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The following is a list of companies that are undervalued, when comparing Wednesday's (Aug 4) closing price to the average analyst target price (according to Zacks Investment Research). All of these stocks are part of the S&P 500 index.

Yes, this is a crude way to find undervalued stocks. But this list is only meant to be a starting point for you to find undervalued stocks. We suspect there are quite a few falling knives here (which is why we're also including some data on short float).

A more detailed analysis follows below. Here is the screener's output:



For each company, we'll focus on the closing price, target price, and the number of analysts surveyed by Zacks to arrive at the consensus. To give you an idea of each company's liquidity positions, we'll mention Current ratios and Price / Cash ratios. To gauge market opinion, we'll also list the short float for each company.

1. Questar Corporation (NYSE:STR): Independent Oil & Gas Industry. Closing price of $16.69, vs. an avg. target price of $32.64 implies a discount to target price of -48.87% (based on survey of 12 analysts). Current Ratio at 0.34. Short float at 2.04%, which implies a short ratio of 1.01 days.

2. Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:MU): Semiconductor Industry. Closing price of $7.64, vs. an avg. target price of $13.77 implies a discount to target price of -44.52% (based on survey of 20 analysts). Current Ratio at 2.19, Price / Cash at 3.31. Short float at 10.9%, which implies a short ratio of 2.72 days.

3. Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI): Newspapers Industry. Closing price of $13.41, vs. an avg. target price of $23 implies a discount to target price of -41.70% (based on survey of 7 analysts). Short float at 12.23%, which implies a short ratio of 5.52 days.

4. LSI Corporation (NASDAQ:LSI): Semiconductor Industry. Closing price of $4.28, vs. an avg. target price of $6.68 implies a discount to target price of -35.93% (based on survey of 13 analysts). Current Ratio at 2.61, Price / Cash at 4.26. Short float at 4.38%, which implies a short ratio of 2.73 days.

5. Tenet Healthcare Corp. (NYSE:THC): Hospitals Industry. Closing price of $4.62, vs. an avg. target price of $7.17 implies a discount to target price of -35.56% (based on survey of 17 analysts). Current Ratio at 1.51, Price / Cash at 3.63. Short float at 4.88%, which implies a short ratio of 1.86 days.

6. R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company (NASDAQ:RRD): Business Services Industry. Closing price of $17.65, vs. an avg. target price of $27 implies a discount to target price of -34.63% (based on survey of 3 analysts). Current Ratio at 1.5, Price / Cash at 7.97. Short float at 3.3%, which implies a short ratio of 2.66 days.

7. Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (NYSE:COG): Independent Oil & Gas Industry. Closing price of $32.76, vs. an avg. target price of $49.15 implies a discount to target price of -33.35% (based on survey of 17 analysts). Current Ratio at 1.09. Short float at 8.43%, which implies a short ratio of 3.95 days.

8. Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE:WHR): Appliances Industry. Closing price of $85.86, vs. an avg. target price of $126 implies a discount to target price of -31.86% (based on survey of 5 analysts). Current Ratio at 1.16, Price / Cash at 7.63. Short float at 8.31%, which implies a short ratio of 3.26 days.

9. Range Resources Corporation (NYSE:RRC): Independent Oil & Gas Industry. Closing price of $39.46, vs. an avg. target price of $57.77 implies a discount to target price of -31.69% (based on survey of 32 analysts). Current Ratio at 1.06, Price / Cash at 37.7. Short float at 6.91%, which implies a short ratio of 2.55 days.

10. Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC): Banks Industry. Closing price of $14.19, vs. an avg. target price of $20.75 implies a discount to target price of -31.61% (based on survey of 24 analysts). Price / Cash at 0.93. Short float at 1.04%, which implies a short ratio of 0.6 days.

11. Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK): Independent Oil & Gas Industry. Closing price of $22.44, vs. an avg. target price of $32.48 implies a discount to target price of -30.91% (based on survey of 36 analysts). Current Ratio at 1.07, Price / Cash at 28.22. Short float at 5.57%, which implies a short ratio of 2.38 days.

12. The AES Corporation (NYSE:AES): Electric Utilities Industry. Closing price of $10.54, vs. an avg. target price of $15.25 implies a discount to target price of -30.88% (based on survey of 6 analysts). Current Ratio at 1.52, Price / Cash at 1.66. Short float at 0.88%, which implies a short ratio of 0.83 days.

13. Genworth Financial Inc. (NYSE:GNW): Life Insurance Industry. Closing price of $12.83, vs. an avg. target price of $18.5 implies a discount to target price of -30.65% (based on survey of 17 analysts). Price / Cash at 1.41. Short float at 1.39%, which implies a short ratio of 0.61 days.

14. DeVry, Inc. (NYSE:DV): Education & Training Services Industry. Closing price of $52.44, vs. an avg. target price of $75.2 implies a discount to target price of -30.27% (based on survey of 20 analysts). Current Ratio at 1.18, Price / Cash at 7.24. Short float at 3.49%, which implies a short ratio of 1.62 days.

15. CareFusion Corporation (NYSE:CFN): Medical Instruments & Supplies Industry. Closing price of $21.45, vs. an avg. target price of $30.71 implies a discount to target price of -30.15% (based on survey of 10 analysts). Current Ratio at 3.56, Price / Cash at 3.22. Short float at 1.86%, which implies a short ratio of 1.93 days.

16. MedcoHealth Solutions Inc. (NYSE:MHS): Drugs Wholesale Industry. Closing price of $47.64, vs. an avg. target price of $68.2 implies a discount to target price of -30.15% (based on survey of 29 analysts). Current Ratio at 1.07, Price / Cash at 16.57. Short float at 1.8%, which implies a short ratio of 1.36 days.

17. Apollo Group Inc. (NASDAQ:APOL): Education & Training Services Industry. Closing price of $44.76, vs. an avg. target price of $64 implies a discount to target price of -30.06% (based on survey of 20 analysts). Current Ratio at 1.33, Price / Cash at 7.05. Short float at 8.67%, which implies a short ratio of 2.94 days.

Disclosure: No positions

Source: 17 Most Undervalued S&P 500 Stocks by Analyst Target Price