Are you familiar with the dynamic duo of Fama and French? No, they didn't star in Baby Mama -- that was Fey and Poehler. And they didn't perform "Who's on First?" -- that was Abbott and Costello.

While the names Eugene Fama and Kenneth French may not come up in most dinner conversations, the two have done some very interesting academic research on stocks. In short, they've proposed that there's more to stock returns than volatility -- which was most academics' previous consensus. In research they conducted over various periods and across multiple geographic locations, Fama and French determined that stocks characterized as "value stocks" have consistently outperformed nonvalue stocks.

Today, I've rounded up five value stocks that are all trading at less than two times their book value. (You can run the same screen on the CAPS screener). To focus on high-quality stocks, I've cross-referenced these against ratings in our CAPS community of more than 140,000 investors.


Book Value Multiple

1-Year Return

CAPS Rating
(out of 5)

Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO)








NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX)




Terex (NYSE:TEX)








Data from Motley Fool CAPS and Yahoo! Finance as of Oct. 19.

While these aren't formal recommendations, the CAPS community thinks that these are good choices when it comes to value stocks. With that I mind, I thought I'd dig in a little further on NYSE Euronext.

Where is the value?
Despite the long and storied history of the NYSE, there is a lot of skepticism regarding the company these days. The problem is that start-up electronic exchanges are eating into the U.S. trading market that the NYSE used to dominate -- and that's not to mention the competition from fellow exchange giant Nasdaq OMX (NASDAQ:NDAQ). One of the NYSE's major sources of revenue is activity fees that it collects for trading on its exchanges, so lower trading volume delivers a hit to the company's top line.

But those willing to push past negative headlines will find that the NYSE isn't taking this sitting down. The company is still the premier global exchange company, with 82% of the companies on the S&P 500 -- including the likes of Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) and Nike (NYSE:NKE) -- calling the NYSE home.

At the same time, the company has been revamping its operations in numerous ways, including improving the usability and performance of its trading platforms, making a strong push into the derivatives and futures markets, and expanding its commercial technology business.

So while the NYSE is undoubtedly facing some of the more significant challenges of its two-century history, it not only remains the gold standard among exchanges, but also is revving its engines on a few different growth avenues.

But will it beat the market?
NYSE Euronext's stock is a solid five-star favorite in the CAPS community. Overall, the stock has been rated an outperformer nearly 2,500 times, while it's only seen 80 red thumbs.

CAPS All-Star Jackcodak is one of the most recent CAPS members to give a thumbs-up, saying:

Sure, NYX has had difficulties living up to it's cost savings promises in the past. However, what we find is a company that is integrating it's Euronext and Future trading vehicles quite well. They make an assortment of fees, including charging flash traders a premium for the space that they occupy so close to the servers. In the long run, NYSE will grow nicely along with the broader marker.

So what do you think? Are the stocks in this group values, or value traps? Log onto CAPS and let the rest of the 140,000-member community know what you think.

More CAPS Foolishness:

NYSE Euronext is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Coca-Cola and Nasdaq OMX Group are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. Coca-Cola and POSCO are Motley Fool Income Investor recommendations. The Fool has written puts on Nasdaq OMX Group. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer owns shares of Coca-Cola, but does not own shares of any of the other companies mentioned. He is keeping an eye on some of them through his CAPS portfolio. You can connect with Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool. The Fool's disclosure policy wouldn't know a value trap from a hole in the wall, but then again, the disclosure policy is just an inanimate collection of words.