capacity. The company offers low-margin ethanol producers the ability to retrofit production into higher value isobutanol, which sells for more than $4 per gallon. At a valuation under $100 million, investors should do quite well if Gevo can continue to make progress and put obstacles behind it.
GrafTech International (NYSE: GTI.DL )
I know I just wrote an article arguing against looking at shareholders' equity to guide investing decisions. I know that investing in graphene is riskier than it looks. But you don't have to look at GrafTech as a pure graphene play. The company is one of the world's largest manufacturers of graphite and carbon products. Similar to Domtar, Graftech has been faced with shrinking margins of late. Even if margins fail to improve from current levels (graphite materials remain in strong demand), consider that the company is trading with a valuation of just under $1 billion despite offering $1.35 billion in shareholders' equity. I believe the lowly market cap has more to do with temporary problems -- not long-term trends. Besides, analysts have a great history of underestimating operations: The company has four consecutive quarterly beats of at least 19%.
Foolish bottom line
These are just snapshots of four of the best stocks offering good value. You can use this as a starting point for your own research or the creation of a new watchlist, but remember to do more diligent research. Everyone has a different appetite for risk and different ideas for the companies they want to own. That being said, I plan on creating a position in each of these companies by the end of the year. Will you be joining me? Let me know in the comments section below.
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