"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

China BAK Battery (NASDAQ:CBAK)




Penn Treaty American (NYSE:PTA)




Carrier Access Corporation (NASDAQ:CACS)




HealthTronics (NASDAQ:HTRN)




International Textile Group



Not rated

China Precision Steel



Not rated




Not rated

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
In today's edition of MSN's "shot list," what do we find but two companies CAPS players think middling at best, two more sub-par, and three beneath notice. Ah, the joys of scraping the bottom of the market's barrel!

It seems we're not seeing any obvious winners this week. But we do have a company that more than 100 investors don't entirely despise. With 109 outperform ratings to its 10 underperforms on CAPS, China BAK Battery still retains a modest three stars even after its stunning fall from grace during the past year.

Ready to bounce?
But will those investors be rewarded for their faith in the company? Let's examine the logic behind their support for the rechargeable battery maker:

  • CAPS All-Star henncoop lays out an investment thesis for us, short and sweet: "beaten & battered with a nice business niche & PE >10 & undervalued."
  • toddbeau is similarly to the point: "Majorly punished, low p/s, p/e, peg, decent margins, analyst ratings."
  • jbomb1 plays the China card: "if every person in China buys 2 AA batteries once in the next 5 years, this company and myself stand to make a lot of money."

Throw in the fact that the single analyst cited on Yahoo! Finance thinks China BAK will nearly double its earnings next year -- pushing its P/E down well into the single digits, and I do see the potential for a major bounce here. (That said, mind the cash flow, people. Accounting profits are nice and all, but nicer still would be if China BAK could get some cash flowing into its coffers for a change.)

Time to chime in
You've read the bulls' arguments. You've seen why I'm hopeful, if still unconvinced. Which way are you leaning on China BAK -- or any of the other companies in today's list, for that matter? If you've got an opinion, we've got a place for you to post it.

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 202 out of nearly 27,000 raters. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.