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 (those with 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

Fools Saying Outperform

Toyota (NYSE:TM)




2829 of 2991

Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL)


Real estate


692 of 707

AU Optronics (NYSE:AUO)


Computer hardware


433 of 452

Source: Motley Fool CAPS, as of July 31, 2008.

Five-star automotive companies:

  • PACCAR (NASDAQ:PCAR): Stock price is 21.8% cheaper than last year.
  • Johnson Controls (NYSE:JCI): Stock price is 16.2% cheaper than last year.

Other five-star real estate companies:

  • Health Care REIT (NYSE:HCN): Up 45.2% in the past year.
  • LoopNet (NASDAQ:LOOP): Stock price is 50.9% cheaper than last year.

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

Fool analyst Dan Dzombak does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. LoopNet and Jones Lang Lasalle are Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendations. Health Care REIT is a Motley Fool Income Investor selection. LoopNet is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. PACCAR is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Motley Fool disclosure policy has no problem hitting those low notes.