"Don't try to 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 attractions. The trick, of course, is to increase the odds that when you make your grab, you're catching haft and not blade. That's where we come in.

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

With that said, let's meet today's list of contenders, drawn from the last 52-Week Low list at Nasdaq.com:



 (out of 5) 





Wind River (NASDAQ:WIND)




Kohl's (NYSE:KSS)




Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX)




Home Depot (NYSE:HD)




Companies are selected from the Nasdaq 52-Week Low list published on Nasdaq.com on the Saturday following close of trading last week. 52-week high and current pricing (Dec. 14) provided by Yahoo! Finance. CAPS ratings are from Motley Fool CAPS.

Knives and knaves
Mr. Market threw another hissy fit last week, depressing more than 130 stocks to new 52-week lows on both the NYSE and Nasdaq. But as bad as things looked on Wall Street, Main Street investors don't seem overly concerned. Only two of the stocks on today's list receive below-average CAPS ratings, and Foolish investors are positively ebullient on one of them: "action sports" retailer Zumiez. Let's find out why.

The bull case for Zumiez
As subscribers to Motley Fool Hidden Gems surely know, we drafted Zumiez into our portfolio in June 2006. Here's a brief introduction to the company straight from the Hidden Gems staff:

Zumiez is a specialty retailer that sells action-sports goods and apparel to the 12- to 24-year-old market. Through its more than 180 mall-based stores, the company markets goods related to skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, and any other extreme sports that teenagers find all the rage.

Now, bearish investors argue that the housing slump will make a bleak Christmas for retailers -- Zumiez included. But CAPS All-Star sicjoy begs to differ: "Quality stock recently beaten down by recent housing slump. Do the teenie boppers care? Unless unemployment rises as a result, I don't think so."

sicjoy's argument finds an echo in Genkibro's pitch: "Took my son to a packed store last month [Ed.: July], full of skater punks and teens but excellent, good-energy sales folks ... one of the few retailers doing well right now, can't wait till the retailers start running again ... even when their parents have to foreclose on the house, those punk-@#$ teenagers will still be getting their skate-boards."

How long will said "punk-@#$ teenagers" keep spending their parents' mortgage payments at Zumiez? Might they not defect to Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN), or grow into Gap (NYSE:GPS)? Yet another CAPS All-Star, this time willjohn66, chimes in on that question: "When somebody gets the teen market right [they] have at least a few years to ride."

Wall Street agrees. According to Yahoo! Finance, professional analysts generally believe Zumiez can keep growing its profits at close to 26% per year for the next half decade, after posting 55% growth over the past five. Seems to me that 19 times forward earnings isn't a bad price to pay for such growth. (And a word here is due to our free cash flow enthusiasts: Zumiez burned cash in the last 12-month period. But, remember, Zumiez is also on a major expansion spree, pouring cash into new store-openings, and fueling 28% sales growth last month in the process.)

Time to chime in
Of course, the aim of this column isn't just to tell you what I think about Zumiez -- or even what other CAPS players are saying. We also want to hear your thoughts. Click on over to Motley Fool CAPS and tell us what you think.

Jingle bells
For every post you make to CAPS or any Foolish discussion board in the month of December, The Motley Fool will donate $0.02 to charity. So give us your 2 cents, and we'll pay it forward!

To learn more about the My 2 Cents campaign and how you can help us raise money for five very Foolish charities, check out our Foolanthropy page.

Gap is a choice from both Inside Value and Stock Advisor. Starbucks is also a Stock Advisor recommendation, and Home Depot is an Inside Value recommendation. We've already mentioned it, but will do so again: Zumiez was highlighted by Hidden Gems.

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 No. 1,743 out of more than 41,000 rated players. The Fool has a disclosure policy.