If you're aiming to "buy low and sell high," then it makes infinite sense to start your search with bargain-priced stocks. Regularly reviewing a list of stocks trading near their 52-week lows can be a great first step.

Here, I'll try to do the initial legwork for you. To prevent us from being inundated with scores of disparate companies, I'll conduct my search by industry. This will allow us to make some initial comparisons among semi-related companies.

There are 24 industry groups as defined by the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS). Consumer durables is one of them. In other words, companies that make long-lasting stuff you buy.

Company

Market Capitalization 
(in millions)

% Change from 
52-Week Low

P/E Ratio 
(Trailing)

Sony (NYSE: SNE)

$32,877

18.2

119.1

Panasonic (NYSE: PC)

$30,559

16.7

NM

Garmin (Nasdaq: GRMN)

$6,046

19.0

9.48

NVR (NYSE: NVR)

$3,735

7.31

16.8

DR Horton (NYSE: DHI)

$3,355

12.0

78.1

PulteGroup (NYSE: PHM)

$3,142

6.62

NM

Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL)

$3,029

17.3

NM

Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's. Data as of October 18, 2010.

You'll see a pattern here. The first three look like a "Who's Who" from the aisles of Best Buy. The last four are homebuilders.

Just about everyone except NVR and Garmin have been "earnings challenged" of late.

Garmin's sub-10 P/E ratio (and its forward P/E ratio of about 11) looks tantalizing. My fear with Garmin, though, is that it's a value trap. It looks cheap, but anyone thinking of investing needs to answer this question: How can Garmin thrive when so many of us have free GPS applications on our smartphones?

As for the homebuilders, I have had them on my contrarian to-do list for quite some time. I believe there will be a time when homebuilders will be a great deal. Why? Because everyone writes them off without a second look (maybe I'm in danger of doing that with Garmin?). I've got some homebuilders, including NVR, on my watchlist. Why NVR? Because throughout the pre-crisis and crisis, it's been running an impressive shop. Unfortunately, the market has generally priced it up for its quality.

Interested in reading more about these stocks? Add them to My Watchlist, and My Watchlist will find all of our Foolish analysis on this stock.

Anand Chokkavelu doesn't own shares of any companies mentioned. He posts his favorite articles on his Twitter feed.

Best Buy is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Best Buy is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor choice. Motley Fool Options has recommended buying calls on Best Buy. The Fool owns shares of Best Buy.

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