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 indicate that further research is in order.

Here are three such stocks:

Company

Today’s Low

Industry

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Fools Saying Outperform

AuthenTec (NASDAQ:AUTH)

$8.65

Electronics

*****

175 of 179

Cresud (NASDAQ:CRESY)

$13.00

Food and beverage

*****

346 of 357

Kinetic Concepts (NYSE:KCI)

$35.34

Health services

*****

313 of 331

Source: Motley Fool CAPS, as of July 29, 2008.

Five-star electronics companies:

  • ON Semiconductor (NASDAQ:ONNN): Stock price is 17.9% cheaper than last year.
  • Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX): Stock price is 46% cheaper than last year.

Five-star health services companies:

  • Hologic (NASDAQ:HOLX): Stock price is 13% cheaper than last year.
  • Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX): Stock price is 3.4% cheaper than last year.

Join us on CAPS to learn more about these and countless other interesting stock ideas.

Cresud is a Motley Fool Global Gains pick. Quest Diagnostics is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Fool analyst Dan Dzombak does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.