If you're aiming to "buy low and sell high," 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 semirelated companies.

Today, let's look at small biotechs. Below are the nine companies in this space that are within 20% of their 52-week lows and have market caps between roughly $200 million and $500 million.


Recent Price

52-Week Low

52-Week High

P/E Ratio (Trailing)

MannKind (Nasdaq: MNKD)





Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ALNY)





Theratechnologies (Nasdaq: THER)





Metabolix (Nasdaq: MBLX)





Cell Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CTIC)





Novavax (Nasdaq: NVAX)





AVI Biopharma (Nasdaq: AVII)





Allos Therapeutics (Nasdaq: ALTH)





Vanda Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: VNDA)





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

In the biotech world, a nonexistent P/E ratio isn't necessarily cause for concern. Many are in the process of obtaining FDA approval for one or more therapies that will make or break the company. The shares trade violently on every bit of news. Just look at the 52-week ranges of MannKind, Metabolix, and Allos. High volatility can be your friend if you've done your analysis and have the emotional fortitude to make your buy moves when others are fleeing. But beware, the market can be pessimistic for good reason -- as my fellow Fools warn in a recent roundtable discussion of biotechs.

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