The 52-Week Low Club (AAI, HRZ, IAR, LEE, NTGR, PAY, UCBH, VDSI)

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Despite the recovery we have seen, many stocks are still hitting 52-week lows.  Some of the names this Friday were as follows, just keep in mind that not all of these actually closed on their lows:

  • AirTran Holdings (NYSE: AAI) traded under the $3.13 lows ($12.65 hi, ouch) late in the day.  Getting financing done at year lows…
  • Horizon Lines Inc. (NYSE: HRZ) down almost 20% to under the $12.38 lows from $36.55 year highs, ouch.  Container shipping and logistics.   
  • Idearc, Inc. (NYSE: IAR) actually touched its 52-week low of $3.40 down 90% from highs.  Who uses Yellow Pages & White Pages any more?  At least they’d make for cool flaming catapult artillery.
  • Lee Enterprises Inc. (NYSE: LEE) is an Iowa-based newspaper company.  Farmers too busy growing corn for ethanol to read about how bad ethanol really is.  55 daily newspapers around the country, but real estate ads and advertising slowdown isn’t helping an industry already losing readers. Claims 1.6 million daily and 1.88 million Sunday total circulation. The good news is that shares recovered late in the day after hitting $7.01 (prior range $7.13 to $27.81).
  • Netgear Inc. (NASDAQ; NTGR) after earnings drop under estimates. $16.55 late in day under the $18.15 to $41.33 52-week range.  When I bought my new computer last week with the multi-core processors I didn’t need any new networking equipment either.
  • Verifone (NYSE: PAY) is turning into the Boulevard of broken dreams.  Mark my words, there is value here in "the business" but that means zilch, nothing, and zero as far as whether or not that stock continues to implode. 
  • UCBH Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: UCBH) down 11% late in day at $6.34 as loss provisions rise and company slashes its targets; under $6.88 to $20.22 range; operates as the bank holding company for United Commercial Bank based in San Francisco with locations in 6 states and spread around Asia to facilitate international clients and trade.
  • Vasco Data Security (NASDAQ: VDSI) down a second day after revenues miss targets.  Was $9.64 late in day, under the $10.10 to $44.25 52-week trading range.  Quadruple ouch.

As a reminder, stocks that appear on the list of 52-week lows often keep hitting 52-week lows.  Many problems aren’t only one-day events. 

But all tongue in cheek commentary aside, many value managers actually use the 52-week lows list for stock screening candidates as value and turnaround stocks.  Just because a stock is on a low, doesn’t mean value cant be found by some.

Jon C. Ogg
April 25, 2008

Jon Ogg is an editor and producer of the "10 Stocks Under $10" weekly newsletter for 247Wallst.com.  He can be reached at jonogg@247wallst.com, and he does not own securities in the companies he covers.