You love buying your shirts when they go on sale. And who can resist a buy-one-get-one-free offer? So when our stocks go on sale, why do we bemoan their low prices?

Smart investors like Warren Buffett or Marty Whitman love it when their stocks are suddenly selling at bargain-basement prices. For them, these companies become no-brainer buys.

The investors who populate the Motley Fool CAPS community also like a bargain, apparently. Below, you'll find five stocks whose shares are selling at least 50% below their 52-week highs, but which still earn top honors from our investor-intelligence database. Consider it a BOGO sale on stocks.


CAPS Rating

% Off 52-Week High

Huntsman (NYSE:HUN)



Patriot Coal (NYSE:PCX)



Penn West Energy (NYSE:PWE)



Taseko Mines (NYSE:TGB)



Trinity Industries (NASDAQ:TRN)



Naturally, we want you to look a bit closer at these stocks before buying. You can get low-priced appliances in the dent-and-ding section of your home-remodeling superstore, but their quality might not be so good. Same thing here: Make sure there's nothing seriously wrong with the company before you plug it into your portfolio.

Take two, they're small
It's been a long trip down for coal prices since they topped out at $140 a ton last summer. With demand low and prices lower, supplies still remain high, leading the third- and fourth- largest coal miners, Patriot Coal and Massey Energy (NYSE:MEE), to initiate production cuts.

The move should help bring supplies in line with costs. Patriot's production costs exceed the market price plus freight for coal not already sold, according to analysts. In addition, the current spot price for Appalachian steam coal is $48 a ton, nearly $10 a ton below Patriot's reported costs for last year.

Production cuts in Appalachia have risen to about 16 million tons year to date, taking output down more than 6%. When you add in reductions from Illinois and the Powder River Basin out west, total U.S. coal production has been slashed by 4%, or 51 million tons, of 2008's total output.

Supply and demand aren't the only factors squeezing the coal industry. Miners have been a favorite whipping boy for environmentalists, and the new head of the EPA has indicated she's willing to pursue closer scrutiny of their operations. Regulatory delays and court challenges for permits are just a few of the tactics being used to coerce coal miners to cave in and enforce a reduced carbon footprint.

But the attack on coal may have other more wide-ranging impacts as well. Rail carrier Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP), for example, relies upon coal transportation for nearly a quarter of its revenue. It reported that over the first quarter of 2009, it's hauled 11.5% less coal than it did a year ago.

Patriot Coal is less dependent on the steel industry than some of its competitors; almost 80% of its production is sold to electric utilities. But with a fifth of its output going to domestic and global steel producers, any uptick in demand on that end will certainly help.

For that reason, CAPS All-Star member bigfish45red believes Patriot will rebound: "Steel demand will increase as economy improves,as well as cement demand. They both need hard coal to make the raw ingredients of a recovery."

Although China's steel industry has enjoyed a recent growth spurt, most analysts think those gains are ephemeral, since mills have cut back on April orders. The boost may have stemmed from China's stimulus program, which simply can't be sustained; sales' apparent slide should serve as a cautionary note for investors tempted to wade back into the sector too early.

Have half a mind
It pays to start your own research on these stocks on Motley Fool CAPS. Read a company's financial reports, scrutinize key data and charts, and examine the comments your fellow investors have made all from a stock's CAPS page.

Sign up today for the completely free service, and tell us whether these stocks are twice as good at half the price.

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Fool contributor Rich Duprey owns shares of Huntsman but does not have a financial position in any of the other stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.