"Don't catch a falling knife." Thus commandeth the old saw (to mix a cutlery metaphor.)

But if people weren't tempted to catch cutlery in the first place, there'd be no need for this little bit of investing wisdom, would there? The idea of buying a former highflier at a discount price certainly has its attractions. The trick, of course, is to increase the odds that when you make your grab, you're catching haft, not blade. That's where we come in.

In The Motley Fool's continuing effort to keep your investing dollars safe, today we once again assume our position beneath Mr. Market's silverware drawer. As the knives plummet, we'll measure who's fallen the farthest. Then we'll head over to Motley Fool CAPS and find out which of these stocks -- if any -- are, in the opinion of our Foolish investors, ready to rebound to new highs.

With that said, let's meet today's list of contenders, drawn from the latest 52-week-lows list at MSN Money:




CAPS Rating
(5 stars max)

Flanders (NASDAQ:FLDR)




Interleukin Genetics (AMEX:ILI)



Not rated

Staktek Holdings (NASDAQ:STAK)



Not rated

Centennial Bank (NASDAQ:CBHI)



Not rated

Companies are selected from the "New 52-Week Lows" list published on MSN Money on the Saturday following close of trading last week. 52-week high and current pricing provided by Yahoo! Finance. CAPS ratings from Motley Fool CAPS.

Knives and knaves
As you can see, our fellow investors over on CAPS aren't terribly enamored with this lot. The vast majority of the stocks on MSN's "shot" list don't even have CAPS ratings, being too small and too illiquid to merit inclusion in our service. Of the few that did make the initial cut, four haven't attracted enough interest to receive star ratings at all. (Which reminds me -- do you know Interleukin, Staktek, or Centennial? If so, come on over to CAPS and tell us what you think of 'em. The more votes we get, the more quickly these stocks can earn their stars.)

Ready to bounce?
The exception to this wave of apathy and disdain is tiny Flanders, which operates in the super-sexy field of manufacturing air filters. But stifle that yawn, dear Fool. At Motley Fool Hidden Gems, we've learned that some of the biggest gains in the market come from investing in ultra-boring industries. Investing in the unsexy hasn't kept us from beating the market -- in fact, we're beating it by better than a 2-to-1 margin, with 47 of our 64 recommendations. Perhaps Flanders offers similar promise? Let's see what our CAPS investors think:

  • CAPS player jimniche argues that after its big drop, Flanders looks ripe for a takeover by the likes of either Eaton or Parker-Hannifin. Acquiring Flanders, jimniche says, could "solidify [either one of these companies'] position in the Industrial Filters marketplace."

  • Meanwhile, CAPS All-Star ztur doesn't think a buyout is necessary to make Flanders an attractive investment. This player calls the firm a "Good stock for long term" and predicts that the company's "nested filter for heating and air conditioning" will yield both higher sales and an improved gross margin.

I must say that though I don't know the company well, I'm intrigued by what I see here. Notably, profit margins currently sit well below their historical norms and are expected to keep falling next year. What's more, we have a recent history filled with natural disasters, and a management that owns a significant slug of the firm's equity -- and if it isn't yet buying, at least it isn't selling as the stock falls.

But that's just me. What I'd really like to know is what you think about Flanders. If you know the company, if you love it, or even if you hate it, then come on over to CAPS and toss your two cents into the discussion. (Just a figure of speech. Actually, posting on CAPS is free.)

Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any company named above. You can find him on CAPS, publicly pontificating under the handle TMFDitty, where he's currently ranked 68 out of more than 23,000 raters. The Fool has a disclosure policy.