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 in 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, let's dive right into this week's bargain bin:  







Ennis (NYSE:EBF)


Office supplies

TGC Industries (AMEX:TGE)


Oil and gas equipment

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH)


Health care plans

Reliance Steel & Aluminum (NYSE:RS)


Metal fabrication

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP)


Oil and gas



Oil and gas

Data provided by Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's, and Motley Fool CAPS.

As usual, our list isn't exactly brimming with exciting -- or even well-recognized -- names. But that should be just fine with us. As sharp Fools know well, boring stories often translate into the market's biggest returns.

Cemented in CAPS
In CAPS, you'll find plenty of mundane businesses to which our community has taken a strong liking. And Mexican cement maker CEMEX is probably one of the more solid snoozers you'll ever come across. Currently, a whopping 1,666 CAPS players have an outperform rating on the world's third-largest cement producer, while just 34 are bears.

Of course, since the stock is a formal selection of both our Stock Advisor and Global Gains newsletters, that kind of Foolish love is to be expected. But nevertheless, the bullish case for CEMEX stands pretty strong on its own -- especially given the stock's poor performance of late.  

As my Foolish colleague Rich Duprey recently wrote, CEMEX has been hit hard over the last four months by continued weakness in the U.S. housing market. Though it's true that CEMEX's U.S. exposure has taken a bite out of profits, our community thinks Mr. Market's punishment has been way overdone.

For example, take a peek at CEMEX's CAPS page, and you'll find literally hundreds of bullish arguments that center on its market dominance (especially now that its acquisition of Rinker is complete), unrivaled service, and, most importantly, its geographic and product diversification. Naturally, according to our community, all of these positive features essentially make CEMEX's U.S. exposure a much smaller problem than the market thinks it is -- thus creating a bargain opportunity at today's prices.  

Of course, you'll have to decide for yourself whether CEMEX is an authentic steal of a stock. But given the company's global growth opportunities and overwhelming Foolish support, it's probably worth a concrete look. 

Now, let's hear from a pair of bargain hunters in our own back yard ...

  • CAPS player mabl says: "Cemex has operations in a number of new industrialized and developing countries where demand is high. It maintains a good focus on customer service (particularly on-time deliveries) which is critical. Even in a slow housing market, such as in the U.S., demand for cement may be supported by infrastructure repair."
  • And CAPS All-Star skfrey mixes it up: "My favorite company -- innovative and resourceful. Leaders in keeping energy costs in line. Have tapped into a growing market of lending to middle class Mexican homebuilders, which then purchase more cement. Top management, shareholder friendly, keeps growing. What more could you want?"

A Fool's final word
As always, what we say here isn't meant to be taken as a formal recommendation; we only want 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.

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.