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 125,000-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 three such stocks:

Company

Today’s Intraday Price

Industry

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Fools Saying Outperform

Lufkin Industries
(NASDAQ:LUFK)

$32.00

Energy Equipment and Services

5 Stars

604 of 616

iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil Index
(NYSE:OIL)

$20.38

 

3 Stars

342 of 407

Atlas Pipeline Partner (NYSE:APL)

$5.16

Oil, Gas and Consumable Fuels

3 Stars

308 of 338

Source: Motley Fool CAPS, as of Dec. 24, 2008.

Top-Rated energy equipment and services companies:

  • CARBO Ceramics (NYSE:CRR): Stock price is -14% lower than last year.
  • Enbridge (NYSE:ENB): Stock price is -17% lower than last year.

Top-Rated companies:

  • CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust (NYSE:FXY): Stock price is 26% higher than last year.
  • PowerShares DB Gold Fund ETF (NYSE:DGL): Stock price is 1% 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.