"Don't catch a falling knife," as the old saw commands. (Pardon my mixing a cutlery metaphor.) The idea of buying a former superstar stock at a discount price certainly has its attractions, but you've got to make sure you catch the haft -- not the blade. That's where Motley Fool CAPS comes in.

Today, we once again stand beneath Mr. Market's silverware drawer to measure which knives have fallen the farthest. Then we'll call on CAPS to ask which, if any, of these stocks Foolish investors believe are ready for a rebound. Let's meet today's list of contenders, drawn from the latest "52-Week Lows" list at Nasdaq.com:


52-Week High

Currently Fetching

CAPS Rating (5 Max):

Aircastle LTD  (NYSE: AYR)




Virgin Mobile USA (NYSE: VM)




Aventine Renewable  (NYSE: AVR)




BearingPoint  (NYSE: BE)




IKON Office Solutions  (NYSE: IKN)




Companies are selected from the "NASDAQ 52-Week Low" list published on Nasdaq.com on the Saturday following close of trading last week. Current and 52-week-high pricing from Yahoo! Finance as of the same date. CAPS ratings from Motley Fool CAPS.

Knives and knaves
Once again, our list proves the converse of the "everybody loves a winner" maxim. When a stock falls on hard times, its popularity evaporates right quick. Four out of five stocks on today's list get the CAPS booby prize of a single, solitary star -- the lowest rating we can give.

But what's striking is that one stock flies high above the rest, earning the best CAPS rating -- a perfect five stars. That company: Aircastle, which buys and then turns around and leases out commercial jets to airlines ranging from US Airways (NYSE: LCC) here in the West to China Eastern (NYSE: CEA) in the East to SAS in between.

Aircastle's in the doghouse today, because of its failure to meet Wall Street expectations in Friday's earnings report. But CAPS investors ain't scared. They think this one still has fuel to fly far. Let's find out why as we examine ...

The bull case for Aircastle LTD

Starting at the top, literally, we'll let No. 3 CAPS player TDRH explain why he thinks Aircastle is a buy:

With a P/E of 16.08 and a dividend yield of just over 10% I believe an economic slowdown is already priced into this stock. Would appear that the dividend is relatively 'safe' with the recent increase.

Fellow CAPS All-Star mixamajic agrees. Like TDRH, pitching the stock before the "earnings miss," mixamajic praised the company's "operating margin of 57.27%," "year over year Cash Flow growth (less capital expenditures)," and balance sheet and income statement that "show decent appreciation." Our player continues:

Additionally there are two factors that have increased the value of this business in my mind. The first is the falling dollar when a large part of the business comes from oversea contracts. The second item to note is falling interest rates, which should help companies like AYR who are spending incredible amounts on credit lines.

Perhaps the best pitch of all, however, comes from randyriv (surprise! -- yet another CAPS All-Star), who writes:

the company has a business model with the wind at its back. Orders for new aircraft are booked for the next 5 years. Demand for travel is increasing significantly, particularly in Asia. Airline fleets for legacy carriers continue to get older, in some cases reaching 40 years in age. In order to both meet increased demand and replace existing supply, the airline industry will become increasingly dependent upon the use of leased aircraft.

Last week's earnings miss notwithstanding, it's really hard to find fault with this stock. It sells for a mouthwateringly low price-to-earnings ratio of 11, yet most analysts polled agree that Aircastle will grow its earnings at 25% per year going forward, notwithstanding the current credit crunch. At this valuation, it's hard to see the stock remaining grounded for long.

Then again, that's what everyone thought on Thursday.

Time to chime in
Of course, the aim of this column isn't just to tell you what I think about Aircastle -- or even what other CAPS players are saying. We really want to hear your thoughts. Click on over to Motley Fool CAPS and tell us whether you think Aircastle has wings.

Motley Fool CAPS: It's fun, it's free, and it just might make you famous.

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 ranked No. 613 out of more than 83,000 players. The Fool has a disclosure policy.