3 Stocks Near 52-Week Lows Worth Buying

Just as we examine companies each week that may be rising past their fair value, we can also find companies potentially trading at a bargain price. While many investors would rather have nothing to do with companies tipping the scales at 52-week lows, I think it makes a lot of sense to determine whether the market has overreacted to the downside, just as we often do to the upside.

Here's a look at three fallen angels trading near their 52-week lows that could be worth buying.

America runs on this stuff
Not only does America run on the coffee and food that Dunkin' Brands (Nasdaq: DNKN  ) provides, but Americans literally ran the other direction when the company announced plans for a 22-million share secondary offering last week. While I agree with Foolish colleague Chris Hill that it's wrong to call Dunkin' Brands "the next Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX  ) ," I think many are missing the point that there's plenty of value to be had in the coffee sector by being No. 2.

Dunkin' Brands currently has a partnership in place with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Nasdaq: GMCR  ) , and although Green Mountain reports later this week, its past quarterly results have scorched past analysts' estimates. Excluding the one-time expenses associated with its IPO, Dunkin' Brands also powered past projections this quarter thanks to a 9.4% jump in overall revenue, with a 13.7% rise in the Dunkin' Donuts division's international sales. Dunkin' is positioned in the sweet spot for growth, and I see last week's sell-off as all the more reason to jump on board.

The definition of funny-mentals
Most of the time, the stock market makes sense, and price movements higher or lower can be reasonably justified. Then again, sometimes the market is brutally inefficient at assigning value and fundamental reasoning turns into funny-mental chaos. Such is the case with Integra LifeSciences (Nasdaq: IART  ) , a developer and manufacturer of surgical implants and medical instruments.

Last week, Integra reported a better-than-expected third-quarter profit on an 8% rise in sales, yet got clobbered and lost 23% of its value based solely on its guidance. Here's the kicker: The guidance was more or less in line with analysts' current expectations. Integra kept its full-year revenue forecast unchanged at $785 million to $800 million while projecting a profit of $2.88-$2.96. Based on the current consensus EPS estimate of $2.93, this doesn't exactly seem like a miss at all! Integra is now valued at just nine times forward earnings after last weeks' tumble and looks like a no-brainer buy based on Wall Street's gross fundamental negligence.

Smartphone revolution or revolt?
Up until recently, suppliers of smartphone products could do no wrong as they rode Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) coattails from the iPhone 3 straight through to the recently released iPhone 4S. However, it seems that love for these suppliers is drying up as competition and inventory levels are increasing. Recently, we witnessed both Triquint Semiconductor (Nasdaq: TQNT  ) and AXT (Nasdaq: AXTI  ) hit the deck following their respective earnings reports, but it's AXT that looks like the real bargain.

The company, which makes gallium arsenide substrates used in smartphone devices, forecast rough times ahead but also seemed confident that it would remain profitable during this industrywide contraction. AXT maintains an impeccably clean cash-rich balance sheet and actually managed to raise its gross margin by 390 basis points over the year-ago period. Valued at nine times forward earnings and very close to its book value, it makes for a compelling buy here.

Foolish roundup
Sometimes the market just makes you shake your head in disbelief -- and this was one of those weeks. Beneath these temporary blips are three strong companies that should at least deserve a second look from investors.

What's your take? Do these fallen angels deserve a second chance or should we feed them to the pigs? Share your thoughts in the comments section below and consider adding Dunkin' Brands, Integra LifeSciences, and AXT to your free and personalized watchlist to keep track of the latest news with each company.

Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. If you cut him open, he would bleed the white and green colors of Starbucks. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong , track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Starbucks, and Triquint Semiconductor. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple, Starbucks, and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, as well as creating a bull call spread position in Apple and a lurking gator position in Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy that's always on the lookout for a good deal.


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  • Report this Comment On November 07, 2011, at 9:46 PM, MHedgeFundTrader wrote:

    Analysts continue to be stunned by the rate at which cash is rolling into Apple (AAPL). At current cash flows, the company’s hoard is expected to grow from $81 billion to $120 billion by next June, an increase of nearly $200 million a day!

    Let’s face it. Apple has had a great, decade long run. Hundreds of my readers, many of them Apple employees, are faced with the enviable problem that, having ridden the stock up from $4 to $400, they have too much of their wealth concentrated in a single asset. That is never a good idea from a risk control point of view. But every time I look for reasons to sell Apple, I find three more reasons to buy it. It’s a case of the grass being greener on my side of the fence.

    It all reinforces my view that Apple shares will reach my long term target of $1,000 sooner than anyone thinks. It is already trading places with Exxon (XOM) as the world’s largest company and most profitable company on an almost weekly basis. At $1,000, Apple would boast a market value of $930 billion, accounting for 7.5% of total US stock market capitalization, and 40% of NASDAQ.

    What if multiples expand, as they should? Take Apple stock up to its past peak multiple of 36, and the company would be worth $2.8 trillion and rank 5th in the world in GDP, more than France, and just behind German. Wow!

    The Mad Hedge Fund Trader

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