When a stock hits a fresh low, it can either signal a dirt cheap dream stock or a dreadful stock to avoid. Separating the wheat from the chaff is difficult, but finding well-run companies at bargain-basement prices is a great way to accumulate a fortune over the long run.

With that in mind, we'll use the aggregate intelligence of the 115,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS to see what the community is saying about stocks hitting 52-week lows yesterday. The community's approval (signified by four- and five-star ratings) could indicate that further research is in order.

Here are three such stocks:

Company

Yesterday's Adjusted Close

Industry

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Fools Saying Outperform

Acergy S.A. (ADR) (NASDAQ:ACGY)

$15.47

Oil & Gas Equipment & Services

5 Stars

437 of 455

Seabridge Gold, Inc. (USA) (AMEX:SA)

$13.52

Gold

2  Stars

314 of 380

BP plc (ADR) (NYSE:BP)

$54.01

Major Integrated Oil & Gas

4 Stars

1931 of 2049

Source: Motley Fool CAPS, as of Sept. 3, 2008.

Top-rated oil & gas equipment & services companies:

  • Boots & Coots Intl. Well, Inc. (AMEX:WEL): Stock price is 134% higher than last year.
  • Lufkin Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:LUFK): Stock price is 48% higher than last year.

Top-rated gold companies:

  • Rio Tinto plc (ADR) (NYSE:RTP): Stock price is 25% higher than last year.
  • Kinross Gold Corp (USA) (NYSE:KGC): Stock price is 23% higher than last year.

Join us on CAPS to learn more about these and countless other interesting stock ideas.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.