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 three 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 12-Month High

Geokinetics (NYSE: GOK)



GigaMedia (Nasdaq: GIGM)



Spartan Motors (Nasdaq: SPAR)



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
Analysts weren't expecting Geokinetics' earnings to gush profits. They estimated a $0.22 loss last quarter, only to be shocked when the company's actual loss proved $0.61 a share wider. Add to that the resignation of its chief accounting officer "to pursue other opportunities" a week later, and it's easy to see why Geokinetics is trading at such a discount these days.

Yet such gloominess seems endemic to the field. The month before, Dawson Geophysical (Nasdaq: DWSN) also missed analyst estimates by a wide margin. But Dawson's announcement that it is adding two new crews to its roster, and the general renewed interest in the Marcellus shale plays, suggest that services companies like Dawson and Geokinetics may turn things around soon enough. CAPS member kmote considers Geokinetics a miniature Dawson.

Gaming the system
The Chinese online gaming market grew to $3.9 billion in 2009, a 35% jump over the year before, driven by the success of (Nasdaq: NTES) and Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI), despite the challenges faced by the two in introducing World of Warcraft to the market there. After a rough patch, things might be looking up.

The WoW deal took that property out of GigaMedia's reach, and the troubled gamer sold its once-profitable software operations to Mangas Gaming. Still, CAPS member mpotisk thinks other acquisitions could give GigaMedia a better chance to beat the market:

The [Mangas] deal is still pending some regulatory approval, so it may not happen. But if it does, we are looking at a nice boost of $1,68 per share on company's balance sheet in Q1. Not too shabby. The business part of the equation is less juicy, but if the management is successful in bringing new MMORPG titles to its platform, things may turn even there. There is certainly no problem with the liquidity and the launch of Warhammer Online is a nice start. Sadly enough World of Warcraft and potentially Starcraft are out of grabs (thanks to Blizzards deal with NetEase), but I'm sure there are other possibilities out there for the willing and cash rich. GigaMedia is both.

More than 2,500 CAPS members have rated the gaming house, and 98% are willing to wager it won't lose to the broader averages. You can place your own bet on the GigaMedia CAPS page.

Rolling down the highway
Truck chassis and vehicle maker Spartan Motors rarely loses money; last quarter, even its loss was a win. It acquired Utilimaster, the maker of vans and trucks for FedEx (NYSE: FDX), UPS, Utz pretzels, and even the U.S. Postal Service. Adjusting for the purchase, Spartan made a penny-a-share profit.

The acquisition is otherwise important because it's expected to account for 20% of 2010 sales. The majority of the unit's revenue comes from the package-delivery market, as well as bakery trucks. Thus, package shippers will be key customers for Spartan going forward.

With the truck market aiming to rebound, CAPS member getrichdietrying says now's the time to stake a claim. "They are winning contracts and are aggressively seeking more so I will start here."

Have half a mind
Sign up today for the completely free CAPS service, and tell us whether these stocks are twice as good at half the price.

Dawson Geophysical is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendation. Netease is a Rule Breakers recommendation. Activision Blizzard and FedEx are Stock Advisor selections. United Parcel Service is an Income Investor pick. Motley Fool Options recommended a synthetic long on Activision and the Fool owns shares of the company, as well as shares of Dawson.

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.