Is it time to buy Ozforex Group Ltd, QBE Insurance Group Ltd, and Mesoblast Limited?

With the S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) falling 18% in the past 12 months, you might expect a significant number of shares to hit new 52-week lows right alongside it.

However, this week’s 52 week lows aren’t major index movers like the miners or banks, and each presents an interesting investment case after recent falls:

Ozforex Group Ltd (ASX: OFX) – last traded at $1.95, down 16% for the year

It’s been a bumpy year for OzForex, which first saw its shares soar after a takeover bid was announced by Western Union back in November. At between $3.50 and $3.70 per share, the offer price showed that the buyer saw a lot of value that shareholders themselves had apparently missed.

Unfortunately, the highly conditional and non-binding bid fell through earlier this week, and OzForex also cut its earnings forecast from $38.5m-$40.5m to $35m-$37m, although this should still be up compared to the prior corresponding period.

Where OzForex’s share price heads from here is unknown, although shares are now the cheapest they’ve been since listing which might be enough to get the bargain hunters interested.

QBE Insurance Group Ltd (ASX: QBE) – last traded at $9.67, down 13% for the year

QBE Insurance is an interesting case, with shares trading at their lowest point of the past 10 years, despite management being on track to post meaningful improvements in the company’s performance this year. In the past, QBE has sometimes surprised investors to the downside, and it could be that investors are expecting another shock when the company reports on 23 Feb.

However, there’s also a lot to like about the company, which is diversifying into emerging markets while simultaneously streamlining its operating structure. Management states that QBE’s expense ratio is higher than its global peers, and has identified this area as room for improvement.

Much hinges on whether the upcoming results meet expectations, but QBE is starting to look attractive and I suspect shares are unlikely to fall substantially further in the absence of bad news.

Mesoblast Limited (ASX: MSB) – last traded at $1.20, down 71% for the year

Mesoblast shares have trended steadily downwards all year, although they really slumped after the company dual-listed on the Nasdaq, which wiped out approximately a third of the company’s share price. However, the listing provided much-needed cash – approximately 18 months at recent cash burn rates – which should see the company make major progress towards finishing up phase 3 trials on its flagship products.

Credit Suisse recently placed a tantalising ‘Outperform’ rating on Mesoblast’s US-listed ADRs, which indicates the stock could be worth as much as 90% more, although there are significant risks. For myself, I’m not comfortable picking which direction the share price heads next as that depends on Mesoblast’s cash burn as well as trial progress and regulatory hurdles.

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Motley Fool contributor Sean O'Neill has no position in any stocks mentioned. Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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