As Yogi Berra once said, "It's déjà vu all over again."
Discount retailer Kmart Holdings
The investment bank examined 37 retailers and found eight of them were selling below their net asset value per share. Kmart's key to unlocking its value was its long-term leases and the low cost of rent per square foot.
Kmart, the third-largest discount retailer behind Wal-Mart
The Deutsche Bank report has sparked rumors again that Kmart is actually performing a slo-mo liquidation. It's too big to be sold off all at once, so selling off parcels to Home Depot and Sears
While Kmart had no comment on the Deutsche Bank speculation, in the past management has stated that it is committed to restoring the discounter's good name, and not as one Fool used to call it, "Came Apart." There is some credence to that as the company has been focusing on core merchandise and growing profits.
Still, the report noted that the department stores were "the mother lode of real estate value." The retail market is notoriously ferocious, and many doubt Kmart can return to its former glory.
In addition to Kmart and Sears, the other asset value plays included Federated Department Stores, Saks, Toys "R" Us, Dillard's, ShopKo Stores and Winn-Dixie. ShopKo was said to be the most undervalued of the eight.
Whether Kmart is really interested in turning itself around or is surreptitiously liquidating itself remains to be seen. Or, as Yogi Berra said, "You can observe a lot by watching."
Yogi Berra is one of Fool contributor Rich Duprey's all-time favorite Yankees. He does not own any stocks mentioned in this article.