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 from Warren Buffett to 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 that 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

Caraco Pharmaceutical Labs (NYSE:CPD)



General Steel (NYSE:GSI)



Gushan Environmental Energy (NYSE:GU)



North American Palladium (NYSE:PAL)



Star Bulk Carriers (NASDAQ:SBLK)



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 local home-remodeling superstore, but their quality might not be so good. The same theory applies here: Make sure there's nothing seriously wrong with the company before you plug it into your portfolio.

Take two -- they're small
The Baltic Dry Index, a number that tracks global shipping prices of dry bulk cargo, sits well below last year's levels. But an upward trend in 2009 has many investors believing a rebound is under way. An economic recovery would further improve the dry bulk sector and would be great news for Star Bulk Carriers.

The dry bulk specialist has gotten its financial house in order. And not only did it recently post its sixth consecutive profitable quarter, according to the CEO, but having also bulked up its cash position will allow it to ride out the stormy seas. Those earnings numbers weren't enough to meet the market's expectations, however, because they included a one-time gain caused by the early return of a ship. Star Bulk was also able to report new or renegotiated charter contracts that secure 100% of its fleet for the remainder of the year.

Investors are certainly intrigued by the possibilities that Star Bulk offers, particularly when you compare it with how DryShips (NASDAQ:DRYS) has responded to slack demand. CAPS member JasonBolden observes:

I like this stock because the management's presentation reflects that 100% of the 2009 operating days are under contract. And those contracts will allow the company to accumulate more than $95M in cash by year's end. That's after a hefty debt payment, leaving year end debt at $246M. 71% of the operating days for 2010 are under contract, and 40 % of 2011 operating days are under contract. That stability will prove to be quite valuable. ... While the fleet ages by the day, the management indicates that by year's end, the value of the fleet will exceed the amount of debt by a healthy $50m.

Another company showing signs of life is iconic automaker Ford, which reported that June U.S. sales dropped by only 11%, compared with a 28% decline for the industry. Furthermore, it was the top-selling carmaker in Canada for the first time in 60 years. When even Government Motors -- er, General Motors -- is calling a bottom, then there is perhaps reason to hope.

That sort of positive thinking ought to help out North American Palladium, where platinum-group metals have their biggest market. The precious metal is a key component of an automobile's catalytic converter, and of course lackluster car sales have been a drag on performance. Shares of both North American Palladium and Stillwater Mining (NYSE:SWC) have lost more than 40% over the past year.

CAPS member mango052, however, is looking for prices on North American Palladium to soar once again.

One of the largest Palladium producer outside Russia. This metal will be in high-demand once the auto-industry recovers. [North American Palladium] is in an excellent position to profit from an upswing in Palladium and Platinum prices and the stock will explode once that happens. [North American Palladium] is therefore an excellent hedge against the coming inflation after central banks worldwide flood the market with excessive amounts of money.

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.

General Steel Holdings is a Motley Fool Global Gains recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey has no financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings. The Fool has a disclosure policy.