If you think finding true value in the stock market is a simple process, then I've got a bridge to sell you.

The truth is that although markets aren't as efficient as some university professors may want to tell you, they generally do a pretty good job pricing stocks. So while there are good deals out there, you're going to have to break a bit of a mental sweat if you want to make sure that you're putting a true value stock in your portfolio.

Fortunately for us, in the search for stock market values, we have the 110,000-plus members of The Motley Fool's CAPS community voting on which stocks are beauties and which are just posers. To gather some ideas, I've dug up a handful of companies valued at less than twice their book value -- a measure typically used by value investors.


Book Value Multiple

1-Year Stock Performance

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Global Industries (NASDAQ:GLBL)




Allegheny Technologies (NYSE:ATI)




Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD)




Washington Mutual (NYSE:WM)




Fannie Mae (NYSE:FNM)




Source: Capital IQ, Yahoo! Finance, and CAPS as of July 25.

As you can see, though these stocks all carry value-like multiples, the CAPS community obviously doesn't think that all are worthy of your investment dollars.

Not quite walking the walk on the stock runway
Low multiples or not, there are a lot of financial stocks that investors simply don't want anything to do with. Washington Mutual has been finding itself toward the top of this list, and the fact that it lost more than $3 billion in its most recent quarter certainly didn't help matters.

And though the housing bill recently cleared by the Senate puts some oomph back behind Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE), members of the CAPS community seem to want nothing to do with either GSE or their ulcer-inducing saga. In fact, one of the most recent bearish pitches on Fannie Mae came from CAPS All-Star abitarecatania, who said that "Fannie Mae should be dissolved."

Stepping outside the world of finance, CAPS members may be somewhat more positive on chip-maker AMD, but its two-star rating makes it more of a Pauly Shore than a Brad Pitt when it comes to attractiveness. AMD has had a tough time trying to stem its steady stream of losses, and helping to dig a deeper hole was new data last week from a semiconductor research firm that showed the company losing market share to its gorilla of a rival, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC).

CAPS All-Star greenwave3 didn't have anything nice to say about AMD: "Six consecutive quarters in the red, and still no answer to Intel. If they can't beat or compete with Intel, this company serves no purpose whatsoever."

Down to the final two
Though second-quarter results for Alleghany Technologies were off from the prior year, CAPS members still have a high opinion of the metals producer. And that probably shouldn't be surprising, considering the fact that even with profits down 18%, return on shareholder's equity for the quarter was over 30%. It's probably wishful thinking to expect lagging markets like U.S. automotive and housing to pick back up too soon, but some of Alleghany's peppier markets -- like aerospace and defense, and oil and gas infrastructure -- may continue to pick up some of the slack.

But Alleghany's four-star rating means that it got edged out for this week's top honors by five-star Global Industries.

Despite its extremely nondescript name, Global Industries has a very specific business; it builds offshore pipelines and oil platforms and provides diving services for the oil market around the world. Though sales have been down recently, the bigger picture shows a company that has notched impressive growth through the years, going from less than $100 million in revenue in the early '90s to more than $1 billion over the past 12 months.

CAPS member adam8005 chimed in with his bullish thoughts on Global back in May:

In the foreseeable future the demand for oil will rise. As OPEC is drifting further away from meeting our needs for cheap oil more labor will be focused at finding oil in our own backyard. The company focuses its efforts in the Gulf on subsea and platform projects. This company has a great future, until a cheaper more easily accessible source of energy is established.

Make your vote count!
Do you agree that Global Industries could be America's next top value stock? Click over to CAPS and let the rest of the community know what you think. And while you're there, you can log your vote for the other stocks that you think should be in the running.

More CAPS-lovin' Foolishness:

Intel is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletters free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool's disclosure policy tried its hand at modeling for a while, but it couldn't turn left and didn't have Blue Steel to fall back on.