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


CAPS Rating
(out of 5)

% Off 52-Week High




Hansen Medical (NASDAQ:HNSN)



NCI Building Systems (NYSE:NCS)



The Bank of Ireland (NYSE:IRE)






Source: Motley Fool CAPS, as of Dec. 14.

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
Although some might think the recession is over, I wouldn't put too much stock in that. Unemployment still stands at 10%, banks still aren't lending money, and the commercial real estate market is only just starting to implode. There's little wonder that a number of economists are predicting a double-dip recession, so feel free to scoff at the notion that we're out of the woods.

It's no surprise, then, that NCI Building Systems is having a really tough go of it. Last week, the company reported a $115 million loss applicable to common shares for the latest quarter, compared with a profit of $24.6 million a year ago. (That $115 million figure includes non-cash debt refinancing and extinguishment charges of nearly $100 million.) While a refinancing in October has probably taken the threat of imminent collapse off the table for now, the company, which makes metal products for the non-residential building industry, is still facing a tough future.

Commercial and industrial construction this year is off 60% through October, according to McGraw-Hill, forcing NCI Building Systems to shut a quarter of its manufacturing facilities and lay off nearly 40% of its workforce. It's not the only one: Apogee Enterprises (NASDAQ:APOG) has also had to resort to reducing expenses. The losses posted by residential siding manufacturer James Hardie (NYSE:JHX) aren't surprising, either, because single-family housing starts fell 15% in the third quarter and remain nearly 75% below the level they hit at the peak of the housing market in 2006, according to the company.

Yet the cost-cutting moves make some investors hopeful that NCI Building Systems will survive. CAPS member PaulNolasco likes the initiatives the manufacturer is taking to improve itself.

- They've received funding from a respected investment firm CD&R. That should help cure their near to long term debt problem.
- Their market is depressed right now, but based from the last quarterly call, the management knows this and is aggressively pursuing to clean their balance sheets. 
- Their products may be commoditized but because of their brand name, history (since 1984) they've developed a good manufacturing/distribution system and all-inclusive products that should helped them to rebound when the economy is booming again.

With about 88.9% of the CAPS investors rating the company picking it to outperform the market, they seem to believe it can rebuild itself. Head over to the company's CAPS page and let us know what you think.

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.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.