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

Electronic Arts, Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS)

$14.88

Software

3  Stars

1780 of 1983

Agilent Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:A)

$14.84

Electronic Equipment, Instruments and Components

3 Stars

373 of 434

The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE:DOW)

$15.25

Chemicals

5 Stars

1655 of 1749

Source: Motley Fool CAPS, as of Dec. 29, 2008.

Top-rated software companies:

  • TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSYS): Stock price is 133% higher than last year.
  • NAVTEQ Corp (NYSE:NVT): Stock price is 72% higher than last year.

Top-rated electronic equipment, instruments and components companies:

  • Cogent, Inc. (NASDAQ:COGT): Stock price is 14% higher than last year.
  • SAIC, Inc. (NYSE:SAI): Stock price is 4% 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.