Wall Street's Best Hidden Stocks

When asked for the secret of his success, baseball player Wee Willie Keeler replied, "Hit 'em where they ain't." What worked for Willie at the plate applies equally well in investing. 

Seeking stocks that others ignore, shun, or simply forget gives individual investors like you an edge over the professionals. When Wall Street turns a blind eye, you have a chance to get in before these stocks get discovered -- or rediscovered -- and start taking off. 

Below, we'll check out companies with only a handful of analyst coverage, then pair our list with the opinions of the Motley Fool CAPS community. A stock that garners CAPS' top ratings, but hasn't yet caught analysts' attention, could be your next home run investment. 

Stock

CAPS Rating
(out of 5)

Wall Street 
Picks

Est. EPS Growth
Next Year

Bolt Technology (Nasdaq: BOLT  )

*****

2

NA

eMagin (Nasdaq: EMAN  )

*****

0

NA

Local.com (Nasdaq: LOCM  )

****

0

9%

Source: Yahoo! Finance; Motley Fool CAPS; NA = not available.

Remember, without analyst support, you'll have to do your own scouting to see whether these stocks deserve a spot on your portfolio's roster. Don't just buy or sell them based solely on their appearance here. 

Hiding in plain sight
Approximately 30% of the U.S.'s domestic oil production comes from deepwater sources, while nearly a quarter of gas production comes from there. So the Obama administration's decision to impose a de facto "permitorium" on deepwater drilling hurts the companies operating there.

Bolt Technology, which makes marine seismic data acquisition equipment, is fortunate that its major customers have significant operations outside of the Gulf. Its biggest customer, CGG Veritas (NYSE: CGV  ) , accounting for 23% of Bolt's revenue, derives less than a quarter of its sales from North America, and it's well-diversified around the globe. That geographic diversity helps explain why Bolt enjoyed a 21% jump in revenues in the first quarter of the new fiscal year.

That's undoubtedly why 99% of the CAPS members rating Bolt believe -- despite the highly concentrated three customers that account for 41% of its revenue -- that Bolt will continue offering up market-beating performances. Whether that customer concentration will ultimately work against it, only you can decide. Add Bolt Technology to your watchlist and have all the Foolish news and analysis aggregated for you in a single place.

Still revved up?
Compare eMagin to either Universal Display (Nasdaq: PANL  ) and Microvision (Nasdaq: MVIS  ) , and you have to wonder why the market is shortchanging the OLED microdisplay maker. eMagin's technology is increasingly sparking interest from the military, and trailing revenue has jumped 30% while generating a 70% increase in profit. Universal's sales are up 70%, but it hasn't produced an annual profit -- ever. Microvision has some exciting things going on, but it hasn't figured out a way to turn a profit, either.

At 27 times next year's earnings, the market is paying up for eMagin's prospects. Few people know about the company, and that relative obscurity gives investors an opportunity to plant their flag early, before institutional buyers move in. The few that do hold shares hold negligible positions right now.

CAPS member kleyau believes that eMagin's portfolio of products will survive any drastic cuts imposed on defense spending: "Margins are increasing as revenue rises, and while defense spending may be down for big ticket items, cost effective items like OLED displays should do just fine."

Let us know on the eMagin CAPS page when these growth opportunities will display themselves to the investing public.

A utility player
When Google threw gobs of money at Groupon, many thought other local search providers like Local.com might be a possible target for acquisition, too. While such speculation often happens when M&A activity heats up, there may be something to the rumors this time.

Local.com filed a notice with the SEC yesterday laying out the terms of compensation executives would be due if there were a change of control in the company. That doesn't mean anything by itself; many companies adopt such policies to reward themselves in the event of a buyout. But the timing of the filing is curious nonetheless. 

CAPS member eksummers620 says we may be hearing a lot more about hyperlocal marketing: "With Groupon's valuation being set so high, the hyperlocal marketing may be a theme of 2011. Local.com is positioned to capitalize on this."

Search out additional opinions on the Local.com CAPS page, and let us know whether this sudden hyperactivity is a portent of things to come.

Swing for the fences
When seeking investments where no one else is looking, Motley Fool CAPS is the best place to start your own research. Read a company's financial reports, scrutinize key data and charts, and examine the comments your fellow investors have made, all from a stock's CAPS page. 

Sign up today for the completely free service, and tell us whether these hidden stock opportunities will help us go one up on Wall Street.

Google is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Google and Universal Display are Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations. CGG Veritas is a Motley Fool Global Gains selection. Chevron is a Motley Fool Income Investor choice. The Fool owns shares of CGG Veritas and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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