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

China Green Agriculture (NYSE: CGA  )

****

53%

Fuqi International (Nasdaq: FUQI  )

****

71%

Microvision (Nasdaq: MVIS  )

****

50%

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
Right now, the discussion about Microvision is centered on whether Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) will ever put one of its projectors into an iPhone or iPad, or if it can pair up with a gaming company like Electronic Arts to make video games completely immersive. That and whether it can turn a profit.

The other day, though, I watched a video from MIT's Media Lab that had me thinking about just how far this projection technology can really go. MIT developed what they call a "wearable gestural interface" -- really, a combination camera, cell phone, and projector -- that recognizes and tracks a user's hand gestures as well as physical objects using computer-vision techniques. Think of Tom Cruise in Minority Report where he's manipulating computer images in the air with his hands. That's exactly what MIT's "Sixth Sense" prototype does.

For example, put your hands up in the classic picture frame position, and the camera recognizes that gesture and takes a picture of whatever you're looking at. You can then turn and face a wall -- or your friend's back -- and the projector casts the image on the surface that you can manipulate using your fingers. Want to call your friend's phone? Aim the projector at your hand and dial the number by pressing the keypad image displayed there. You could even get Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) ratings while looking at books in a store, then open the cover to get reader reviews.

Cool, futuristic stuff, for sure, but Microvision's technology -- whether it's actually being used here, I don't know -- could head off in that direction, too. They're already working with the military on some uses, and Pioneer will incorporate its PicoP laser technology into its transparent head-up displays found in cars and consumer products.

While I get caught up in the technology, CAPS member pchop123 takes a more practical look at Microvision's patents and partners and likes what he sees. But only you can decide whether Microvision is worth a small spot in your portfolio. Add it to your watchlist, where all the Foolish news and analysis about this stock is aggregated for you.

A reserve player
Although Fuqi International was just given an extension by the Nasdaq exchange before its stock is delisted, the Chinese jewelry dealer still faces a mountain of concerns. It hasn't solicited proxies, held an annual meeting of shareholders, or filed quarterly and annual reports with the SEC for some time. It's got until May 9 to get the proxies and meetings in place, but investors might want to see some hard financial numbers before putting their money here.

As highly rated CAPS All-Star GunnarVagotis notes, Fuqi was one of several Chinese small-cap stocks that have come under the microscope for greater scrutiny that enjoyed a one-day bounce in their stock. Let us know on the Fuqi International CAPS page whether this can ever be considered a diamond in the rough again.

On the level
China Green Agriculture is another of those Chinese small caps operating under a cloud of suspicion -- though its stock is seeing an uptrend, rising about 5% over the past week. As it wormed its way into the industry currently occupied by Yongye International (Nasdaq: YONG  ) and China Agritech (Nasdaq: CAGC  ) , it basically admitted to investors last September that the numbers that Chinese companies report to the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) may be outright fabrications.

It says, of course, that its numbers are bogus, and no knowledgeable investor would have ever relied upon them. Thanks for the news, and now that investors have become aware of the shenanigans many of these small caps are pulling, many are not relying upon much of what their management says.

Yet don't throw out the baby with the bath water, says CAPS investor MrPrognosticator. CGA recently made an acquisition that gives it greater distribution, but he's just not happy it will be for a lower margin product.

This creator of 55,000 metric tons just bought another fertilizer producer which produces [300,000] metric tons annually with an established distribution system. I actually like this move, as it gives them access to the distribution chain of rural farmers and allows them to provide them with a low and high end product, a Toyota and a Lexus if you will. Perhaps it's more like a GM & a Lexus, but you get the idea. However with it comes the news that they'll be switching to a commodity driven (low market potential, high competition) product.

Have half a mind
Sign up today for the completely free CAPS service, and tell us whether these stocks are twice as good at half the price.

Apple and Amazon.com are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. China Green Agriculture and Yongye International are Motley Fool Global Gains selections. The Fool has written puts on Apple. The Fool owns shares of Apple, China Green Agriculture, and Yongye International. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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.


Read/Post Comments (5) | Recommend This Article (13)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On January 25, 2011, at 1:45 PM, Gonzhouse wrote:

    Forget CGA. They just jump from one lie (how many distributors stock their products) to another (financial results). If you want Chinese fertilizer, go for YONG.

  • Report this Comment On January 29, 2011, at 4:30 PM, greenwave3 wrote:

    CGA isn't even close to half price. Half price would be about $1. Once the full extent of the fraud is exposed, this stock will lose any support it had.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2011, at 1:18 PM, BabyBeluga2 wrote:

    In the current political climate that responds to rising food prices, the Chinese government should buy stock in CAGC and other fertilizer companies at their current depressed prices. Has anyone heard of such possibilities?

  • Report this Comment On February 12, 2011, at 12:22 PM, tkell31 wrote:

    So you are calling two companies that admitted outright fraud "top stocks?" Lol, you guys kill me. Last year the fool was proudly pumping CGA as one of it's best calls, met the ceo, visited the plant...and it was still a scam...nice research on that one.

    Rich, do you have any integrity at all? Merely putting do your own research after mentioning the stocks in a pump piece doesnt absolve you. I'm sure your Mom would be proud that you are hangin' with the scumbags of the investment community.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2011, at 9:16 AM, TMFCop wrote:

    tkell31,

    Good job actually reading what was written!

    The stocks are considered "top stocks" because they're highly rated by the CAPS community, regardless of what I think about them. I discussed why CGA was cut in half -- the fraud allegations and management's weak response to them -- and point out why some CAPS members are still hopeful. Somehow that puts me in the same category as the "scumbags." Great analysis.

    Cheers, and thanks for reading.

    Rich

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