Though value investors have been some of the most successful investors out there, finding good stocks at bargain prices is far from easy. Though markets aren't as efficient as some university professors may want to tell you, they generally do a pretty good job of 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 you're investing in the stock equivalent of Brad Pitt, not Carrot Top.

Fortunately for us, in the search for stock market values, we have the 125,000 members of The Motley Fool's CAPS community voting on which stocks are true stars 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 often used by value investors. Below is a selection from the array of companies that fall into this category, but you can also run the same screen that I did on the CAPS screener.


Book Value Multiple

1-Year Stock Performance

CAPS Rating

Suntech Power (NYSE:STP)




ViroPharma (NASDAQ:VPHM)




Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC)




Regions Financial (NYSE:RF)








Source: Capital IQ (a division of Standard & Poor's), Yahoo! Finance, and CAPS as of Jan. 23.

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.

No twinkle in these stars
MBIA may not be hogging headlines as much as it was, but that doesn't mean that investors have done an about-face on their expectations for it. This financial insurer may have still sported a $2.6 billion book value at the end of the third quarter, but we can't really blame investors for not trusting that number because MBIA reported losses of more than $1.5 billion for the first nine months of 2008. On CAPS, MBIA is a favorite underperform call among All-Star members, many of whom think the company could face bankruptcy protection.

Regions Financial may have one more star than MBIA, but banks -- whether you're Citigroup (NYSE:C) or a smaller regional player -- haven't exactly been investors' cup of tea lately. Though the bank still had a bottom line in the black in the third quarter, back in October, CAPS All-Star cashsage noted that Regions Financial has a particularly troubling balance sheet.

As for Vulcan Materials, construction might not be anywhere near where it was a couple of years ago, but some CAPS members are coming around to the idea that the company could benefit from President Obama's proposed stimulus plan. The community is still mixed on the stock, though, and its tepid three-star rating keeps it out of prime time for now.

A five-star is born
A four-star rating will keep solar cell manufacturer and Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick Suntech Power out of the top spot for this week, but it does suggest the stock is worth a hard look. Like fellow solar players First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) and Trina Solar, Suntech is well off its highs because plummeting energy prices have investors wondering if the push for alternatives will be put on the back burner. However, many CAPS members are in favor of the company and the stock, suggesting that thanks to greater awareness and the new president, alternatives may continue to have significant support.

Topping Suntech for this week's top spot is biopharma specialist ViroPharma. With one drug on the market and a bunch more in the pipeline, many investors see ViroPharma as well-positioned to do well regardless of the economy. Enclaved, a ViroPharma fan and CAPS All-Star, rated the stock an outperformer over the summer:

Very undervalued drug manufacturer, heavy in cash, light in debt, earliest convertibles 2016, super product that may have a break with generic competition because the FDA does not have a protocol for the in-vitro type of drug this company makes. (Do your own [due diligence])... still open to ruling though. Good pipeline possibilities. Possible reward outweighs risk imo.

Make your vote count!
Do you agree that ViroPharma 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-related Foolishness:

Vulcan Materials is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Suntech Power Holdings is a Rule Breakers selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool's disclosure policy -- which does nothing but monitor disclosures -- knows that boring can be beautiful.