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 semirelated companies.

There are 24 industry groups as defined by the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS): Energy is one of them.

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

Company

Recent Price

52-Week Low

52-Week High

P/E Ratio (Trailing)

Petrobras (NYSE: PBR)

$36.22

$31.21

$49.20

11.6

Imperial Oil (AMEX: IMO)

$39.94

$35.18

$43.54

17.3

EOG Resources (NYSE: EOG)

$94.26

$85.42

$114.95

47.4

EnCana Corp. (NYSE: ECA)

$28.70

$26.02

$35.63

9.8


Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's.

Since we're looking for the largest energy companies that are near their 52-week lows, the top four are all oil and/or natural gas plays. Two of the four (Imperial and EnCana) are Canadian, with only EOG out of Houston representing the U.S. Petrobras is in Brazil.

With oil prices around $90 a barrel and natural gas rebounding a bit, many energy companies are riding closer to their 52-week highs than their lows. Even some of these companies are deceptive in that their trading range is pretty tight. That said, Petrobras is close to its lows and is still a five-star-rated company by our CAPS community. It's a huge company (over $200 billion in market cap), but beware -- it is in the midst of an unprecedented capital spending plan to develop deepwater fields off of the Brazilian coast.

If you are 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 company mentioned. Petroleo Brasileiro is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. 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.