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The following is a list of companies approaching 52-week lows. All of these have a historical track record of profitability. To control the quality of the list, we only focused on stocks with market caps north of $300M.

Are these profitable companies trading at attractive valuations? Or is this a list of falling knives? You decide, the goal here is to give you a starting point for your own analysis...

We last wrote about this screen on November 11, 2010. On that day, the screen produced 14 companies. Since then, 8 out of 14 companies mentioned in that article have outperformed the S&P 500 index (a success rate of 57.14%). The screen averaged a return of 6.75% vs. an index return of 4.78%. Click here to access a full breakdown of the screen's past performance.

All data sourced from Finviz.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the top six stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research. Note: The numbers on top of items represent the forward P/E ratio, if available.


The list has been sorted by the distance from the 52-week low.

1. Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM): Meat Products Industry. Market cap of $858.03M. The stock is currently 2.41% above its 52-week low. EPS has grown by 11.58% over the past 5 years, with EPS growth projected at 12.0% over the next 5 years. Sales have grown by 12.82% over the past 5 years. Short float at 8.04%, which implies a short ratio of 4.71 days. The stock has lost -11.68% over the last year.

2. Strayer Education Inc. (NASDAQ:STRA): Education & Training Services Industry. Market cap of $1.61B. The stock is currently 3.47% above its 52-week low. EPS has grown by 22.65% over the past 5 years, with EPS growth projected at 14.74% over the next 5 years. Sales have grown by 22.82% over the past 5 years. Short float at 22.66%, which implies a short ratio of 9.45 days. The stock has lost -44.34% over the last year.

3. Amdocs Ltd. (NASDAQ:DOX): Business Software & Services Industry. Market cap of $5.58B. The stock is currently 6.98% above its 52-week low. EPS has grown by 117.1% over the past 5 years, with EPS growth projected at 11.61% over the next 5 years. Sales have grown by 12.76% over the past 5 years. Short float at 1.38%, which implies a short ratio of 1.65 days. The stock has lost -4.11% over the last year.

4. China Automotive Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:CAAS): Auto Parts Industry. Market cap of $357.17M. The stock is currently 7.76% above its 52-week low. EPS has grown by 20.57% over the past 5 years, with EPS growth projected at 19.7% over the next 5 years. Sales have grown by 34.45% over the past 5 years. Short float at 15.71%, which implies a short ratio of 4.48 days. The stock has lost -46.2% over the last year.

5. PetMed Express Inc. (NASDAQ:PETS): Drug Delivery Industry. Market cap of $359.47M. The stock is currently 7.91% above its 52-week low. EPS has grown by 27.74% over the past 5 years, with EPS growth projected at 14.67% over the next 5 years. Sales have grown by 17.07% over the past 5 years. Short float at 31.55%, which implies a short ratio of 32.02 days. The stock has lost -10.03% over the last year.

6. China Life Insurance Co. Ltd. (NYSE:LFC):
Life Insurance Industry. Market cap of $116.02B. The stock is currently 8.33% above its 52-week low. EPS has grown by 34.13% over the past 5 years, with EPS growth projected at 21.6% over the next 5 years. Sales have grown by 34.6% over the past 5 years. Short float at 0.25%, which implies a short ratio of 2.65 days. The stock has lost -15.54% over the last year.

7. Monolithic Power Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:MPWR):
Semiconductor Industry. Market cap of $572.36M. The stock is currently 8.41% above its 52-week low. EPS has grown by 14.48% over the past 5 years, with EPS growth projected at 18.75% over the next 5 years. Sales have grown by 28.23% over the past 5 years. Short float at 7.04%, which implies a short ratio of 4.41 days. The stock has lost -29.86% over the last year.

8. Mindray Medical International Limited (NYSE:MR): Medical Instruments & Supplies Industry. Market cap of $2.96B. The stock is currently 8.89% above its 52-week low. EPS has grown by 32.51% over the past 5 years, with EPS growth projected at 19.85% over the next 5 years. Sales have grown by 44.83% over the past 5 years. Short float at 20.62%, which implies a short ratio of 21.27 days. The stock has lost -30.03% over the last year.

9. Orion Marine Group, Inc (NYSE:ORN): Heavy Construction Industry. Market cap of $314.19M. The stock is currently 9.58% above its 52-week low. EPS has grown by 14.64% over the past 5 years, with EPS growth projected at 16.% over the next 5 years. Sales have grown by 17.59% over the past 5 years. Short float at 8.05%, which implies a short ratio of 6.62 days. The stock has lost -46.37% over the last year.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Source: Nine Profitable Stocks Trading Near 52-Week Lows