Everyone loves a bargain. Be it at the grocery store, the local flea market, or the neighborhood car dealership, people inherently understand the benefits of getting a great deal.

Yet despite this infatuation with bargain opportunities, it doesn't occur to many investors that buying cheap stocks is possibly the best way to squeeze a whole lot of bang out of a hard-earned buck. As legendary investor Christopher H. Browne writes in The Little Book of Value Investing, we should always attempt to "buy stocks like steaks ... on sale."

Our penny-pinching process
So, with the help of our community over at Motley Fool CAPS, I'll once again try to find some cheap stocks for all of my kindred stingy spirits.

The approach is far from complicated: We'll run a simple screen for five-star stocks (the highest rating a stock can get in CAPS) that have enterprise value-to-EBITDA (EV/EBITDA) multiples of less than 10. We'll use EV/EBITDA rather than the more common price-to-earnings ratio, so that we can account for differences in each company's capital structure.

Dive into the bargain bin
By running this screen, we'll zero in on statistically cheap stocks that, according to our CAPS community, have plenty of great reasons to trade at much higher levels.

So without further ado, here's this week's bargain bin:  




Ball Corporation (NYSE:BLL)


Packaging and containers



Diversified electronics

Superior Essex (NASDAQ:SPSX)



Chevron (NYSE:CVX)


Oil and gas

Korea Electric Power (NYSE:KEP)


Foreign utilities

Telkom SA (NYSE:TKG)


Communication services

Union Drilling (NASDAQ:UDRL)


Oil and gas drilling

Data provided by Yahoo! Finance and Motley Fool CAPS as of July 23.

Get on the Ball
Often, businesses can be categorized either as excruciatingly boring or wonderfully exciting. And then there's Ball Corporation, a company that can easily be described as both. The Colorado-based provider of packaging services and aerospace technologies operates a seemingly odd combination of businesses, but that's exactly what our CAPS community is so intrigued by. With more than 95 CAPS players bullish about its prospects (and just one lone bear), this is one bipolar business that might be worth figuring out. Here's a bit of a head start.

To be sure, Ball's packaging products account for about 90% of total sales, so I guess it does lean toward the mundane side. However, as North America's leader in recyclable aluminum beverage cans, with about 32% market share, Ball's profits have been anything but sleepy. Over the past five years, Ball has utilized strong long-term contracts with customers like SABMiller, PepsiCo, and Coca-Cola to fuel double-digit revenue, EBITDA, and dividend growth rates. Also, through Rocky Mountain, LLC, a 50/50 joint venture, Ball supplies Molson Coors with cans for its brewery in Golden, Colo. The stock has more than doubled the return of the S&P and Dow Containers indexes in the same period.

Now to the more dynamic side of Ball's business: aerospace and technologies. Though the segment represents just 10% of revenue, it is actually Ball's oldest, having celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2006. The segment generally works under contracts for NASA, the U.S. Department of Defense, and other U.S. agencies, so our CAPS community also likes Ball for its exposure to government defense spending. As of April 1, the segment's backlog stood at $832 million.

Taken all together, it's no wonder that our CAPS community is keeping their eyes on the Ball. With its leadership position in aluminum packaging, leverage to military spending, and long history of growing dividends, you might do well to follow it, too. And if it's professional confirmation you're looking for, two Wall Street firms, Lehman Brothers and JP Morgan -- whose picks we track on CAPS -- also like it to outperform.

For an even more bullish opinion, here are three CAPS All-Stars who aren't dropping the Ball anytime soon.

RandomGuy123 is surprised by his investment discovery:

I stumbled upon this company on accident, and I could hardly believe that the same company that made the mason jars I used to drink tea out of also makes satellite equipment, of all things. This company has been around forever, and has excellent leadership.

Meanwhile, amassafortune focuses on Ball's growth prospects:

Ball has business units in solid growth areas such as food safety containers and electronics that have military and aviation applications. Geographically, Ball has operations in high-growth areas like Asia and South America. This, along with the past record of earnings, indicates management has a history of forecasting worldwide trends and a corporate culture that allows for proactive movement toward future opportunities.

Finally, outinthesnow plays Ball with a more conservative approach:

A great American solid company. Will be tough to get a big gain from, but should be a safe way to pad my score in this game.

A Fool's final word
As always, what we say here isn't meant to be taken as a formal recommendation; we want only to generate some possible ideas that you might find worth further research. If you'd like to scour the bargain bin for yourself, read what our CAPS community thinks, or even chime in with your own opinions, click here to get in the game.

Oh, and it's totally free -- an offer that even the deepest of value investors should never pass up.

Unconvinced about the power of cheap picks? Fool contributor Brian Pacampara has been tracking the stocks used in this column. Currently, TheFrugals are ranked 127 out of more than 60,000 portfolios. Brian owns no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Coca-Cola is an Inside Value newsletter recommendation. The Fool's disclosure policy always pays the full price for transparency.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.