When a stock hits a fresh low, it can either signal a dirt cheap dream stock or a dreadful stock to avoid. Separating the wheat from the chaff is difficult, but finding well-run companies at bargain-basement prices is a great way to accumulate a fortune over the long run.

With that in mind, we'll use the aggregate intelligence of the 110,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS to see what the community is saying about stocks hitting 52-week lows today. The community's approval (signified by four- and five-star ratings) could be a sign that further research is in order.

Here are three such stocks:


Today’s Low


CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Fools Saying Outperform



Computer software and services


1,267 of 1,402

ADC Telecommunications (NASDAQ:ADCT)




194 of 218

Ameren Corp (NYSE:AEE)




91 of 113

Source: Motley Fool CAPS, as of July 23, 2008.

Four- and Five-Star Computer Software and Services Companies
Oracle Corp (NASDAQ:ORCL): Up 4.8% in past year.
Smith Micro Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:SMSI): Stock price is 56.6% cheaper than last year.

Four- and Five-Star Utilities Companies
PPL Corp (NYSE:PPL): Up 3.7% in the past year.
Duke Energy Corp (NYSE:DUK): Up 1.3% in the past year.

Come and join us on CAPS to learn more about these and countless other interesting stock ideas. Click here to sign up.

Fool analyst Dan Dzombak spends his days on CAPS looking for great investments. He does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. Duke Energy is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. VMware is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy that will rock your world.