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. While many investors would rather have nothing to do with companies tipping the scales at 52-week lows, I feel 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.

Best Buy (NYSE: BBY  )
At some point, deep-discount value traders are going to realize Best Buy is a screaming deal -- the only question is when that will happen.

Best Buy is the largest electronics retailer in the U.S., and it has struggled to adapt to changing consumer buying habits. Namely, consumers are turning more and more to Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) or cheaper alternatives like Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) to satiate their needs for electronics. Earlier this year, Best Buy outlined a plan that involved a greater focus on higher margin tablets and mobile applications, as well as a rollout of smaller stores. Soon we shall see if its game plan is working. In the meantime, we are left with one very cheap electronics company.

Best Buy is trading at only 7.2 times forward earnings and pays out a handsome 2.3% annual dividend. Even more impressive, its quarterly payout has more than doubled over the past six years. Having generated $2.3 billion in operating cash flow within the past 12 months, I'd hardly call this company a lost cause.

Gentiva Health Services (Nasdaq: GTIV  )
The start to this week has not been kind to the health-care sector in general. Specifically, health-care service providers have found the going tough following the passage of the debt reduction package through Congress.

The bill, designed to avert a U.S. debt default and raise the debt ceiling, is aimed at curbing as much as $2.5 trillion from the federal budget over the next decade, with the majority of those cuts potentially coming from the health-care sector. Protected from this legislation are Social Security, Medicaid, and veteran's benefits. On the other hand, it looks like Medicare pay recipients and skilled nursing facilities like Gentiva could face a revenue pay cut later this year.

But I feel shareholders have bludgeoned this stock long before the facts are in. Gentiva is now trading well below its book value of $21.47 and at barely 5 times forward earnings, which may make it a compelling gamble here. Relative to Amedisys (Nasdaq: AMED  ) and Almost Family (Nasdaq: AFAM  ) , Gentiva boasts the highest five-year growth projections and lowest forward earnings ratio. Gentiva looks poised to roar back in no time.

Akamai Technologies (Nasdaq: AKAM  )
Last week, fellow Fool Tim Beyers announced his intentions to part ways with longtime Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection Akamai following another earnings shortfall. I, on the other hand, welcomed Akamai to my own portfolio with open arms -- we're called The "Motley" Fool for a reason, and here is my reasoning.

Akamai may have once again lowered expectations, but the growth levels on revenue and GAAP earnings were still healthily in the double-digits. In fact, the company is currently trading at under 14 times forward earnings with a PEG ratio of under 1 -- a level I often associate with potentially undervalued companies, especially tech companies. Despite growth projections not hitting the company's prior guidance, it continues to do right by shareholders having repurchased 1.5 million shares during the quarter. It also has $1.3 billion in cash and marketable securities on the books, representing almost $7 per share. Akamai looks like the right balance of growth and value for my portfolio.

Foolish roundup
Usually, stocks trading at single-digit or low double-digit P/E's are priced cheaply for a reason. Digging around deeper than just an initial P/E figure can help determine if you've struck gold, or just fool's (small-f) gold.

What's your take on this week's list of potential buys? Share your thoughts in the comments section below and consider adding Best Buy, Gentiva Health Services, and Akamai Technologies to your watchlist.

Fool contributor Sean Williams owns shares of Akamai Technologies, but has no material interest in any other companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong The Motley Fool owns shares of Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and Almost Family. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Akamai Technologies, Amazon.com, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart, as well as creating a diagonal call position on Wal-Mart. 

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not 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 bargain.


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