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 who populate the Motley Fool CAPS community also like a bargain, apparently. Below, you'll find five stocks whose shares are selling at least 50% below their 52-week highs, but which still earn top honors from our investor-intelligence database. Consider it a BOGO sale on stocks.


CAPS Rating (Out of 5)

% Off 52-Week High

Excel Maritime (NYSE:EXM)



NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX)



Teck Resources (NYSE:TCK)



Transocean (NYSE:RIG)



Varian Medical Systems (NYSE:VAR)



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.

Take two, they're small
The protracted recession continues to hamper the ability of Varian Medical Systems to effectively get its oncology- and x-ray-related products to the medical practitioners who use them most. Its monster-sized cyclotrons already have a limited market; only the largest, most well-financed hospitals and institutions are able to afford and construct a stand-alone building for the machines. Thankfully, those gigantic gizmos are just a small component of what Varian is producing these days.

The medical device maker's oncology systems are more germane to its day-to-day operations. They include linear accelerators, brachytherapy afterloaders, treatment simulation, and verification equipment and accessories. While order growth was up 10% in the last quarter on a constant currency basis, growth in North America has been slowed by constrained capital budgets. Hospitals and clinics are extending their order-to-delivery schedule, which has impeded the prospects for rival radiation-therapy device maker TomoTherapy (NASDAQ:TOMO).

Yet investors remain convinced that Varian will come through this recession stronger than it entered it. According to CAPS member imup, Varian offers both superior products and top-notch customer service, something clients will remember when spending picks up again:

I've been a Radiation Therapist for 14 years... Varian makes the best linear accelerator out there. This company started in my home town of San Carlos, CA. They are now in Palo Alto. They make an excellent product and their service is excellent. They are always cutting edge with new technology... always innovative and finding ways to spare more normal tissue which is the goal in irradicating tumors. I would buy below $36.

There's no denying it
Maybe NYSE Euronext will want to point some of Varian's radiation devices at North Korea the next time that country's dictator decides it wants to launch a "denial of service" attack against the stock exchange. Although the NYSE suffered no ill effects -- apparently, it wasn't even aware that it had been attacked until informed by the government -- it does point out that our enemies realize that our financial systems are the best means of disrupting our economy.

But if the recent cyberattack was such an attempt, it was poorly executed. As NYSE Euronext pointed out, its trading and data systems are on private networks. As the largest bourse, it will always remain a target; neither Nasdaq OMX Group nor CME Group (NYSE:CME) got hit by any DDOS attack.

CAPS member fu1pr0NY views the exchange as a "Relatively safe exposure to finance community." Considering the condition of many of our financial institutions, that may be the scarier threat.

Have half a mind
It pays to start your own research on these stocks on Motley Fool CAPS. Read a company's financial reports, scrutinize key data and charts, and examine the comments your fellow investors have made all from a stock's CAPS page.

Sign up today for the completely free service, and tell us whether these stocks are twice as good at half the price.

NYSE Euronext is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Nasdaq OMX Group is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services today, free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey owns shares of Nasdaq OMX but does not have a financial position in any of the other stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. Test-drive the Motley Fool's full-size disclosure policy.