"Don't catch a falling knife." Thus commandeth the old saw (to mix a cutlery metaphor).

But if people weren't tempted to catch cutlery in the first place, there'd be no need for this little bit of investing wisdom, would there? The idea of buying a former highflier at a discount price certainly has its attractions. The trick, of course, is to increase the odds that when you make your grab, you're catching haft, not blade. That's where we come in.

In The Motley Fool's continuing effort to keep your investing dollars safe, today we once again assume our position beneath Mr. Market's silverware drawer. As the knives plummet, we'll measure who's fallen farthest. Then we'll head over to Motley Fool CAPS, and ask which of these stocks Foolish investors think are ready to rebound to new highs -- if any.

With that said, let's meet today's list of contenders, drawn from the latest "52-week lows list" at MSN Money:

52-Week High

Currently Fetching

CAPS Rating

TransGlobe Energy (AMEX:TGA)




Abraxas Petroleum (AMEX:ABP)




Microtune (NASDAQ:TUNE)




ThermoGenesis (NASDAQ:KOOL)








Hana Biosciences (NASDAQ:HNAB)




Emisphere (NASDAQ:EMIS)




Companies are selected from the "New 52-Week Lows" list published on MSN Money on the Saturday following close of trading last week. 52-week high and current pricing provided by Yahoo! Finance. CAPS ratings from Motley Fool CAPS.

Knives and knaves
As you can see, our fellow investors over on CAPS aren't terribly enamored of this lot. The vast majority of the stocks on MSN's "shot" list don't even have CAPS ratings, being too small and too illiquid to merit inclusion in our service. Of the few that did make the initial cut, only two have earned the respect of our fellow investors, as expressed in the form of above-average ratings.

Ready to bounce?
Consider it a testament to the popularity of energy companies in our $60-a-barrel era that these companies have attracted the interest of over 100 investors each on CAPS. This, despite their being far from household names, and listed on the obscure and somewhat sketchy AMEX stock exchange. TransGlobe wins the popularity contest by a hair, so we'll feature that one in today's column, but basically, CAPS players seem to like these companies just about equally.

So without further ado, here's what investors are saying about Canadian oil-and-gas concern TransGlobe:

  • CAPS newcomer ibalib starts us off with a brief introduction to TransGlobe, a "relatively small, well-managed exploration and production company with ... significant and growing production of [natural gas] and oil from Canada and Yemen." ibalib also observes that "Management is most competent, straight shooting, and never hypes the company."
  • CAPS All-Star AJL203PSU highlights TransGlobe's home base operations in Canada in particular, noting that: "They are only 25 miles away from all the Oil Sands projects. Pretty good chance that TGA will benefit from them also."

AJL203PSU isn't the only All-Star to recommend TransGlobe. In fact, all 22 All-Stars who have weighed in on the stock come out in its favor. Nine of them have gone so far as to write pitches in support of their ratings, but to be honest, few of these contain much information -- other than to express the authors' general impressions that "oil will go up." (C'mon, guys. You can do better than that.)

The good news? If you know TransGlobe, here's your chance to shine. Click on over to CAPS and give us the 411 on why this company is such a buy at today's depressed prices. Or if you're feeling contrary, then tell us why Mr. Market is right and why TransGlobe is a dog with big ol' fleas. Whichever way you lean on the issue, consider Motley Fool CAPS your own personal soapbox. Just speak up -- we're listening.

Motley Fool CAPS: It's fun, it's free, and it just might make you famous.

Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any company named above. You can find him on CAPS, publicly pontificating under the handle TMFDitty, where he's currently ranked 17 out of more than 23,000 raters. The Fool has a disclosure policy.