You love buying your shirts when they go on sale. And who can resist a buy-one-get-one-free offer? So when our stocks go on sale, why do we cry about their low prices?

Smart investors like Warren Buffett or Marty Whitman love it when their stocks are suddenly selling at bargain-basement prices. For them, these companies become no-brainer buys.

The investors who populate the Motley Fool CAPS community also like a bargain, apparently. Below, you'll find five stocks whose shares are selling at least 50% below their 52-week highs, but which still earn top honors from our investor-intelligence database. Consider it a buy-one-get-one-free sale on stocks.


CAPS Rating
(5 stars max.)

% Off 52-Week High

Kinetic Concepts (NYSE:KCI)



Manulife (NYSE:MFC)



Precision Drilling (NYSE:PDS)



Ingersoll-Rand (NYSE:IR)



Vanguard Emerging Markets ETF (NYSE:VWO)



Naturally, we want you to look a bit closer at these stocks before buying. You can get low-priced appliances in the dent-and-ding section of your home-remodeling superstore, but their quality might not be so good. Same thing here: Make sure there's nothing seriously wrong with the company before you plug it into your portfolio.

Take two, they're small
In every crisis there's opportunity, or so the ancient sages say, but Canada's largest insurer Manulife seems to be trying to make the aphorism a reality. It was reported to be in the running to buy a minority stake in the Asian business of American International Group (NYSE:AIG), which is selling off assets to repay the government's financial assistance. With the whole unit potentially valued at over $20 billion, that stake would represent a costly purchase for Manulife, leading some to doubt whether the deal could actually happen. Based in Singapore, the AIG unit would also provide Manulife with easy access to China.

The unit could also be appealing to other insurers with a strong Asian presence, including Aflac (NYSE:AFL), which does much of its business in Japan. It recently reported a 2.3% increase in fourth-quarter revenue there, which in turn drove a 11.6% increase in yen-denominated pre-tax earnings.

CAPS member sethsimon finds Manulife getting improperly lumped together with AIG, but as a more stable insurer it should be able to capitalize on the opportunities presented by those in crisis.

Since AIG's collapse in September, shares in Canadian life insurer Manulife Financial, and other insurance companies like Prudential Financial ... have been hammered. Fear by association isn't sellers' only motivation, though -- many feel the insurance industry faces risks associated with long-term care products, which could make earning a profit difficult.

But many contend that the downside of long-term care products is already priced into the stock, and that rival insurers actually have potential to pick up business from AIG. Many CAPS members are also bullish not only on the company's position in Canada and the U.S., but also on its opportunity for growth in China's underdeveloped life-insurance market.

A slippery slope
Diversification has been a cornerstone of Ingersoll-Rand's success (and having once had the opportunity to eat lunch in its wood-paneled executive dining room complete with executive chef, I can attest that Ingersoll-Rand has all the trappings of a successful company). CAPS member drey72 believes it will be that diversity which allows the company to rise above the distress of the housing industry upon which it often relies. Its other business areas include refrigeration, security products, and energy-generation systems.

This stock is so diversified... Not only will it's construction business rebound well, but their security systems and door hardware are solid brands. Their acquisition of Trane and their energy efficient systems will increase the bottom line.

Have half a mind
It pays to start your own research on these stocks on Motley Fool CAPS. Read a company's financial reports, scrutinize key data and charts, and examine the comments your fellow investors have made all from a stock's CAPS page.

Sign up today for the completely free service, and tell us whether these stocks are twice as good at half the price.

Precision Drilling is a Motley Fool Global Gains pick. AFLAC is a Stock Advisor recommendation. The Fool owns shares of Kinetic Concepts as well as shares of and put options on Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock ETF. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey owns shares of Kinetic Concepts as well as shares of and options on Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock ETF but does not have a financial position in any of the other stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.