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One important consideration for stocks is the corporate governance policies of the company, such as its board composition and shareholder rights, which have important implications to the company’s performance. RiskMetrics Group gives ratings for four areas of corporate governance, on risks related to: the board, the audit committee, the compensation committee, and shareholder rights.

We ran a screen on low-debt stocks that are trading at significant discounts to mean analyst target price. We screened this universe for companies that received “low risk” ratings on all four corporate governance areas covered by RiskMetrics.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the top six stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.




We also created a price-weighted index of the stocks mentioned below, and monitored the performance of the list relative to the S&P 500 index over the last month. To access a complete analysis of this list's recent performance, click here.



List sorted by market cap.

1. Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM): Major Integrated Oil & Gas Industry. Market cap of $341.27B. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.05. Target price at $94.15 vs. current price at $70.19 (implies a potential upside of 34.13%). According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all four corporate governance categories. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 11.82% over the last week.

2. United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS):
Air Delivery & Freight Services Industry. Market cap of $61.54B. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.04. Target price at $87.09 vs. current price at $62.40 (implies a potential upside of 39.57%). According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all four corporate governance categories. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 7.72% over the last week.

3. Nike Inc. (NYSE:NKE): Textile Apparel, Footwear & Accessories Industry. Market cap of $36.98B. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.04. Target price at $99.56 vs. current price at $79.19 (implies a potential upside of 25.72%). According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all four corporate governance categories. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 11.36% over the last week.

4. Loews Corporation (NYSE:L): Property & Casualty Insurance Industry. Market cap of $14.29B. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.12. Target price at $46.00 vs. current price at $35.36 (implies a potential upside of 30.09%). According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all four corporate governance categories. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 9.59% over the last week.

5. Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE:CAH): Drugs Wholesale Industry. Market cap of $13.32B. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.11. Target price at $48.50 vs. current price at $37.99 (implies a potential upside of 27.67%). According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all four corporate governance categories. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 11.2% over the last week.

6. Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE:OMC): Advertising Agencies Industry. Market cap of $11.09B. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.17. Target price at $53.15 vs. current price at $39.69 (implies a potential upside of 33.92%). According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all four corporate governance categories. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 14.37% over the last week.

7. Zimmer Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:ZMH):
Medical Appliances & Equipment Industry. Market cap of $10.35B. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.14. Target price at $70.92 vs. current price at $53.90 (implies a potential upside of 31.58%). According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all four corporate governance categories. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 7.93% over the last week.

8. W.W. Grainger, Inc. (NYSE:GWW): Industrial Equipment Wholesale Industry. Market cap of $9.08B. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.12. Target price at $171.08 vs. current price at $129.86 (implies a potential upside of 31.74%). According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all four corporate governance categories. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 6.27% (equivalent to 7 days of average volume). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 11.43% over the last week.

9. Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS): Apparel Stores Industry. Market cap of $8.59B. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.16. Target price at $20.17 vs. current price at $15.61 (implies a potential upside of 29.24%). According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all four corporate governance categories. Might be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.9, and P/FCF ratio at 10.5. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 19.24% over the last week.

10. Towers Watson & Co. (NYSE:TW): Management Services Industry. Market cap of $3.87B. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.02. Target price at $68.57 vs. current price at $52.26 (implies a potential upside of 31.21%). According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all four corporate governance categories. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 15.85% over the last week.

11. Ingram Micro Inc. (NYSE:IM): Computers Wholesale Industry. Market cap of $2.54B. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.07. Target price at $21.29 vs. current price at $15.78 (implies a potential upside of 34.89%). According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all four corporate governance categories. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 13.11% over the last week.

12. Tidewater Inc. (NYSE:TDW): Shipping Industry. Market cap of $2.52B. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.19. Target price at $65.69 vs. current price at $48.49 (implies a potential upside of 35.48%). According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all four corporate governance categories. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 12.86% (equivalent to 8.2 days of average volume). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 10.58% over the last week.

13. Seacor Holdings Inc. (NYSE:CKH):
Shipping Industry. Market cap of $1.84B. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.19. Target price at $103.00 vs. current price at $84.87 (implies a potential upside of 21.36%). According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all four corporate governance categories. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 15.09% over the last week.

14. Buckle Inc. (NYSE:BKE): Apparel Stores Industry. Market cap of $1.68B. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.00. Target price at $44.00 vs. current price at $35.53 (implies a potential upside of 23.84%). According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all four corporate governance categories. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 16.16% (equivalent to 9.06 days of average volume). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 19.63% over the last week.

15. PS Business Parks Inc. (NYSE:PSB): REIT. Market cap of $1.16B. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.11. Target price at $64.33 vs. current price at $47.11 (implies a potential upside of 36.56%). According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all four corporate governance categories. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 16.77% over the last week.

16. 99 (NYSE:NDN):
Discount, Variety Stores Industry. Market cap of $1.15B. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.00. Target price at $20.50 vs. current price at $16.33 (implies a potential upside of 25.54%). According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all four corporate governance categories. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 6.71% (equivalent to 5.14 days of average volume). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 17.11% over the last week.

Total debt to assets, target price and current price data sourced from Screener.co, RiskMetrics ratings sourced from Yahoo Finance, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Source: 16 Undervalued, Low-Debt Companies With Good Corporate Governance