Value investing is a cruel mistress. The pursuit of value often puts you in a position where you root against the companies you actually like, in hopes that a momentary market spaz-out lets you buy in to a good stock on the cheap.

But sometimes you can wait a really long time for a good company to stumble. Take the case of Teva Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:TEVA). This leading Israeli generics firm hasn't seen a stock pullback of any consequence since mid- to late 2004, and I'm sorry to say that I completely missed that one.

And while fourth-quarter results weren't fabulous, they were good enough given the circumstances -- namely, not a whole lot in the way of major new launches. Sales were up 6%, operating income climbed almost 8%, and margins improved slightly. Copaxone, though, continues to shine -- sales rose a further 24%, making up nearly one-quarter of the total. This drug alone holds more than one-third of the share in the multiple sclerosis market.

Looking ahead, I see a few potential potholes that may bounce the stock temporarily into that happy place I call the Buy Zone. Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) is apparently putting up a last-ditch fight to protect its antibiotic Zithromax from generic competition. Forest Labs (NYSE:FRX) could conceivably win its battles to protect Lexapro. And lastly, investors might overreact to the reintroduction (if or when it happens) of the Elan (NYSE:ELN)/Biogen Idec (NASDAQ:BIIB) MS drug Tysabri -- though I'd speculate that others, like Serono (NYSE:SRA), are in more danger than Teva.

So as you might gather, I don't own Teva shares today, and I don't think the stock is exceptionally cheap, either. It's a great company (mid-teens ROIC) with a strong pipeline (49 potential first-to-file drugs with branded sales of $37 billion) in a great business. So rest assured that I'll be lurking in the weeds, hoping to get my next shot at this one.

For more decidedly non-generic Takes on generics:

Biogen Idec is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation, and Pfizer is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. The Inside Value team is always bent on finding great values for its subscribers. Take a free trial today.

Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).