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 still earn top five-star honors from our investor-intelligence database. Consider it a BOGO sale on stocks.


CAPS Rating (Out of 5)

% Off 52-Week High

ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT)



Cemex (NYSE:CX)



Joy Global (NASDAQ:JOYG)



ReneSola (NYSE:SOL)






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 in to your portfolio.

Take two -- they're small
USEC is one of those stocks that does have something "seriously wrong" with it. When the Energy Department denied its request for $2 billion in federal loan guarantees for its uranium-enrichment project, the company's viability came into doubt. What had once been seen as a stock ready to bounce back is now facing the prospect of selling itself off to the highest bidder in the midst of its own nuclear winter.

How did it get itself into this position? USEC was the only uranium-enriching company in the U.S. looking to create jobs. It announced that customers such as utility giant Exelon were lining up to receive its output when it came online. On the campaign trail, then-candidate Barack Obama had even supported the project. USEC certainly looked like a sure thing.

Yet there were warning signs. Toby Shute presciently warned back in March that USEC was too heavily dependent on having these loan guarantees go through for the project to work. Without the government's backing, it had no other financing sources. Customer support is nice, but without firm commitments for construction, it's a risky position to bet on. Now it looks as though Areva, a company partially owned by the French government, will get the funding instead. It was the only other applicant for the funds.

Investors remain hopeful nevertheless. Doing a back-of-the-envelope calculation, highly rated CAPS All-Star member JakilaTheHun says USEC should be worth something north of what it trades at today.

I'm speculating on this a bit, but after the precipitous fall this morning, USEC looks like a good pick up to me. USEC fell almost 50% after being denied a loan guarantee by the Department of Energy for its American Centrifuge Plant. Even if I assume that roughly $500 million worth of their assets can be written down, that still leaves them with net tangible assets around $4 to $5 per share.

Earnings for the prior four years seem to range from about 20 cents per share to $1 per share. Playing it a bit on the safe side, I think normalized earnings of 30 cents per share is not unrealistic and even if I wrote down $1 billion in their assets, that should yield an intrinsic value somewhere around $3 to $5.

Without researching USEC more, I'm going to wager their valuation should be around $5-$10. At $3.50, it looks pretty good to me. It seems to be bouncing back rapidly after the huge fall, so not sure how long it will be available at a cheap price. I'm more neutral on this over $5.

There's something to be said for USEC's ability to pull through. The DOE is offering to provide $45 million for continuing research and development at the facility for 18 months. It's also willing to spend as much as $200 million a year for the next four years to help USEC pay for the cleanup of the site, itself an endeavor that would create up to 1,000 jobs. After the cleanup is done, USEC will be able to resubmit its application.

USEC isn't waiting around, though. Saying that it meets all the requirements necessary to secure the loan guarantees, the company is requesting that the administration revisit the application. Perhaps political pressure will do what the regulatory agencies wouldn't.

The Uranium sector in CAPS has held up fairly well in light of this development. Shares of the average company rose 2% yesterday, similar to their 30-day returns. Considering that USEC has fallen by more than 40% for the week, the fact that uranium miners Cameco (NYSE:CCJ) and Dennison Mines (NYSE:DNN) have dipped by only around 1% suggests that there won't be a general meltdown in the industry.

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.

Cemex is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection and a Motley Fool Global Gains recommendation. The Fool owns shares of Cemex. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey owns shares of Cameco but has no financial position in any of the other stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings. Test drive the Motley Fool's full-size disclosure policy.