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 some casino and gaming stocks. Below are eight casino-related stocks that are within 20% of their 52-week lows as of yesterday's close and have market caps above $200 million.

Company

Recent Price

52-week Low

52-week High

Trailing P/E Ratio

Forward P/E Ratio

Bally Technologies
(NYSE: BYI)

$28.89

$28.55

$44.46

15.9

15.7

International
Game Technology

(NYSE: IGT)

$14.21

$13.65

$19.15

16.5

17.1

Isle of
Capri Casinos
 
(Nasdaq: ISLE)

$6.12

$5.67

$11.22

164.6

94.6

Boyd Gaming 
(NYSE: BYD)

$5.51

$4.91

$12.78

NM

40.3

WMS Industries 
(NYSE: WMS)

$20.04

$17.78

$49.11

14.6

11.5

MGM 
(NYSE: MGM)

$10.32

$9.01

$16.94

1.8

NM

Pinnacle 
Entertainment
 
(NYSE: PNK)

$12.02

$10.34

$15.57

72.5

NM

Ameristar Casinos 
(Nasdaq: ASCA)

$17.40

$14.64

$24.50

254.6

26.1

Sources: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's, and Yahoo! Finance. NM = not meaningful.

Not surprisingly, the casino business can be as exciting/excruciating as the gaming it promotes. Huge growth plans and wild profitability swings are common.

Included in the table are both companies that run casinos (Isle of Capri, Boyd, MGM, Pinnacle, and Ameristar) and companies that supply casinos with gaming machines (Bally Technologies, International Game Technology, and WMS).

Two things jump out:

  1. MGM's 1.8 P/E ratio looks great until you dig further and see that its profitability is due to a goodwill-related item. Analysts expect negative earnings on a forward basis.
  2. The gaming machine companies are all priced at moderate-to-low earnings ratios on a trailing and forward basis. WMS especially stands out in that regard.

If you are interested in continuing your research on a stock mentioned here, add it to My Watchlist to stay abreast of all of our Foolish analysis.

Anand Chokkavelu doesn't own shares of any company mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of International Game Technology. The Fool has opened a short position in Bally Technologies. 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.