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 115,000-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 (5 max)









Bank of America (NYSE:BAC)








Beazer Homes (NYSE:BZH)




Source: Capital IQ, Yahoo! Finance, and CAPS as of Aug. 8.

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
Investors may not put Bank of America in the same category as the two-star rated Citigroup (NYSE:C), but the massive bank still could only muster a mediocre thee-star rating on CAPS. Bears are expecting that the trouble in the housing and credit markets is far from over and that Bank of America will now take a double-barrel hit from its own business and the recently acquired Countrywide.

And if CAPS members are unimpressed with Bank of America, they are downright repulsed by Beazer and AMR. Between the disastrous housing market and high oil prices, CAPS members are not only staying away from both of these stocks, but just about all the stocks in their respective industries (AMR is the parent of American Airlines). In fact, the only homebuilder that carries a high rating on CAPS is the five-star rated Homex, and that's because it does all of its building outside of the U.S.

Down to the final two
The next big step for Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick GeoEye is right around the corner as it gets ready to launch its next generation satellite, GeoEye-1. The company provides high-resolution satellite images to both government and commercial users. The GeoEye-1 will not only provide better pictures, but will also capture stereo imagery that makes elevation profiles possible.

However, there are enough CAPS members with reservations about GeoEye to keep it out of this week's top value stock spot. Instead, the nod goes to a company all about fun and games -- toy maker RC2.

It's been a tough slog over the past year for this Motley Fool Hidden Gems pick, as it was for other major toy makers like Mattel (NYSE:MAT). Not only have toy companies faced a stalling U.S. economy and rising raw material costs, but a rash of recalls last year provided a big drag on results.

Though RC2 is still almost 20% below its 52-week high, investors were encouraged by the company's second-quarter results. RC2 reported a loss for the quarter, but excluding a one-time recall-related payment to Thomas and Friends licensor HIT Entertainment, the quarter showed a nice profit. Sure, even the adjusted profit was down from last year, but based on the way investors have been valuing the company, they clearly feared far worse.

On CAPS, 493 of the 517 members that have rated RC2's stock have called it an outperformer. Among the bulls is jtallenmd, who gave the stock a nod back in May, noting that even if the short term looks cloudy, the big picture for the company is far brighter:

This company was hit hard by lead based paints from one of their Chinese suppliers. They have worked hard to reestablish their credibility. They have a fair number of wel[l] known brands including, Thomas the Tank Engine, Dora the Explorer, Sponge Bob, John Deere among others. This one will recover. It may take some time but I am a patient man.

Make your vote count!
Do you agree that RC2 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:

RC2 is a Hidden Gems selection. Bank of America is an Income Investor pick. GeoEye is a Rule Breakers recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer owns shares of Bank of America, but does not own shares of any of the other 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.