I used the Financial Visualization screener to identify 5 stocks with lower-than-the-market price-to-earnings ratios and with little to no debt on the books. Typically, a business unworried about making crushing debt payments has room to maneuver when conditions get tough. I included a screen for positive 5-year earnings and for some kind of dividend paid.
The idea is to find a certain type of value stock that may have been ignored or avoided for some reason but which still might be worth at least looking at. These are not buy recommendations but might qualify as the basis for additional research into each company's financials and prospects.
Here are 5 stocks that made it through the screening:
Cohu trades on the NASDAQ with a price/earnings ratio of 12.7. The semiconductor equipment maker has a solidly positive 5-year earnings record, although this year's record is slightly off.
Cohu has a tiny amount of long-term debt and the current ratio is a green 3.6. The dividend yield comes to 1.27%.
Dick's Sporting Goods is New York Stock Exchange traded with a price/earnings ratio of 10.9 and almost no long-term or short-term debt. The earnings have been very good this year and the 5-year record is in the green.
Dick's is paying a 2.53% dividend. The short float is unusually high at 24% -- someone doesn't like the stock -- but such a high level could provide fuel for buying if the shorts are ever forced to cover.
Gentex is NASDAQ-traded and manufactures electronic high-tech parts for the automotive, aerospace and fire protection industries. Headquartered in Michigan, its price/earnings ratio is 12.4. Earnings this year have been very good and the 5-year earnings record is positive as well.
Gentex has no long-term debt. The current ratio is a positive 4.8. The company pays a 1.96% dividend. The stock dipped to a low of 18 in late October and has since recovered to 22.
Silvercorp Metals is a Canadian-based silver mining company that trades on the New York Stock Exchange. The company has zero long-term debt and the current ratio is a green 3.4. The price/earnings ratio is 7.6 and it's trading at just slightly below book value today.
Earnings are positive on a 5-year time frame and positive for this year. Silvercorp pays a 1.55% dividend. Obviously, the stock tends to trade in line with the price of silver.
Thor Industries has a price/earnings ratio of 7.7 and no long-term debt -- or any other kind of debt -- on its books. Earnings are in the green for this year and green for the 5-year record as well.
This New York Stock Exchange traded stock, with headquarters in Elkhart, Indiana, manufactures recreational vehicles. Thor's been in business since 1980. They're paying a 2.36% dividend.