Saturday, September 24, 2005

Where Have all the Stocks Trading Below Net Current Asset Value Gone

When we started this site, the focus was primarily on Ben Graham's concept of investigating companies trading below their NCAV. (Actually, Graham was more stringent than we are, preferring stocks trading at 2/3 or less of their NCAV.)If you hadn't noticed, it's been quite a while since we featured an NCAV company. The truth is, your editor is not finding that many of interest these days, and I'd rather focus on other areas of value (at least what we here at Cheap Stocks consider to be value), than fill space with the lastest NCAV company that is nothing more than a cigar butt with no puffs left.

When I started researching and writing about NCAV companies in the late 90's, early 2000, there were many promising examples. In 2001/2002, there were literally hundreds of examples, some that ultimately rewarded shareholders well. But during certain periods, there just aren't many worth mentioning. But that can change very quickly. We'll keep looking.....

What are we working on now?
One fascinating area (to us anyway)is trying to identify creative real estate plays. You know we have an affinity for companies with land holdings, but this is a little different. Remember the Sears/K-mart story? It was all about retail locations owned by Sears. The same with Toys R Us. McDonald's also had a nice run-up a few months back when it was suggested that the company's owned restaurant sites might be worth a great deal more than the market price reflected.

We started the research a few months back, trying to identify similars situations. Our research, which is still in the initial phase, is focusing on the retail restaurant sector. At this point, we have identified one restaurant chain, a small cap, of course, that happens to own most of its locations. You've no doubt heard of this company. We hope to publish our initial piece on this company (which we don't own) next week.

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