"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, measuring which knives have fallen the farthest. Then we'll call on CAPS to ask which of these stocks -- if any -- 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 WSJ.com:


52-Week High

Recent Price

CAPS Rating

(out of 5)

Hellenic Telecommunications (NYSE:OTE)








Isis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ISIS)




Dean Foods




Administaff (NYSE:ASF)




Companies are selected from the "New Highs & Lows" lists published on WSJ.com on Thursday and Friday last week. 52-week high, recent price, and CAPS ratings from Motley Fool CAPS.

Knock, knock
I said: "Knock, knock!?"

Who's there? Greeks bearing debt!
(Shhh! Keep quiet, and maybe the Greek financial crisis will go away, and not drive us into a "double dip" of the Great Recession.)

Markets caught a respite from their bout of Greek flu last week, as shares of Greece-based companies like DryShips (NASDAQ:DRYS) enjoyed their first "up" week in quite a while -- but not all stocks were feeling in the pink. The five named above, for example, are still feeling pretty poorly, touch-and-go at 52-week lows. Now, maybe we'll sidestep this particular crisis, and maybe not. One thing I'm sure of, though -- out of all the stocks down in the dumps today, CAPS investors believe Hellenic Telecommunications just might be the best buy out there.

The bull case for Hellenic Telecommunications
Way back in 2007, CAPS member martinlemalin put Hellenic on our radar as a stock "demonstrating potential for growth."

Yet with Hellenic's average five-year annual earnings growth mired in the high single-digits, the investment prognosis on this one has shifted steadily from "growth" to "income." By January of '09, PicoTrader was still hoping to see Hellenic deliver on its "great growth potential," while taking comfort in the one thing the company does seem capable of producing -- "good dividends."

Fast forward a few months more, and we find CAPS All-Star Staka stating that Hellenic today is a "[d]efensive dividend pick." No more, no less.

And if dividends are what you're after, I can certainly see the attraction in this 8.7%-yielder. Why, that's even more than Verizon (NYSE:VZ) or AT&T (NYSE:T) shareholders can boast!

But dividends aren't the only thing working in this stock's favor. Among its other pluses, we find Hellenic reporting $782 million in profit last year, and an even more impressive $802 million in free cash flow. Granted, the company's nearly as deeply in hock as its namesake government ($8.2 billion in debt versus just $2.3 billion cash), but that still works out to an enterprise value-to-free cash flow ratio of 16 times.

Foolish takeaway
The average analyst following Hellenic is projecting annualized five-year growth of around 10% for the company. That's a reasonable level, but with the euro-denominated dividend to back it up, I believe this stock should perform pretty well -- especially in an era of dollar devaluation.

Of course, that's just my opinion, and you're free to disagree. More cautious investors, for instance, may wish to wait a bit and see if the euro weakens and whether Hellenic's price multiple contracts in the short term as the prospects for Greek default expand. Nothing wrong with grabbing a little extra margin of safety.

Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any company named above, but Administaff is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. You can find Rich on CAPS, publicly pontificating under the handle TMFDitty, where he's currently ranked No. 695 out of more than 150,000 members. The Fool has a disclosure policy.