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The controversy with Groupon (GRPN) is palpable and it’s pretty entertaining from the front row seat. Half the crowd hates it, the other half loves it, and everybody has an opinion on it. Still, who said investors had to do anything with it? Nobody. While some investors continue burning time on a company that they have either already decided to buy or not buy we’ve decided to focus our energy instead on names that have cheap P/E valuations and are making a strong market turnaround.

The Price/Earnings ratio is one of the most widely recognized price multiple valuations out there. Still, in our view that doesn’t mean this number is “priced” into the market. That would assume that every investor in the world was evaluating a company in an identical manner and coming to the same exact conclusion based on this number. In very simple terms this reality seems just a little too unlikely. The rule of thumb here is that the lower the P/E, the cheaper earnings are to buy and that if a company trades below 10 its technically in “value investment” territory.

We looked for low P/E stocks (X<10) that are trading near their 52-week lows. From this narrowed list we then focused on companies that have illustrated a bullish trend by outperforming the S&P 500 in the last month. We did not screen out any sectors or market caps.

The list is ranked from highest to lowest by the P/E ratio:

1. Horace Mann Educators. (HMN)

Sector

Financial Services

Industry

Insurance - Diversified

Market Cap

$477M

Beta

1.34

The company underwrites personal, property and casualty, and life insurance in the US. The company has a P/E of 9.98 and is trading 13.61% above its 52-week low. HMN has increased by 7.28 % in the last month. The short interest was 3.60% as of 09/30/2011.

2. M&T Bank Corp. (MTB)

Sector

Financial Services

Industry

Banks - Regional - US

Market Cap

$9,412M

Beta

1.03

The company offers retail and institutional clients a variety of banking services ranging from loans to asset management & more. The company has a P/E of 9.74 and is trading 12.86% above its 52-week low. MTB has increased by 9.74% in the last month. The short interest was 4.00% as of 09/30/2011.

3. Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC)

Sector

Financial Services

Industry

Banks - Regional - US

Market Cap

$138,913M

Beta

1.78

The company is a premier US bank that offers a variety of banking services all over the US. The company has a P/E of 9.65 and is trading 16.52% above its 52-week low. WFC has increased by 10.97% in the last month. The short interest was 1.20% as of 09/30/2011.

4. American Financial Group Inc. (AFG)

Sector

Financial Services

Industry

Insurance - Property & Casualty

Market Cap

$3,543M

Beta

1.15

The company sells a variety of insurance and annuity prodcuts. The company has a P/E of 9.35 and is trading 19.69% above its 52-week low. AFG has increased by 15.05% in the last month. The short interest was 0.60% as of 09/30/2011.

5. Best Buy Co Inc. (BBY)

Sector

Consumer Cyclical

Industry

Specialty Retail

Market Cap

$9,449M

Beta

1.28

The company is a specialty retailer in the consumer electronics space along with related services and products. The company has a P/E of 8.77 and is trading 19.69% above its 52-week low. BBY has increased by 8.79% in the last month. The short interest was 12.00% as of 09/30/2011.

6. Northrop Grumman Corp. (NOC)

Sector

Industrials

Industry

Aerospace & Defense

Market Cap

$15,518M

Beta

1.20

The company develops products, services, and integrated solutions in various industries such as aerospace for a variety of customers worldwide. The company has a P/E of 8.64 and is trading 13.43% above its 52-week low. NOC has increased by 7.55% in the last month. The short interest was 5.40% as of 09/30/2011.

7. DST Systems, Inc. (DST)

Sector

Industrials

Industry

Business Services

Market Cap

$2,190M

Beta

1.18

The company offers sophisticated processing and computer software services along with products. The company has a P/E of 8.62 and is trading 16.23% above its 52-week low. DST has increased by 8.84% in the last month. The short interest was 1.80% as of 09/30/2011.

8. Meredith Corporation. (MDP)

Sector

Consumer Cyclical

Industry

Publishing

Market Cap

$1,087M

Beta

1.79

A media and marketing company that is engaged in magazine and book publishing, television broadcasting, integrated marketing, and interactive media. The company has a P/E of 8.42 and is trading 14.45 % above its 52-week low. MDP has increased by 9.57 % in the last month. The short interest was 25.70% as of 09/30/2011.

9. AstraZeneca PLC. (AZN)

Sector

Healthcare

Industry

Drug Manufacturers - Major

Market Cap

$66,350M

Beta

0.58

The company develops and sells prescription pharmaceuticals in a variety of health science spaces. The company has a P/E of 8.40 and is trading 18.76% above its 52-week low. AZN has increased by 10.72% in the last month. The short interest was N/A as of 09/30/2011.

10. AVX Corporation. (AVX)

Sector

Technology

Industry

Electronic Components

Market Cap

$2,157M

Beta

0.87

The company makes and sells passive electronic components and related products. The company has a P/E of 8.33 and is trading 16.33% above its 52-week low. AVX has increased by 10.36% in the last month. The short interest was 1.30% as of 09/30/2011.

We hope this list helps as investors do their own due diligence and research on cheap valuations that have recently taken on bullish momentum near their 52-week lows.

Source: 10 Cheap Stocks With Momentum