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

Bank of Ireland (NYSE: IRE) **** 74%
Conn's (Nasdaq: CONN) ***** 55%
Sunesis Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SNSS) ***** 69%

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.

Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, for example, has some promise in its experimental leukemia drug, vosaroxin, but it's only just getting into late-stage trials, with results not due until 2012. Seattle Genetics (Nasdaq: SGEN) recently failed in midstage trials and others are tackling the same space.

It won't be an easy road even if results are positive, which might explain why more than a quarter of CAPS members rating Sunesis don't think it will outperform the market anytime soon. But you can give us your own diagnosis of its prospects on the Sunesis Pharmaceuticals CAPS page.

Take two, they're small
Taking the reins of Ireland's financial sector with both hands, the government-run National Asset Management Agency assumed $94 billion in bad loans from Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Banks (NYSE: AIB), Anglo Irish, and several building societies, and there are more purchases coming soon.

After effectively seizing control of Allied Irish Banks with a $5 billion infusion of cash, the government is poised to nationalize the rest of the industry if it can't raise money privately. Bank of Ireland has until February to raise 1.5 billion euros and if it can't, the government will step in. The government already owns more than a third of the bank, and the finance minister has said it's willing to take control of the entire sector if need be.

While investors have been heartened by the government taking control -- Bank of Ireland's stock is up more than 50% in the past month -- depositors are fleeing in droves, as 5 billion euros' worth of deposits left Irish banks in November. Bank of Ireland alone saw 10 billion euros leave between August and September.

All-Star CAPS member ml6086 thinks the worst is over for Bank of Ireland. DontSellMeShort2 says that may be likely, but it's too risky to invest in its salvation:

Yikes stay away for now. I did gamble when it was more volatile and made a quick 20%, but I was nervous the entire time. The more I hear from EU, the more apprehensive I get. I think [Bank of Ireland] can be salvaged and may pull a story similar to [Citigroup], but I'm not planning on investing anytime soon.

The CAPS community has stubbornly hung on, and 94% of those rating the bank think it can outperform the market. Although Wall Street doesn't agree, let us know on the Bank of Ireland CAPS page whether you'd risk depositing your money there.

A reserve player
Even though Conn's has a much smaller footprint than industry leader Best Buy (NYSE: BBY), one that's centered solely around pockets of Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma, you could still extrapolate the poor results that both saw last quarter to a broader trend that saw shoppers turning to Wal-Mart or for their electronic goods.

Indeed, Comscore says that through Dec. 26, consumers bought $30 billion worth of goods this holiday season online, with computer hardware and consumer electronics being two of the top three fastest-growing categories.

I'm not convinced that news means Best Buy won't recover, because it does have a large online presence and its national reach makes it available to a broader swath of consumers. You can't say the same for Conn's. Of course, it could be argued that smaller scope minimizes the impact that larger economic trends will have on it, and CAPS member pchop123 believes it's ready to resume its growth story.

Only you can decide, however, whether Conn's is right for your portfolio, so add the consumer electronics retailer to's free portfolio tracker to keep track of its progress.

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.

Best Buy and Wal-Mart are Motley Fool Inside Value selections. and Best Buy are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Wal-Mart Stores is a Motley Fool Global Gains selection. Motley Fool Options has recommended buying calls on Best Buy. The Fool owns shares of Best Buy, and Wal-Mart Stores. 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. 

Fool contributor Rich Duprey owns shares of Best Buy but does not have a financial position in any of the other stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.