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

Agria (NYSE:GRO)



Bank of Ireland (NYSE:IRE)



Clarient (NASDAQ:CLRT)









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 not so surprising that after covering National Bank of Greece here last week, we should see Bank of Ireland show up now. They're affected by the troubles facing the PIIGS countries -- comprising Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain -- whose financial situation may very well jeopardize any recovery in Europe.

Analysts will probably turn their attention once again to the so-called BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), which seemed to have navigated past the worst of the collapse, though the fall in oil prices had many wondering about the viability of Russia. Prices have stabilized, so investors might not be as worried about Russia now, though its economy is still closely tied to oil.

Governments around the globe have had to step in and help their financial institutions with direct infusions of money, and Bank of Ireland is one that investors believe will not be allowed to collapse. CAPS member bjkelly1 writes that the country will contribute the resources needed to keep the bank solvent, while buylow54 says it might be worth the wait.

IRE has been around since the 1700s and represents a proxy on Ireland. The Bank will prosper when Ireland's economy revs up. I want to be in the stock now when pessimism is so high!

And while Ireland is stepping in to prevent collapse, it may not be the salvation investors were hoping for. Late Friday, national officials announced it was taking a 16% stake in the Bank of Ireland, which might lead to a sell-off in shares and make some wonder just how fragile the financial system still remains.

Another brick in the wall
Dutch banking concern ING Groep, which isn't aligned with either PIIGS or BRICs, also almost collapsed last year, needing a $14.6 billion loan to survive. Some investors like CAPS member TrojanFan are wary because the company does a lot of business with the troubled sovereigns of Europe. But ING says its exposure is limited to just 4% of its portfolio, and though European banks may have as much as $40 billion in exposure to Dubai -- that other trouble spot -- ING's exposure is negligible.

While U.S. banks seemed to have skirted disaster, too, Reuters recently reported that the 10 largest financial institutions here, including Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Citigroup (NYSE:C), and JPMorgan Chase, have as much as $176 billion worth of exposure to the problematic European sovereigns. Though that amounts to only 5% of their total, it's not a small number, so if any of the PIIGS countries fail, it could have a big effect on our own banking system.

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.

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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. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.