Are you familiar with the dynamic duo of Fama and French? No, they didn't star in Black Sheep -- that was Farley and Spade. And they didn't perform "Who's on First?" -- that was Abbott and Costello.

While the names Eugene Fama and Kenneth French may not come up in most dinner conversations, the two have done some very interesting academic research on stocks. In short, they've proposed that there's more to stock returns than volatility -- which was most academics' previous consensus. In research they conducted over various periods and across multiple geographic locations, Fama and French determined that stocks characterized as "value stocks" have consistently outperformed non-value stocks.

Today, I've rounded up five value stocks that are all trading at less than two times their book value (you can run the same screen on the CAPS screener). To focus on high-quality stocks, I've cross-referenced these against ratings in our Motley Fool CAPS community of more than 130,000 investors.


Book Value Multiple

1-Year Change

CAPS Rating
(out of 5)

Disney (NYSE:DIS)








Nucor (NYSE:NUE)








Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC)




Data from CAPS, Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's, and Yahoo! Finance as of May 8.

While these aren't formal recommendations, the CAPS community thinks that they're good choices when it comes to value stocks. With that I mind, I thought I'd dig in a little further on Disney.

Where is the value?
There aren't all that many businesses that have truly strong and durable moats -- some special sauce that insulates them from competition. Thanks to its secret cola formula, Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) has it, and the capital allocation savvy of Warren Buffett gives Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A) that edge as well.

And how about Disney, with its iconic brands, one-of-a-kind parks, and stranglehold on the "wholesome" slice of the entertainment pie? I'd certainly say so.

The overarching Disney brand is, of course, the crown jewel of the company. In fact, brand specialist Interbrands ranked Disney the No. 9 brand in the world in 2008, and slapped a $31 billion valuation on the brand. But Disney itself isn't the only brand under the company's umbrella, as it also controls the ABC network, ESPN, and Pixar -- among others.

The entertainment business is certainly a hits-driven one, which can make results for a company like Disney a bit lumpy. However, it's no stretch to say that over Disney's history it's had far more hits than misses. Ain't that right, Hannah Montana?

But will it beat the market?
Let's be frank here, Disney's first quarter was a clunker. Revenue fell just 7%, but profit excluding restructuring charges slipped 26%. That shouldn’t be all that surprising though, because iconic or not, the products and services that Disney relies on are highly discretionary.

But with 3,660 outperform ratings versus just 302 underperforms, the CAPS community has shown that it's willing to rely on Disney's long-term prospects rather than focus on shorter-term fluctuations. TMFBreakerJava is one of those Disney bulls, and has had a thumbs-up on the stock since last August:

A visit to a Disney theme park gives you some insight into the power of their brand and their unique capability to produce an unforgettable experience. Somehow they get the staff of this vast organization to work as one in delivering enjoyment and satisfaction to their guests.

Its animation division is now led by the supremely gifted Pixar organization. PIXAR's John Lasseter has injected new vitality into the old Disney animation unit, while the PIXAR team remains intact and continues to do its magic. Cars, Ratatouille and this year Wall-E have continued to demonstrate that they are great story tellers.

Short term economic pain may slow them down, but they are sound and on track for continued success.

So what do you think? Are the stocks in this group values, or value traps? Log onto CAPS and let the rest of the 130,000-member community know what you think.

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