NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Here's a question to ask yourself the next time you're on the hunt for cheap stocks: Is your goal buying a stock at a low price or buying a stock that will appreciate significantly after you buy it?
If the price you pay is more pertinent to you than the money you can make, then by all means, go ahead and look for poorly performing stocks.
But if you can move past the desire to buy a stock that is cheap compared to where it used to trade and focus on what's cheap today, you just may increase your chances of success in ways you haven't imagined.
We can all agree that stocks making new 52-week highs today have week-ago prices that now appear "cheap," even if those week-ago prices might have appeared expensive relative to where the stock was trading two weeks ago.Wouldn't it be marvelous to have bought the stocks that are now making 52-week highs last week. Sure, and if you did, congratulations! If you didn't, here is a list of stocks near 52-week high that in hindsight were cheap last week.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial (MTU - Get Report) trades an average of 3.1 million shares per day with a market cap of $97 billion. 52-Week High: $6.88 Beta: 0.79 Price-to-Book Ratio: 0.72 The Mitsubishi Group is well known for its cars and TVs, but did you know that one of the group's companies, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, is one of the world's largest bank holding companies? The current price action demonstrates the increasing desire to own a piece of the company too. Mitsubishi is up more than 40% from a year ago, and the daily and weekly charts are solidly bullish. The company pays a dividend yield of 2.2%, which is like a double-stuffed cookie for long-term investors. What may initially scare some investors is the high trailing price-to-earnings ratio. The trailing P/E is a nosebleed 66, but fortunately the forward P/E is more suitable. In this case, the forward P/E is only 15, well within my premium tolerance of 20. The average estimate for next year's earnings per share is 45 cents, down from an estimated 51 cents for the current year. Japan has been in the news a lot lately, especially the yen.
Because of the high volatility lately in the yen, I'm not surprised Japanese stocks are experiencing a lot of turbulence too. Buy on dips, but also expect Mitsubishi to test $7 soon. If the stock doesn't get higher than that in the near term, at least the dividend will buy a lot of time to wait for such a move.