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 130,000-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

The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY)


Food Products

3 Stars

411 of 517

Axsys Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:AXYS)


Aerospace and Defense

5 Stars

690 of 712

Republic Services, Inc. (NYSE:RSG)


Commercial Services and Supplies

5 Stars

269 of 279

Source: Motley Fool CAPS, as of March 10, 2009.

Top-rated food products companies:

  • General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS): Stock price is 8% lower than last year.
  • Flowers Foods, Inc. (NYSE:FLO): Stock price is 9% lower than last year.

Top-rated aerospace and defense companies:

  • American Science & Engineering, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASEI): Stock price is 15% higher than last year.
  • Elbit Systems Ltd. (ADR) (NASDAQ:ESLT): Stock price is 15% lower than last year.

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