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:


Today’s Intraday Price


CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Fools Saying Outperform

Genesee & Wyoming, Inc. (NYSE:GWR)


Road and Rail

5 Stars

915 of 937

Jinpan International Limited (NASDAQ:JST)


Electrical Equipment

4 Stars

747 of 769

Columbia Sportswear Company (NASDAQ:COLM)


Textiles, Apparel and Luxury Goods

3 Stars

541 of 591

Source: Motley Fool CAPS, as of March 3, 2009.

Top-rated road and rail companies:

  • Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp (NYSE:BNI): Stock price is 36% lower than last year.
  • Union Pacific Corp (NYSE:UNP): Stock price is -9% lower than last year.

Top-rated electrical equipment companies:

  • Regal-Beloit Corp (NYSE:RBC): Stock price is 25% lower than last year.
  • Preformed Line Products Company (NASDAQ:PLPC): Stock price is 31% lower than last year.

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