5 Top Stocks at Half-Price

You love purchasing your skiing passes 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 cry about their low prices?

Smart investors, such as 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 who populate the Motley Fool CAPS community also like a bargain, apparently. Below, you'll find five stocks whose shares are selling at least 50% below their 52-week highs, but which still earn top honors from our investor-intelligence database. Consider it a buy-one-get-one-free sale on stocks.

Stock

CAPS Rating
(5 max)

% Off 52-Week High

Agrium (NYSE: AGU  )

*****

71%

Allegheny Technologies (NYSE: ATI  )

*****

73%

Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE: CNQ  )

*****

67%

Chipotle Mexican Grill (B shares)

*****

57%

Frontier Oil (NYSE: FTO  )

*****

64%


Naturally, we want you to look 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 three, they're small
Even with the upset in the commodities market, titanium producer Allegheny Technologies managed to beat expectations when it reported fourth-quarter earnings last week. With net income dropping 25% from the year-ago period, the metals maker said it earned $1.15 per share, ahead of the $0.90 analysts thought it would turn in. Even with the reduced numbers, 2008 remained Allegheny's second best year ever in terms of sales and profits.

Top-rated CAPS All-Star BSHumphreyII finds Allegheny to be a play on old-line manufacturing cyclicals, which he thinks are poised to make a move this year:

[Allegheny Technologies] is a good play on a primary bull market in smokestack cyclicals, which I think is on the way this year. I like their balance sheet, and I really like the fact that they're in alloys rather than plain old steel, which should be less sensitive to foreign price competition.

Being in alloys separates Allegheny from titanium pure plays like Titanium Metals (NYSE: TIE  ) and RTI International (NYSE: RTI  ) , though all three have suffered over the past year, with the latter two falling 72% and 75% from their 52-week highs, respectively.

A slippery slope
Oil sands player Canadian Natural Resources has enjoyed some success, although with the slowdown in the industry, has had to slow its development of some operations. Moreover, the near-term outlook for oil-sands production took a hit last week when one of the industry's largest players, Suncor (NYSE: SU  ) , cut its budget 50% for the new year and decided to halt production at two sites.

As difficult as the decisions have been, and bleak though the prospects seem, top-rated CAPS All-Star ValueMrk may have it right, that Canadian Natural Resources still offers valuable assets: "Well run business, sound management, great cash position, strong balance sheet. Hidden Assests - land, land and more land! Oil Sands!"

Eat up
CAPS member Wilco7 finds the market seriously under-pricing shares of agricultural products producer Agrium, which recently announced that it will likely write down a record $117 million in the fourth quarter because of falling prices. "Ag stocks on sale. Priced like the world is gonna stop eating for the next few years," opined this CAPS member.

Have half a mind
It pays to start your own research on these stocks on Motley Fool CAPS. Read a company's financial reports, scrutinize key data and charts, and examine the comments your fellow investors have made, all from a stock's CAPS page.

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

Chipotle Mexican Grill is both a Motley Fool Hidden Gems pick and a Rule Breakers recommendation. Titanium Metals is a Stock Advisor selection. The Fool owns shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

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.


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  • Report this Comment On January 29, 2009, at 4:30 AM, oversea wrote:

    If you had read the last issue of "The Economist" (and I must suppose you didn't!) you would not even dream to suggest any share involved in Canadian tar sand exploitation.

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