If you're aiming to "buy low and sell high," then it makes infinite sense to start your search with bargain-priced stocks. Regularly reviewing a list of stocks trading near their 52-week lows can be a great first step.

Here, I'll try to do the initial legwork for you. To prevent us from being inundated with scores of disparate companies, I'll conduct my search by industry. This will allow us to make some initial comparisons among semi-related companies.

There are 24 industry groups as defined by the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS). Hardware (technically, Technology hardware and equipment) is one of them.

Below are the top seven companies in this space (by market cap) that are hugging 52-week lows.


Market Capitalization 
(in millions)

% Change from 
52-week Low

P/E Ratio 

Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO)




Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ)




Canon (NYSE: CAJ)




LM Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERIC)




Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM)




Tyco International (NYSE: TYC)




AU Optronics (NYSE: AUO)




Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's. Data as of October 24, 2010.

Let me point out one company to watch and one to watch out for.

Cisco announced last month that it will start paying a dividend soon (by the end of its fiscal year ending July 31, 2011). You may wonder why you'd pay 17.7 times trailing earnings for a company that's saying it doesn't need that extra money for growth. Well, consider that its forward P/E ratio is only 12, that its cash and short-term investments far exceed its debt, and that it's a market leader.

On the other side, be very careful with Research In Motion. Its 9.2 P/E ratio is low but it faces amazingly stiff competition from Apple and Google in the smartphone market. The question is whether its stock price has drifted far enough down for it to be a value bet.

If you are interested in reading more about these stocks, add them to My Watchlist to find all of our Foolish analysis on them.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this article listed “% Change From 52-Week Low” values based on the home exchanges of foreign-based stocks. We have adjusted to reflect the U.S.-listed values.

Anand Chokkavelu doesn't own shares of any companies mentioned. He posts his favorite articles on his Twitter feed.

Google is a Motley Fool Inside Value and Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. The Fool has written calls (Bull Call Spread) on Cisco Systems. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.