I am always looking for a good deal, whether that means buying an extra box of Frosted Flakes when they're on sale or pouncing on undervalued stocks. The idea that anybody would sell a stock for less than its worth may seem silly, but legendary value investor Ben Graham tells us, by way of allegory, how we can look out for these situations.

In The Intelligent Investor, Graham introduces readers to a wacky guy named Mr. Market. Mr. Market’s game is to pay you house calls on a daily basis to offer to sell you interests in businesses he owns or to buy from you interests in businesses you own. Sometimes Mr. Market will show up at your door very excited and offer you premium prices for your holdings, while at other times he'll be inconsolably depressed about the future and will offer to sell you what he has for as low as pennies on the dollar.

So to find some of the stocks that Mr. Market is depressed about, I’ve turned once again to The Motley Fool’s CAPS investor community. Each of the companies below had been given a five-star rating (the highest) by our community of investors just 30 days ago:


30-Day Return

One-Year Return

Current CAPS Rating

Mechel Open Joint Stock Company (NYSE:MTL)








Hercules Offshore (NASDAQ:HERO)




Arena Resources (NYSE:ARD)




Apache (NYSE:APA)




Noble (NYSE:NE)




Agrium (NYSE:AGU)




Data from Motley Fool CAPS as of July 29.

As the table shows, these stocks are all still very well-regarded by the CAPS community despite their underperformance over the past month. While these are not formal recommendations, they could be a great place to kick off some further research. I'll even get you started with some thoughts on Mechel.

Why so blue?
For a Russian company, a scolding word from Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is the equivalent of Zeus' booming voice coming down from Mount Olympus. And as any fan of mythology knows, those who don't heed the words of Zeus are bound to find themselves on the business end of a thunderbolt.

Last week, Putin raised antitrust claims by suggesting that Mechel sells coking coal in Russia for twice the prices it offers abroad. Now the company has to find a way to avoid that thunderbolt.

And, of course, the Russian oil company Yukos found itself in a very similar situation back in 2004, when the government claimed that the company had evaded $7 billion in taxes. Unfortunately for Yukos, it wasn't able to dodge the thunderbolt, and its assets were "auctioned" to Rosneft, an oil company owned by the Russian government.

What the bulls say
Before this current mess, Mechel had been quite the successful company. Not only is it based in high-growth Russia, but it operates in the currently oh-so-hot areas of coal mining and steel production. The company has done so well that over the past year, its stock had soared from around $11 per share to nearly $60.

But now investors find themselves at a crossroads. If the company is able to appease the Russian authorities and keep itself in one piece, the current sub-$20 price tag is almost certainly a steel steal. But lest investors get too greedy, that pesky ghost of Yukos is lounging around the Mechel trading pit, reminding everyone just how badly this could turn out.

CAPS member dmcnic is one of many who consider today's battered share price an opportunity:

Let's call this a Putin call. Negative comments by the Prime Minister and the stock takes a swan dive. I'll take a chance that a P/E of 8 is low enough to attract support and that the company can work out the political problems.

So do you think the recent drop has created a good buying opportunity? Or is there more downside ahead? Let the community know what you think -- head over to CAPS and share your thoughts with the other 110,000-plus members currently part of the community. Even if you'd prefer to pass on Mechel, you can check out a couple of the other stocks listed above -- or any of the 5,500 stocks rated on CAPS.

More CAPS Foolishness:

Hercules Offshore is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt likes in CAPS by visiting his CAPS portfolio. The Fool’s disclosure policy knows how to drop a stock like it's hot, but only when the company is truly cold.