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.