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

Boots & Coots (NYSE:WEL)



Focus Media (NASDAQ:FMCN)






Valero (NYSE:VLO)



Vimpel-Communications (NYSE:VIP)



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
Politics makes strange bedfellows, but in the case of oil refiner Valero, it might be a matter of self-preservation. Typically, you wouldn't have found the company bidding on the carcass of VeraSun Energy, but because the push for "green" fuel alternatives has only momentarily paused during the respite from high oil prices, Valero needs to ensure it remains viable should the corn-based fuel win everyone over.

And the way the Environmental Protection Agency is playing it, that could be our future. With higher ethanol content, oil output from refiners like Valero and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) could be reduced, and they are already under extreme pressure from depressed demand and an even more depressed economy. By outbidding Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE:ADM) for VeraSun's seven ethanol refineries, Valero will be able to profit from the overnight increase in demand those mandates would create.

When the government's influence, it's a loser's bet to stand on the sidelines. Yet the walled-in mentality that allows idealists to unilaterally boost ethanol content means we'll likely return to the conditions of last summer, when corn prices soared as people competed against cars for access to corn.

Fortunately for Valero, it's not bound by the high-priced corn contracts that doomed VeraSun and Aventine Renewable Energy, two high-profile busts in the ethanol market. It's in negotiations right now with farmers on what price it will pay, but Valero may want to conclude those talks sooner rather than later, what with the EPA working to enact regulations that will artificially increase demand. In any case, it seems the refiner will be well-positioned regardless. No one suggests the days of higher oil prices are behind us for good, and rising costs -- either oil- or corn-based -- will pump up Valero, too.

CAPS member Dylan67 is counting on higher prices and says investors may want a top refiner in their portfolio.

It is just a matter of time until energy costs sky rocket again. The problems of the past have not been solved. High oil and gas prices will be back. And when they do, energy is the sector to be in. Refineries are a must have addition to a diversified energy portfolio.

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.

Focus Media Holding is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation and a Global Gains pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

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