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 120,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS to see what the community is saying about stocks hitting 52-week lows today. The community's approval (signified by four- and five-star ratings) could indicate that further research is in order.

Here are two such stocks:


Today’s Intraday Price


CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Fools Saying Outperform

GeoEye, Inc. (NASDAQ:GEOY)


Commercial Services and Supplies

4 Stars

365 of 379

Bank of Ireland (ADR) (NYSE:IRE)


Commercial Banks

4 Stars

433 of 455

Source: Motley Fool CAPS, as of Dec. 19, 2008.

Top-rated commercial services and supplies companies:

  • Clean Harbors, Inc. (NYSE:CLH): Stock price is 12% higher than last year.
  • Tetra Tech, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTEK): Stock price is 8% higher than last year.

Top-rated commercial banks companies:

  • International Bancshares Corp (NASDAQ:IBOC): Stock price is 4% higher than last year.
  • Umpqua Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:UMPQ): Stock price is 6% lower 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.