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 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 investing in the stock equivalent of Brad Pitt, not Kato Kaelin.

Fortunately for us, in the search for stock market values, we have the 145,000 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
(out of 5)

Huntington Bancshares (NASDAQ:HBAN)








Chevron (NYSE:CVX)




Cephalon (NASDAQ:CEPH)




International Paper (NYSE:IP)




Sources: Yahoo! Finance and CAPS as of Dec. 7.

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

No twinkle in these stars
The dismal ratings on Huntington Bancshares and UBS just go to show that whether you're a more traditional bank or one of the big, diversified, global banks, it's tough to get investors excited right now.

If you ask CAPS members, there are precious few banks in the States worthy of your investment dollars. The better bet in their eyes? Stick with commercial banks and cast your net outside of U.S. borders. India's ICICI Bank (NYSE:IBN) and Canada's Toronto-Dominion, for instance, carry five- and four-star ratings, respectively.

International Paper's stock has been positively soaring since cratering to below $5 per share earlier this year. But the run-up in the stock's price and the concern over how paper fits into a world with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has quite a few CAPS members saying "no deal" to IP's stock.

A five-star is born!
Leading up to the summer of 2008, all of the cool kids were buying energy stocks, as oil rocketed to well over $140 per barrel. Then came a brutal nosedive in crude prices that left energy-heavy investors feeling more than a bit silly.

Oil prices have slowly but surely been creeping back up, apparently giving some credence to the theory that oil supplies are limited, but at the same time not looking like the mania that we saw during the '08 spike. This leads me (and, apparently, the CAPS community) to believe that oil majors like Chevron will be solid performers as oil and natural gas continue to be chief energy sources all over the world.

But Chevron's four-star rating leaves it one star shy of today's top spot. Topping Chevron with a perfect five-star rating is biopharma mid cap Cephalon.

Though Cephalon's stock has taken a beating recently, the company may have a few tricks up its sleeve. For one, nuvigil -- the new formulation of its top-selling treatment for excessive sleepiness -- is awaiting FDA approval for treatment related to jet lag. That could open up a fairly large new market.

Additionally, recent data have shown that the company's treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma -- which currently is approved as a second-line treatment -- may be more effective than the current first-line therapy. The news led a Soleil Securities analyst to say that treanda sales could more than double by 2012.

On CAPS, All-Star MagicDiligence gave the stock a thumbs-up a month ago, saying:

Cephalon has three drugs with good growth potential. If sales develop according to the company's plan, the current price will prove to be a bargain.

Make your vote count!
I've already given Cephalon an outperform rating in my CAPS portfolio, but what do you think? Could Cephalon 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 other stocks you think should be in the running.

While value stocks can be a thing of beauty, nobody likes to get caught in a nasty value trap.

Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. 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. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool. The Fool's disclosure policy -- which does nothing but monitor disclosures -- knows that boring can be beautiful.