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 which 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

Cornerstone Therapeutics   (NASDAQ:CRTX)



Lloyd's Banking Group (NYSE:LYG)



Pacer International (NASDAQ:PACR)



Phoenix Companies (NYSE:PNX)



Qiao Xing Mobile Communication (NYSE:QXM)



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
A phoenix is a mythical bird that immolates itself only to be reborn from its ashes. Looking at its namesake life insurer Phoenix Companies, you'd think it was still in the burning stage rather than being reborn. Shares have been cut by a third over the past three months and are more than 50% below the highs hit back in October. They got no help from ratings agency A.M. Best, which downgraded the insurer's financial strength and credit ratings last month.

Part of the concern revolves around Phoenix's ability to change its strategic direction. For example, Sun Life Financial (NYSE:SLF) reduced its policyholder dividend scale in response to historically low interest rates on bonds, loans, mortgages and the deterioration in the equity markets in the past year. So did Prudential Financial (NYSE:PRU). Policyholder dividends are a powerful lever that management can use to prop up its capital base, but despite its difficult financial position, Phoenix has chosen to maintain its policy dividend scales for 2010.

CAPS member mypieceofpie had hoped that the new round of selling back in December represented a good buy-in point:

Just trying to diversify my commodity / industrial rich portfolio. I know this stock has been around for a long time and that suggest experience. I know that there has been insider buying which suggest confidence. I see that pnx has sold off recently and see this as a good entry point

Most investors appear willing to be that there will be a rebirth for the life insurer, as 90% of CAPS members rating Phoenix believe it will outperform the market. Why not burn up the Phoenix Companies CAPS page with your thoughts on its resurrection.

Thanks for the compliment
With friends like these, who needs enemies? CAPS member Turbolover finds himself only slightly less repulsed by European banking institutions like Lloyds Banking Group than their mega U.S. counterparts, but when push comes to shove by the time the next decade starts, he believes these beaten down banks ought to be worth more:

I put a small amount of real money on this one. I'm not emotionally repulsed by UK banks like I am by US global-banks. This is more of a gamble than I normally make, but these banks seem like cockroaches--nothing kills them. Not sure if that's good, but I'm betting this stock will be much more valuable 10 years down the road. Definite long-haul hold.

Yet the danger they're facing today is the blow up of sovereign risk that seems poised to take down Greece, Portugal, and -- for U.K. banks in particular -- Ireland. According to the Wall Street Journal, banks in the United Kingdom have $193 billion in exposure to Ireland. Following its acquisition of HBOS, Lloyds itself has significant Ireland exposure, particularly in the commercial and residential real estate markets. Lloyds might just need the luck of the Irish to escape this one.

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 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.