"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 farthest. Then we'll head over to Motley Fool CAPS and ask which of these stocks Foolish investors think are ready to rebound to new highs -- if any.

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

52-Week High

Currently Fetching

CAPS Rating

UTi Worldwide (NASDAQ:UTIW)




United Natural Foods (NASDAQ:UNFI)




Kohl's (NYSE:KSS)




YRC Worldwide  (NASDAQ:YRCW)




Flow International  (NASDAQ:FLOW)




Office Depot (NYSE:ODP)




Omnicare (NYSE:OCR)




Companies are selected from the "NASDAQ 52-Week Lows" list published on Nasdaq.com 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.

If there's one good thing about a broad-based market sell-off, it's that you find a lot of terrific companies getting the baby 'n' bathwater treatment. Tossed out on their rosy little bums as if they were bums of another sort. You know -- just know -- that some of these babies are gonna bounce right back once the suds subside.

There's no telling how low the market will ultimately go. But it can't hurt to start sifting through the wreckage even at this early date. Maybe we'll find something worth buying today -- maybe just a few ideas we can revisit if the stocks get cheaper still. Either way, today's choice of freight forwarder UTi Worldwide is made easy by the fact that it's the only above-average-rated stock on the list.

So without further ado, ladies and gentle-Fools, let's review ...

The bull case for UTi Worldwide

  • CAPS player weiwentg introduces us to the company: "UTIW used to go head to head with Expeditors [International] ... which was a bad idea. Now, UTIW is a 3rd party provider of integrated logistics services. They have grown mainly by acquisition, and have so far made pretty good ones. Their integrated approach potentially offers customers considerable savings. UTIW's technology is top-notch and is able to track each shipment real-time, on an SKU basis. They are geographically diversified. They don't own their freight assets, which frees up cash for better uses and increases flexibility."
  • That fact attracts jbrandy as well: "Like [Expeditors International], this is a company that's figured out how to make money in shipping without buying the equipment. That's the kind of business model it's hard to argue with."
  • And speaking generally, rbbarclay argues that: "Companies that provide services to importers are in a great position for the next year or so. Global trade regulations are getting more rather [than] less complicated. The amount of imported goods continues to increase, and with fuel price adjustments kicking in on many annual contracts, smaller importers who can't negotiate favorable contracts will increase their work through intermediaries like UTIW and [Expeditors International]."

Now, it's not all champagne and caviar in the shipping business. weiwentg, for example, calls UTi's "growth-by-acquisition strategy ... potentially risky," its industry "highly competitive," and cautions that UTi is less profitable than Expeditors. But on the flip side, UTi is expected to grow its profits faster than its rival does in the future (23% to 18%), and commands a P/E half as big as Expeditors'.

With a PEG ratio of less than 0.9, and a price-to-free cash flow ratio that looks even better, UTi looks attractively priced today -- but only if it delivers the earnings growth as expected.

Time to chime in
Of course, the aim of this column isn't just to tell you what I think about UTi Worldwide -- or even what the other CAPS players are saying. We also want to hear your thoughts on the company. Do you have confidence in the analysts' projections for future profits growth? If you've got an opinion, we've got a place to voice it.

Motley Fool CAPS: It's fun, it's free, and it just might make you famous.

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 ranked No. 433 out of more than 65,000 rated players. Omnicare is an Inside Value newsletter recommendation. The Fool has a disclosure policy.