The occasional shower of pennies from heaven might do our bank accounts some good, but we Fools can't say the same for penny stocks. The world of penny stocks is often full of manipulation and deceit, making it harder for investors to separate its few good offerings from the multitude best ignored.

Still, many investors dabble at the low end of the stock-price spectrum. At Motley Fool CAPS, we award the "Pennies" title to investors who rate stocks trading in the single digits more than half the time. Believe it or not, you'll find some of the best CAPS All-Stars among those members.

Pinching pennies
This week, we'll look at some of the low-priced investments these All-Stars have praised. If the best investors regularly scanning this end of the market have singled out these companies, we might want to turn our umbrellas upside-down -- or run for cover!

Here's the latest list of low-priced stocks with All-Star support:



CAPS Rating (out of 5)

CAPS Member

Member Rating

Teck Cominco (NYSE:TCK)





Huntsman (NYSE:HUN)





Taiwan Semiconductor (NYSE:TSM)





Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND)





Dillard's (NYSE:DDS)





Source: Motley Fool CAPS.
*Price when the outperform call was made.

Your two cents' worth
With Standard & Poor's sending the credit rating of department store operator Dillard's further into junk territory, it underscores the weakness being seen all across the retail sector. According to the National Retail Federation, retailers in 2009 may actually post a decline in annual sales for the first time in 14 years.

Dillard's isn't alone among department store chains in trouble, however. Both Macy's (NYSE:M) and Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) are feeling the pressure, with the latter announcing it would miss its earnings forecasts. Macy's is planning a significant restructuring to cut costs.

Top-rated CAPS All-Star HansHauge thought that home furnishings, not to mention clothing, would be enough to drag down Dillard's performance:

This company is bleeding money bad...and who ... is buying home furnishings when you can't refinance and pull out artificial equity? Who is buying home furnishings when their home is getting forclosed on? Outlook very grim.

A coin toss?
Plummeting metal prices have hurt miners like Teck Cominco, raising the specter of asset sales. Back in November, Teck had dispelled rumors that it was planning an equity sale to pay down debt, but following a successful private placement by NovaGold Resources, with which it has a relationship at its Galore Creek mine, maybe Teck will reconsider.

CAPS member 8SecondCamaro thinks Teck will find it easy to refinance if it needs to because it remains an industry leader. With S&P downgrading its debt to the lowest investment level possible, it may have to do just that:

They will be able to refinance their debt without any issues. The bank would take a much larger hit trying to liquidate their assets than giving them new terms.

They are a leader in their field and will survive this recession/depression. People are either using their Magic 8-Ball to pick stocks instead of using data or this stock is being manipulated. For [Teck] to be at the price it is at now makes no sense at all.

Penny for your thoughts
What do you think? Should we fill up the change jar with these penny stocks, or ignore 'em like a discarded coin on the street? 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. Consult our free CAPS investor-intelligence community, where your two cents count as much as anyone else's.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey owns shares of Huntsman but does not have a financial position in any of the other stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy always wins the coin toss.