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To construct this list we looked for stocks reaching their 52-week low, that have been more profitable than their industry averages over the last year. In order to compare each company’s profitability we looked at the following metrics:

  • Trailing twelve month gross margin
  • Trailing twelve month operating margin
  • Trailing twelve month pretax margin

Is this extreme pessimism justified, when considering the past profits of these companies? Use this list as a starting point for your own research.

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1. Aeropostale, Inc. (NYSE:ARO): Apparel Stores Industry. Market cap of $1.74B. This stock is trading 0.14% above its 52-week low. TTM gross margin at 39.36% vs. industry average at 37.95%. TTM operating margin 16.11% vs. industry average at 9.61%. TTM pretax margin 16.11% vs. industry average at 9.04%. Might be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.72, and P/FCF ratio at 10.69.

2. Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE:CPB): Processed & Packaged Goods Industry. Market cap of $10.71B. This stock is trading 3.25% above its 52-week low. TTM gross margin at 43.92% vs. industry average at 33.32%. TTM operating margin 17.09% vs. industry average at 12.15%. TTM pretax margin 15.33% vs. industry average at 9.18%. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 9.69% (equivalent to 8.03 days of average volume). The stock has lost 1.53% over the last year.

3. PetMed Express Inc. (NASDAQ:PETS): Drug Delivery Industry. Market cap of $329.47M. This stock is trading 3.61% above its 52-week low. TTM gross margin at 37.46% vs. industry average at 36.39%. TTM operating margin 15.72% vs. industry average at 9.56%. TTM pretax margin 15.8% vs. industry average at 8.94%. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 24.35% (equivalent to 24.49 days of average volume). The stock has lost 26.74% over the last year.

4. Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:MRVL): Semiconductor Industry. Market cap of $9.23B. This stock is trading 5.05% above its 52-week low. TTM gross margin at 62.02% vs. industry average at 58.52%. TTM operating margin 25.27% vs. industry average at 24.84%. TTM pretax margin 25.21% vs. industry average at 24.39%. Might be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.72, and P/FCF ratio at 8.54.

5. Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO): Networking & Communication Devices Industry. Market cap of $96.63B. This stock is trading 5.81% above its 52-week low. TTM gross margin at 66.58% vs. industry average at 56.57%. TTM operating margin 20.61% vs. industry average at 15.51%. TTM pretax margin 21.19% vs. industry average at 16.48%The stock has lost 31.18% over the last year.

6. Grand Canyon Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:LOPE): Education & Training Services Industry. Market cap of $615.87M. This stock is trading 6.13% above its 52-week low. TTM gross margin at 66.77% vs. industry average at 52.93%. TTM operating margin 21.52% vs. industry average at 19.98%. TTM pretax margin 18.87% vs. industry average at 16.56%. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 8.% (equivalent to 6.15 days of average volume). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 6.11% over the last week.

7. Entergy Corporation (NYSE:ETR): Electric Utilities Industry. Market cap of $12.28B. This stock is trading 6.15% above its 52-week low. TTM gross margin at 31.4% vs. industry average at 26.4%. TTM operating margin 20.03% vs. industry average at 18.64%. TTM pretax margin 17.21% vs. industry average at 15.28%. The stock has lost 6.29% over the last year.

8. Badger Meter Inc. (NYSE:BMI): Scientific & Technical Instruments Industry. Market cap of $545.71M. This stock is trading 6.71% above its 52-week low. TTM gross margin at 40.0% vs. industry average at 34.61%. TTM operating margin 14.91% vs. industry average at 12.89%. TTM pretax margin 15.03% vs. industry average at 10.86%. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 10.61% (equivalent to 12.1 days of average volume). The stock has lost 6.93% over the last year.

9. Capella Education Co. (NASDAQ:CPLA): Education & Training Services Industry. Market cap of $786.34M. This stock is trading 6.77% above its 52-week low. TTM gross margin at 65.84% vs. industry average at 53.03%. TTM operating margin 22.03% vs. industry average at 20.04%. TTM pretax margin 22.08% vs. industry average at 16.62%. Might be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.75, and P/FCF ratio at 13.7. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 17.69% (equivalent to 9.62 days of average volume). The stock has lost 44.39% over the last year.

10. Strayer Education Inc. (NASDAQ:STRA): Education & Training Services Industry. Market cap of $1.52B. This stock is trading 7.55% above its 52-week low. TTM gross margin at 67.24% vs. industry average at 53.03%. TTM operating margin 33.05% vs. industry average at 20.04%. TTM pretax margin 33.19% vs. industry average at 16.62%. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 24.75% (equivalent to 11.68 days of average volume). The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 16.17%.

11. China Hydroelectric Corporation (NYSE:CHC): Electric Utilities Industry. Market cap of $311.71M. This stock is trading 8.93% above its 52-week low. TTM gross margin at 62.72% vs. industry average at 32.72%. TTM operating margin 34.17% vs. industry average at 19.87%. TTM pretax margin 11.02% vs. industry average at 8.26%. The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 12.98%.

12. Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ:NTRS): Regional Bank. Market cap of $11.77B. This stock is trading 9.17% above its 52-week low. TTM gross margin at 86.64% vs. industry average at 44.48%. TTM operating margin 46.4% vs. industry average at 34.98%. TTM pretax margin 24.21% vs. industry average at 23.34%. The stock has lost 3.74% over the last year.

*Profitability data sourced from Fidelity, other relevant data sourced from Finviz.

Source: Rebound Ideas: 12 Highly Profitable Stocks Reaching 52-Week Lows