If you're aiming to "buy low and sell high," then it makes infinite sense to start your search with bargain-priced stocks. Regularly reviewing a list of stocks trading near their 52-week lows can be a great first step.

Here, I'll try to do the initial legwork for you. To prevent us from being inundated with scores of disparate companies, I'll conduct my search by industry. This will allow us to make some initial comparisons among semi-related companies.

There are 24 industry groups as defined by the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS). Household and personal products is one of them.

Below are the top three companies in this space (by market cap) that are hugging 52-week lows.

Company

Market Capitalization
(in Millions)

Change From 52-Week Low

P/E Ratio (Trailing)

Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE: CL)

$37,291

       4.9%

     18.1

Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB)

$27,346

       14.7%

     14.2

Clorox (NYSE: CLX)

$9,510

       18.2%

     16.0


Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's. Data as of Oct. 18, 2010.

Don't get too excited by this screen, though. The thing with consumer goods stocks is that they simply aren't as volatile as other stocks. So while these three famous-brand companies are all selling within 20% of their 52-week lows, only Colgate-Palmolive is trading closer to its low than its high. In fact, Kimberly-Clark and Clorox are both quite close to their yearly highs.

Stepping back for a quick valuation check, none is extravagantly valued on trailing P/E, forward P/E, or price-to-free cash flow. None are extraordinarily cheap, either. But it's Kimberly-Clark that's the cheapest on all three measures.

These are the kinds of stocks that you can buy and hold without worrying every day about the latest development. The key is to get in at good prices, though. Kimberly-Clark comes the closest to that.

Interested in reading more about these stocks? Add them to My Watchlist to find all of our Foolish analysis on them.

Anand Chokkavelu doesn't own shares of any companies mentioned. He posts his favorite articles on his Twitter feed.

Clorox and Kimberly-Clark are Motley Fool Income Investor picks.

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