Just as we examine companies each week that may be rising past their fair value, we can also find companies potentially trading at bargain prices. 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.
Time will tell
Although this leaves a dirty taste in my mouth -- because five years ago I don't think I would have touched this company with a 10-foot pole -- it's time to finally take a serious look at telecommunication equipment provider Tellabs (Nasdaq: TLAB ) .
Tellabs is definitely not the sexiest stock of the bunch, nor has it performed particularly well since 2006, with revenue falling at an average annual rate of 5.3%. So why Tellabs now?
The company is attractive from a valuation perspective in that it's trading at just 91% of its book value and has a healthy $2.68 per share in net cash -- not too shabby considering that it's only trading at $4.09. The real driving force, though, looks like more clarity in capital expenditures from AT&T (NYSE: T ) , one of Tellabs' largest customers. Verizon and AT&T make up a big chunk of Tellabs' revenue, and with both of them looking to ramp up spending in the first half of 2012, it means a stabilization in Tellabs orders and hopefully more profitable quarters.
In natural gas we trust
For this week's token natural gas play -- as you recall, I declared myself a natural gas bull last month -- I'm going to throw out the idea of a royalty trust currently yielding north of 6%.
The San Juan Basin Royalty Trust (NYSE: SJT ) has royalty interests in the Burlington Resources Oil & Gas, which primarily has gas reserves located in the San Juan Basin in northwestern New Mexico. In short, this trust allows you another near pure-play opportunity to bet on decade-low natural gas prices and collect a ridiculously nice 6% dividend in the process. Keep in mind that this dividend could shrink with natural gas prices at these low levels. Chesapeake Energy -- and more recently, Canadian natural gas behemoth EnCana (NYSE: ECA ) -- have both significantly reduced their capital expenditures and output in response to these low prices. Still, this trust could represent a bargain-basement value for income-seeking investors.
All companies eventually go through growing pains -- even those perpetually stuck in their infancy.
Summer Infant (Nasdaq: SUMR ) , a maker of health, safety, and wellness products for children under the age of 3, cautioned in January that its newly introduced Prodigy car seat and Peek Internet monitoring system had underperformed the company's expectations during the fourth quarter. Now, however, is not the time to throw a temper tantrum on the floor, but to instead consider taking a position in this high-growth micro cap.
Despite the weakened guidance, Summer Infant's management team continues to see sales growth in the double-digits and diluted earnings growth of 15% to 20% in each of the next several years. That's pretty fantastic, especially considering that EPS have grown in every year since the company went public. Valued at only nine times forward earnings and with projections of growth in the double-digits, this look like an investment that could sprout up over the long term.
Predicting a turnaround after bad news hits a sector isn't easy, but these companies either have a strong balance sheet or a history of rapid growth that supports a long-term turnaround. 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!