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.

Everyday low value price
This is one selection my mother, a lifetime addict to shop-at-home TV networks, would have been very proud of. ValueVision Media (Nasdaq: VVTV  ) crossed my buy radar this week after some brutally difficult months.

Don't think the weakness we've witnessed in consumer electronics is causing headaches for just the big-box retailer Best Buy (NYSE: BBY  ) . ValueVision also reported a 20% decline in consumer electronics sales for the third quarter. Its watch sales also slumped 13%, which is odd given the strength we've seen from watch sales from Movado and most of the Swiss watchmaking industry.

What does impress me is that despite the loss, ValueVision grew its gross margin 120 basis points over the year-ago period and boasts a relatively strong balance sheet with a manageable level of debt. This says to me that ValueVision's other business segments -- jewelry, home, health and beauty, and fashion -- are doing well and that this company is on pace to turn itself around. With its stock at just 69% of book value, I'd be willing to make the call to buy here.

In defense of defense
Keeping with this week's theme of small-cap turnaround stories, I'm moving on to Anaren (Nasdaq: ANEN  ) , a microwave component and subsystem specialist for the wireless and defense sectors. With the stock hovering so close to a new 52-week low, things are obviously not at their best for the company. Sales from its wireless infrastructure business slumped 31% in its recently reported second quarter, and the company once again lowered its EPS guidance below what Wall Street was expecting. But there are still plenty of positives to lean on.

Anaren's CEO, Lawrence Sala, noted that the weakness in wireless infrastructure orders should be temporary and that its fiscal 2012 orders remained strong. He went on to say that he expects to see this strength translate to the bottom line by the fourth quarter.

Anaren also has a very strong balance sheet, ripe with $52.8 million in cash (more than $3 per share) and no debt. This isn't a story of a company struggling to remain profitable, and its cash provides more than an ample buffer to enact cost-saving initiatives. Finally, Anaren put its money where its mouth is and repurchased 256,000 shares of stock during the quarter. This has all the makings of a solid turnaround play.

Say yes to GPS?
Despite beating the dead horse repeatedly when it comes to avoiding GPS navigation stocks -- including Garmin -- I'm actually going to give one a nod: TeleNav (Nasdaq: TNAV  ) . The company, whose GPS software operates through mobile and automotive applications, has been growing like wildfire. Revenue for its recently reported second quarter jumped 11% with strategic-growth areas such as automotive, enterprise location-based services, and mobile showing more than a doubling in sales. International revenue also soared 59% to $2.9 million.

The only knock against TeleNav that has investors worried and short-sellers clamoring for a position is its reliance on Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S  ) . Sprint currently comprises 38% of TeleNav's revenue, and it has a contract that it has yet to renew with its larger partner that could be up as soon as July 2012. However, I feel that the stock has more than paid the price of the uncertainty surrounding this deal, falling from $22 in July to just under $8, where it currently trades. TeleNav's balance sheet is pristine, with $188 million in cash and no debt, and its subscribership is growing. This is a growing company I'd be willing to bet on.

Foolish roundup
This week we took a look at three small-cap companies with a really good chance at turning around their aching businesses. All three share strong balance sheets and either are (TeleNav and Anaren) or recently were (ValueVision) quite profitable. I'm so confident these three names will bounce off their lows that I'm going to make a CAPScall of outperform on each one.

In the meantime, consider adding these potential winners to your free and personalized watchlist and get your own personal copy of our latest special report, "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012," to see which company our chief investment officer has dubbed the "Costco of Latin America." Best of all, this report is completely free, so don't miss out!

Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. He still hasn't bought anything from TV. 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 Best Buy and Movado Group. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended writing covered calls in Best Buy. 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.


Read/Post Comments (3) | Recommend This Article (14)

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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 31, 2012, at 1:44 PM, Knowsbest wrote:

    TELENAV is bound to fail. Sprint is gone and their automotive offering is just a smoke and mirror show. AT&T would care less about navigation. Expect this stock to be sub $2 in one year.

  • Report this Comment On January 31, 2012, at 2:04 PM, OHGtop10 wrote:

    First let me say, I think "3 stocks near 52 week lows worth buying" are a great series of articles. What can I say, I'm a sucker at buying something at a discount.

    What do you think about mpaa or gen? They are both 5 stars at motley fool and near 52 week lows. I think both are worth a look. I own mpaa and I am looking into taking a quarter position in gen. I think it might take longer for gen to turn around since the company said current expenses should pay off after 2015.

    Thank you for your time and keep the great articles coming.

  • Report this Comment On January 31, 2012, at 4:22 PM, Hawmps wrote:

    I have to agree... I too am a fan of articles that point out companies that have been slapped up-side the head, kicked to the curb, looking for bottom feed buys on a string of earnings misses.

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