3 Stocks Ready to Roar

There are plenty of strategies for picking stock winners, from finding low P/E stocks to seeking companies selling at a discount to their future cash flows. At the small-cap investment service Motley Fool Hidden Gems, even in this market, the analysts are able to stay ahead of the pack by finding undervalued stocks that Wall Street and investors have ignored.

But what if we could whittle down our list of prospects beforehand, to find those whose engines are just getting warmed up?

Using our investor intelligence database at Motley Fool CAPS, I screened for stocks that were marked up by investors before their share prices rose over the past three months. My screen returned just 36 stocks when I ran it, no doubt reflecting the market's turmoil during that time, and included these recent winners:

Stock

CAPS Rating 3/9/11

CAPS Rating 6/9/11

Trailing

13-week Performance

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals ** *** 32.3%
Anaren ** **** 20.5%
National Beverage ** *** 17.2%

Source: Motley Fool CAPS Screener; trailing performance from June 10 to Sept 8.

While this screen might tell us which stocks we should have looked at three months ago, we'd rather find the stocks that we ought to be looking at today. I went back to the screener and looked for stocks that were just bumped up to three stars or better, sport valuations lower than the market's average, and haven't appreciated by more than 10% in the past month.

Of the 68 stocks the screen returned, here are three that are still attractively priced, but which investors think are ready to run today:

Stock

CAPS Rating 6/9/11

CAPS Rating 9/8/11

Trailing

4-Week Performance

P/E Ratio

Motricity (Nasdaq: MOTR  ) ** *** (6.1%) 9.4
Six Flags Entertainment (NYSE: SIX  ) ** *** (4%) 4.5
VeriSign (Nasdaq: VRSN  ) ** *** 9.3% 7.6

Source: Motley Fool CAPS Screener; price return from Aug. 12 to Sept. 8.

You can run your own version of this screen over on CAPS; just remember that the data's dynamically updated in real time, so your results may vary. That said, let's examine why investors might think these companies will go on to beat the market.

Motricity
With a management change at hand for Motricity -- it's looking for a CFO and a marketing officer, and last month canned its CEO -- it might be able to get back to business of helping carriers like Verizon and Sprint  (NYSE: S  ) provide entry-level feature phones with various levels of third-party content and applications.

Sure, it offers some smartphone functionality, but I've likened it to be being more like Chinese app-market provider Sky-mobi (Nasdaq: MOBI  ) , which also targets the "dumb phone" market. While I'm not so sure the enhanced services Motricity provides will allow them to break through because the big carriers have their own platforms they offer subscribers, CAPS member 5jinpaul7 thinks otherwise:

this company has a huge potential. soon all phones will require a data connection and the strong background that Motricity has with many carriers will definitely bring it back up. keep an eye on this one.

Chip in with your views on the Motricity CAPS page whether this will be a smart investment.

Six Flags Entertainment
With the advent of the back to school season, the busy time for Six FlagsCedar Fair  (NYSE: FUN  ) , and Great Wolf Resorts  (Nasdaq: WOLF  ) is coming to a close. The earnings reports should show how well the amusement park industry did.

According to Cedar Fair, it saw a 2% increasing in attendance through Labor Day generating a 4% increase in revenues, thus building on second-quarter returns. Six Flags might have done just as well or better, but it had to contend with Hurricane Irene at the close of the season, and while there was no damage to its theme parks, closing them on a late summer weekend is going to hurt third-quarter results. Still that may give investors a chance to scoop up shares cheap for a real thrill ride in the future.

Less than three dozen CAPS members have weighed in on Six Flags -- I'm one of them -- but 88% think it will outperform the market indexes and all but one All-Star agrees. You can add the theme park operator to the Fool's free portfolio tracker and keep tabs on its progress over the coming quarters.

VeriSign
It's gotten rid of just about everything but its Internet naming business, so VeriSign has had a rough go of convincing analysts it's going to turn into a growth machine again. The sudden departure of its CFO yesterday didn't do anything to endear it to the market, which has sent its shares 10% lower today.

Now VeriSign does collect a fixed fee each time a new .com or .net domain name is registered or an existing domain name registry is renewed, and that's a steady, recurring revenue stream. But how does it grow from here? It recently said that 5 million new domain names were added in the second quarter, which is apparently enough room to keep moving ahead for the 86% of CAPS members rating the Internet infrastructure provider who believe it will outperform the market. You can add your opinion on the VeriSign CAPS page.

Three for free
Are these companies still a good value and ready to make their move? I'm heading over to CAPS to mark them to outperform the broader averages. If you agree join me there, or let us know in the comments section below whether you think these or any other stocks are starting to rev their engines.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey holds no position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. 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. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (2) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On September 09, 2011, at 5:09 PM, kariku wrote:

    Yes, VeriSign really roared today ! Great call

  • Report this Comment On September 10, 2011, at 6:22 AM, TMFCop wrote:

    kariku,

    If you read the article, you'll see I mention the CFO's resignation sent the shares lower on Friday but that its steady, recurring revenue stream provides it with a base.

    The run up VRSN enjoyed was a result of takeover speculation, and while the move suggests uncertainty here that will actually happen, perhaps a clean house is what a suitor would seek.

    Thanks for reading.

    Rich

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