3 Top Stocks at Half Price

You love buying your shirts when they go on sale. And who can resist a buy-one-get-one-free offer? So when our stocks go on sale, why do we bemoan their low prices?

Smart investors like Warren Buffett or Marty Whitman love it when their stocks are suddenly selling at bargain-basement prices. For them, these companies become no-brainer buys.

The investors in the Motley Fool CAPS community also like a bargain, apparently. Below, you'll find three companies whose shares are selling at least 50% below their 52-week highs, but which still earn high honors from our investor-intelligence database. Consider it a BOGO sale on stocks:

Stock

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

% Off  12-Month High

Cornerstone Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CRTX  )

****

55%

Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (NYSE: OTE  )

****

56%

RINO International (Nasdaq: RINO  )

****

62%

Naturally, we want you to look a bit closer at these stocks before buying. You can get low-priced appliances in the dent-and-ding section of your home-remodeling superstore, but their quality might not be so good. Same thing here: Make sure there's nothing seriously wrong with the company before you plug it into your portfolio.

Take two, they're small
Having overcome some troubling missteps early on (the FDA warned that it had distributed drugs without approved applications for them), Cornerstone Therapeutics has corrected itself. The company's now proving that its decision to rely more upon branded drugs and less on generic versions was the right one. Revenues surged by 19% this quarter, thanks to strong sales for its respiratory drugs.

Cornerstone acquired Curosurf, an infant respiratory disease treatment, last year; it has quickly become one of the company's top sellers, surpassed only by its allergic rhinitis treatment AlleRx. Despite facing stiff competition from some better-financed rivals like Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT  ) and Merck (NYSE: MRK  ) , along with generic versions of its own drugs, Cornerstone has done well for itself. CAPS member bobsweet expects biotech to "explode" in value:

If you really look indepth into this company then you would know it is poised to explode. Great forward P/E, P/S, P/Book while holding alot of cash with very little debt. 72.5% insider owned while still trading under 200M volume...

Times are tough all over
In Greece and elsewhere, employees used to living at taxpayers' expense typically don't suffer in silence when their governments impose austerity measures. Look at the outcry from unions representing teachers, police, and firemen in various states like California and New Jersey, which have slashed budgets to repair ugly deficits. When countries like Greece have to impose national austerity measures to keep from defaulting on loans, public employees have rioted, and unions have shut down essential services.

Hellenic Telecommunications Organization, Greece's biggest phone company, posted a 76% decline in profits recently, warning that further losses were on the way as a result of new taxes imposed to pay off the country's deficit. Hellenic is 25% owned by Deutsche Telekom (NYSE: DT  ) , and will be following its lead by delisting itself from the New York Stock Exchange later this year.

CAPS members continue to weigh in on the fate of the telecom; 96% of those rating Hellenic have indicated it will go on to outperform the market. But if it does follow through on its plan to delist, CAPS All-Star TSIF notes it will probably end up trading on the pink sheets, along with other foreign companies taking that same step:

PK Board for most Foreign equties. Hellenic will get an OTC (Over the Counter) listing with a PK extension. Volume MIGHT be lower, but probably not on this one.  Limit orders would be encouraged. You can trade PK stocks with all major trading platforms that I am aware of.  IN Many cases you type in the portion of their ticker without the PK into their boxes. Your OTE should transfer there if you hold them until it settles.

Mercedes, Daimler, Deutsche Telecom and many others announced delisting plans recently.  Cost of maintaining the US listing, reporting rules, loss of pristige, all appear to be a factor.

Feeling flushed
Chinese wastewater treatment specialist RINO International has fallen hard so far this year. But while shares now dangle more than 60% below their 52-week high, they're still trading higher than they did a year ago.

RINO might sport the home court advantage, but despite its claims of having virtually no competition from a technical standpoint, there are a number of other Chinese firms at least in the wastewater industry. U.S.-based Pall (NYSE: PLL  ) sells municipal and industrial systems there as well. Regardless, CAPS member SeekBalance says RINO's plans for expansion should put it on the road to growth:

Fabulous growth in both revenues and revenues announced last quarter, and the stock has gone down and sideways since. Plus, RINO operates in the world's fastest (only?) growing geographical market (China), and has recently announced plans for a huge plant expansion to handle anticipated continuing growth. Excellent fundamentals.

Have half a mind
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Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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