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


CAPS Rating (out of 5)

% Off 52-Week High




Palomar Medical Technologies (NASDAQ:PMTI)



Quiksilver (NYSE:ZQK)



Silicon Image (NASDAQ:SIMG)



WSP Holdings (NYSE:WH)



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
With just $116 million in cash and more than $1 billion in total debt, ski-and-skate clothing retailer Quiksilver is overextended, and investors think it may be ready to wipe out. CAPS member alexpaz isn't pulling any punches:

I will say it again, and I am certain of this...Bankrupt in 3 years or less...Quiksilver is the epitome of lax corporate governance and a ballooning debt load that will underscore any growth here or abound. I consider this stock grade A junk

That might be a harsher assessment than ratings agency Moody's is willing to concede, but not by much. Back in October, it further downgraded into junk territory the credit rating on one of the apparel retailer's notes because it was granting liens on many of its European assets to refinance part of its debt load. At the same time, though, because it pushed maturities further out into the future, the speculative nature of its liquidity was nudged upward by one degree.

Quiksilver never recovered from its disastrous purchase of ski maker Rossignol, bought for $320 million in 2005. The retailer finally sold off the business for just $51 million a year ago. Having diverged from its primary clothing business, Quiksilver seemed unprepared for the hit retailing took in the recession. But it wasn't alone in that regard, as many teen retailers, including Volcom, Pacific Sunwear (NASDAQ:PSUN), and Zumiez, all gave investors more thrills than they were probably seeking.

Some 88% of CAPS investors still rate Quiksilver to outperform the market -- they seem to believe it's done taking a powder. Slalom over to Quiksilver's CAPS page and let us know if you agree whether it's all downhill from here for the retailer.

Nothing to be irritable about
Some argue that the Great Depression was worsened by several protectionist moves made by FDR. Those decisions led to similar moves elsewhere, which likely contributed to making the global recession of the times last longer than it should have.

In order to shore up U.S. industries today, President Obama's administration appears to be taking a similar approach, with actions such as imposing stiff tariffs on all cars and light truck tires coming out of China. While China hasn't retaliated by restricting imports on Goodyear (NYSE:GT) tires, it did threaten to impose restrictions on imports of U.S. chicken.

Another example is the increase of duties on imports of Chinese-made "oil country tubular goods," the infrastructure products made by companies like WSP Holdings for the oil and gas industry. That company's third-quarter earnings were hurt as a result of the impositions, as well as by lower demand due to lower drilling.

CAPS member 18D was critical of WSP's earnings miss, but still believes it will be able to weather the storm:

WH has been punished (and rightly so) for missing earnings. As a result of US Steel Industry antidumping case, exports to the US have all but ceased (and will probably stay that way in the short-term. Excess supply in china lead to a 46% decline in domestic sales.

With ~80mm in unrestricted cash available. Management should be able to take advantage of board approved 30mm Buyback and pay .30 annual div (10%). Income and med-term notes will cover planned CAPEX.

No doubt China has been subsidizing its industries, but it's not like the U.S. has clean hands here either, particularly over this past year. Escalating trade wars will help no one and could once again plunge the world into a global trade war.

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.

Volcom and Zumiez are Motley Fool Hidden Gems picks. Moody's is a selection of Stock Advisor and Inside Value. The Fool owns shares of Volcom. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services 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 here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.