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.

Today, let’s look at application software stocks. Below are the 10 companies in this space that are within 20% of their 52-week lows and have market caps above $200 million.

Company

Recent Price

52-Week Low

52-Week High

Trailing P/E Ratio

Forward P/E Ratio

Adobe Systems (Nasdaq: ADBE)

$28.77

$25.45

$35.99

15.7             

12.3             

Synopsys (Nasdaq: SNPS)

$24.15

$20.80

$29.35

19.5             

13.6             

Concur Technologies (Nasdaq: CNQR)

$47.85

$43.38

$58.19

301.0

51.7             

Quest Software (Nasdaq: QSFT)

$19.23

$18.27

$28.47

21.1             

14.2             

Advent Software (Nasdaq: ADVS)

$26.93

$23.63

$31.63

54.2           

34.9             

VanceInfo Technologies (NYSE: VIT)

$17.25

$16.87

$41.06

26.3            

18.2            

NetScout Systems (Nasdaq: NTCT)

$15.53

$13.50

$27.83

17.9             

14.8            

Deltek (Nasdaq: PROJ)

$7.53

$6.77

$8.68

NM

19.5            

Net 1 Ueps Technologies (Nasdaq: UEPS)

$8.62

$7.29

$15.04

NM

5.1            

Motricity (Nasdaq: MOTR)

$6.66

$6.49

$31.95

NM

8.5             

Sources: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's, and Yahoo! Finance.

Two sets of stocks jump out at me. For proven profitability in the past, Adobe, Synopsys, and NetScout trade the cheapest on a trailing P/E basis. Each is still above 15, but they're the lowest multiples of the bunch. Meanwhile, Net 1 Ueps and Motricity have no current earnings, but are trading at sub-10 forward P/E multiples. Net 1 Ueps is a Motley Fool Global Gains pick and my fellow Fool Rick Munarriz makes a compelling case for looking into Motricity.

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Anand Chokkavelu doesn’t own shares of any stock mentioned. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Adobe Systems and Net 1 Ueps Technologies. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a diagonal call position in Adobe 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.