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 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 when the market reacts to the upside.

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

Dude, it's time to look at Dell
You know that dirty feeling you get in your mouth when you have to admit you were wrong to a friend or a loved one? That's the feeling I'm getting right now by reversing course on my long-standing underperform call on Dell (Nasdaq: DELL  ) and recommending the company as a buy for the very first time.

There aren't many Fools around these parts that would agree to even consider Dell worth looking into, including my Foolish colleague Rick Munarriz -- and for good reason! Dell witnessed revenue declines across every sales category and saw a tumultuous 22% drop in its consumer business segment, which is home to its notebook computers. In recent years, Dell has been eaten alive by Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) introduction of the iPhone and iPad, which have allowed consumers a more convenient and portable way to access the Internet.

In spite of these very viable concerns, the price appears to finally be right to pounce on Dell. For starters, Dell initiated its first quarterly dividend in June. Dell has been notorious for repurchasing its own shares in order to inflate its EPS, but with a new yield of 2.9%, shareholders are finally going to share in the wealth. Also, Dell is in a transitional period that few shareholders or even analysts fully understand. The company is angling to reposition itself as an information technology company with focuses on storage and cloud-computing. This isn't a change that'll happen overnight, but Dell has the cash flow to buy its way into these new and lucrative business fields (its purchase of Quest Software was one example of this). It's a gamble, but I suspect Dell will provide a decent return to shareholders in the coming years.

Not as dire as you think
Given the recent trading action in BGC Partners (Nasdaq: BGCP  ) , you'd think the company's viability was in question. Following Knight Capital Group's near-implosion less than a month ago and a steady stream of downbeat earnings reports from many brokerage firms, it's not surprising to see the financial and real-estate services company hitting new lows.

But did anyone notice that projected 14.7% dividend yield -- because I certainly did! The first thing you should do with any yield this high is figure out why it's so high and if it's actually sustainable. In this case, I feel the dividend could have room to fall a bit, but I would be astonished if it fell below 10%. The reason is that BGC is still solidly profitable across all business segments, and it's now a dual-threat in both the financial and real estate markets with the addition of Grubb & Ellis, which it purchased through bankruptcy proceedings. Grubb & Ellis gives BGC inroads into the commercial real estate market while its traditional business operations allow it to capitalize on higher trading volumes in various securities in the financial sector.

Keep in mind that BGC will need a combination of higher trading volumes, a stabilization in the commercial real estate market, and less euro currency fluctuations in order to optimally profit, but I feel investors are pricing in a worst case scenario at these levels that just isn't warranted.

Drill, baby, drill!
Ever since drilling-equipment specialist Tesco (Nasdaq: TESO  ) badly missed Wall Street's expectations during the second quarter, investors have been unforgiving on its share price. For the quarter, Tesco reported only $0.13 in adjusted earnings per share after selling its casing drilling business to Schlumberger (NYSE: SLB  ) for $13.3 million, widely missing the $0.34 per share Wall Street had expected. However, now could be the time to pounce while investors' opinion of the company is low.

Tesco's other businesses showed incredible strength in spite of the revenue and EPS miss. Its top drive and tubular services segments saw year-over-year growth of 14.6% and 19.5%, respectively. Keep in mind that its now-sold casing business contributed to only 3.6% of total revenue in the second quarter. Perhaps the biggest bullish indicator that Tesco could be a long-term winner is just the overwhelming demand in oil rig activity and the optimistic quarterly results we've witnessed from offshore drillers Ensco and Noble recently. Although total rig counts are down as exploration and production drillers pare back natural gas production, the number of active oil rigs is up a whopping 339 over last year. That's great news for Tesco's shareholders and should lead to a rebound in its share price over the long-term.

Foolish roundup
This week's trend is about realizing that things aren't really as bad as they appear on the surface. Deep down, Dell's strong cash flow and new dividend, BGC's consistent profitability and operational expansion, and the increasing demand in oil rigs for Tesco, should propel all three stocks higher.

I'm so confident that these three names will bounce off their lows that I'm going to make a CAPScall of outperform on each one.

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Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. 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 and Ensco. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of, and creating a bull call spread position in, Apple. 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 August 28, 2012, at 1:42 PM, rsinj wrote:

    I don't think you understand BGCP, the situation, or why it trades where it does. Look, statements like yours regarding the stock/company have been continuous over the past year since the stock was double the price it currently is...and the dividend yield half of what it is currently. Why are your statements now any different than what's already been said?

    Maybe you also need to read up on "return of capital" and how much of BGCP's dividend is really a dividend vs. a return of capital.

    There's more to the BGCP story and you're just skimming the surface. Look under the covers a little if you really think it's such a great buy.

    BGCP may "bounce off the low" because of your article. But, the trend is still down, and it will trade lower. In the end, most fools aren't interested in short-term bounces off the low, but solid fundamentals and a solid/strong long-term growth story/strategy. BGCP really doesn't have it, and you'll figure that out if you look a bit deeper.

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