3 Stocks Trading at 52-Week Lows — Is This the Bottom?

Westport Innovations, Kinross Gold, and Vicwest Inc. hit new lows.

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The Motley Fool

Another week of 2014 is in the books, and for these three companies trading at 52-week lows, it was a week to forget.

Westport Innovations (TSX: WPT)(NASDAQ: WPRT)

The stock of this company has had quite a bumpy road in 2014, hitting its second 52-week low of the year. This new low happened on March 27 when the stock fell to $15.34, well below the $16.90 it sunk to on March 3. This stock has been taking a pounding thanks to a net loss for 2013 that has worried some investors.

However recent streamlining of its production capacities should erase any losses incurred in 2013. Most of the losses were R&D costs associated with Westport’s newly released engine platforms. This downturn for the stock could prove to be a bargain for investors, as many analysts still maintain a target price of $30.78. The stock closed on Friday at $16.01.

Kinross Gold (TSX: K)(NYSE: KGC)

Canadian gold miner Kinross fell to a new 52-week low on March 27, landing at a share price of $4.42. The company is feeling the effects of the political pressure between Russia and the West, and the threat of sanctions and/or seizures have investors looking away from a company that is heavily invested in Russia.

Kinross operates two mines in the far east of Russia; the Kupol mine and the Dvoinoye project. These two mines make up 27% of the total gold output of Kinross, and any interruption in the mines’ output could quickly affect the company. In 2013, Kinross sold $3.779 billion worth of gold, but took in a net loss of  $3.742 billion. On a positive note, Goldman Sachs has raised its stock status for Kinross from “sell” to “hold”. It has also raised its price target to $4.20, while other analysts have the stock as high as $6.40.

Vicwest Inc. (TSX: VIC)

A manufacturer and distributor of engineered storage and handling systems for grain, fertilizer, and liquid storage hit a new low last week when it closed at $9.54 on March 28. The stock began to fall after the company released its less-than-stellar 2013 year-end results.

Revenues came in at $394 million in 2013, down from $411 million in 2012, and net income plummeted to a loss of $5.1 million(-$0.31 per share), a far cry from 2012’s gains of $11.5 million. Margins took a hit in 2013 thanks to several factors including an increased price of steel, a shortened construction season and supply chain issues.

One analyst at AltaCorp Capital Research has lowered his price target from $12.50 to $9.00 and labeled the stock as “underperform”. CIBC World Markets has only cut its price target to $11.50, down from $13.00 and maintained a “sector performer” rating. Regardless of how analysts look at this stock, due to last fall’s record crop, the backlog of orders for Vicwest subsidiary Westeel reached a new record in February with $73.8 million worth of orders, up from $28.5 million the same time last year.

Foolish bottom line

The market is full of highs and lows and savvy investors know when to jump on a good deal. For these companies, a week like this could turn into an opportunity for investors — if they can ride out the waves of the markets and politics.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor Cameron Conway does not own any shares in the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Westport Innovations.

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