In my recurring Fool column, "Get Ready for the Bounce," we search for future winners in a pile of 52-week losers. But do we really need to sit around for a whole year, waiting for a fallen stock to bounce back?

 Nope. Sometimes stocks fall hard, in far less time than a year. And like a superball dropped from the balcony, the harder they fall, the higher they bounce. Today, we'll look at a few equities that've suffered dramatic drops over the past week. With a little help from the 170,000 members of Motley Fool CAPS, we hope to find an opportunity or two for you:


How far from 
52-week high?


CAPS Rating
(out of 5)

Mobile TeleSystems (NYSE: MBT)




Geron Corp (Nasdaq: GERN)




Human Genome Sciences (Nasdaq: HGSI)




United Continental (NYSE: UAL)




Green Mountain Coffee (NYSE: GMCR)




Companies are selected by screening on for abrupt 5% or greater price drops over the past week. 52-week high and recent price data provided by CAPS ratings from Motley Fool CAPS.

Five super falls -- one superball
There's no two ways about it. If you owned any of the five stocks named above last week, you're significantly poorer for it today. Case in point: Green Mountain Coffee Roasters reported strong earnings Friday, but also announced that next year's earnings might not be so strong as previously predicted. The company only walked back earnings guidance by a nickel a share -- but this cost shareholders 10% of their market cap.

Promises were the problem at Human Genome as well. There, we learned that the FDA is waffling on its pledge to review its Benlysta lupus drug, pushing out the deadline for review by another three months. How much is three months' lost revenue worth to investors? Apparently, about 6.3% of the company's market cap. In other biotech news, Christmas came early for Geron Corp shorts, when the company confirmed another round of stock dilution in the works. Geron's pricing 17.4 million shares at five bucks a pop, a price so low that all the other shares out there quickly tumbled 17% in value to match.

Shifting our focus now across the ocean, last week a French court found United Continental criminally liable for failing to properly maintain one of its airplanes, a fallen part from which damaged an Air France Concorde jet that subsequently crashed during takeoff from Charles de Gaulle Airport in July 2000. While the initial effects of the decision (a $1.6 million fine) are minimal, and United Continental settled civil claims with the families of the deceased years ago, the decision left investors feeling nervous -- and 6% poorer than they were a week ago.

Which of these things is not like the others?
Last but not least -- and helping to prove my case that Russia has some of the cheapest stocks in the world -- we come to Mobile TeleSystems. Unlike every other stock on today's list, MTS had no bad news to report last week. It just fell ... well, for no particular reason I can think of.  And that's great news.

Oh, not for today's shareholders -- I feel your pain. But for new stock-shoppers, looking to bag a bargain in time for Christmas, there's no present quite as shiny as the stock that gets cheaper for no reason.

Maybe that's why, at the same time as CAPS members pan the other stocks on today's list with a flurry of one- and two-star ratings, they're giving Mobile TeleSystems the Fool five-star treatment. CAPS member milanoluca praises MTS for possessing a P/E ratio that's "low" (16 times earnings) alongside a "good dividend" (5.2%). Meanwhile, member TheVG believes MTS remains a good "Domestic Demand play."

Sadly, the very best (and prettiest) CAPS rec for MTS right now is the one you cannot read. CAPS All-Star zloj apparently tried to cut and paste a few words of optimism from Russia's Novaya Gazeta as his pitch for MTS. The result -- as you can see here -- was a series of indecipherable characters. But I'll translate the punchline for you, at least, which goes a little something like this: "Everything lies ahead, as always. Russia is unchanged and proud, and the Russian pyramid unbowed: industry and science, oil and gas, family and education -- all depends on us."

Pretty words. But what about the numbers?
Poetic, ne tak li? But poetry aside, what you really want to know is whether MTS is cheap enough to buy. Most analysts expect that the company can grow its earnings at 13.5% per year over the next five years. That's about twice the growth rate Wall Street expects to see at AT&T (NYSE: T) or Verizon (NYSE: VZ) here at home. Meanwhile, as they await said growth, MTS is happy to pay its shareholders a 5.2% dividend, very close to the payouts at AT&T and Verizon.

Pricewise, the stock looks cheap at a mere 16 times earnings. Not as cheap as the rest of Russia's stock market, I'll grant you. But if CAPS member TheVG is right about MTS being a "domestic demand" play, the company's fortunes shouldn't be as dependent upon oil and gas revenue as is the rest of the Russian market, either.

Foolish takeaway
All in all, I think I have to agree with my fellow Fools on this one. At 16 times earnings, 13.5% growth, and a 5.2% dividend payout, MTS looks priced for success. While obviously I cannot guarantee that it will beat the market, it does look like a good bet.

But that's just my opinion -- I could be wrong. If you have a different opinion of Mobile TeleSystems, here's your chance to tell us about it. Click over to Motley Fool CAPS now, and sound off.                                                      

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick, but Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any company named above. You can find him on CAPS, publicly pontificating under the handle TMFDitty, where he's currently ranked No. 605 out of more than 170,000 members. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.