Stocks climbing to 10 times their original price are rare breeds -- but they're not impossible to find. Especially when you have Fools for friends.
The market's best stocks include companies that have risen dozens of times in value by taking advantage of the market's weaknesses. These aren't penny stocks; they're viable companies with sound business prospects that are achieving phenomenal returns. Finding just one or two of these monstrously successful firms can help you establish a winning portfolio.
Stalking the monster
To find tomorrow's winners, we've enlisted the help of more than 180,000 monster trackers at Motley Fool CAPS. We've compiled a list of the most successful CAPS members, dubbed All-Stars, whose picks have doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled in price. Then we've plucked out some of their recent picks for stocks they find equally promising.
Score = how many percentage points that pick is beating the S&P 500.
Of course, this is not a list of stocks to buy -- or, for those monster stocks that our CAPS All-Stars have already found, sell. Just consider them starting points for your own further research of extreme buying opportunities.
Hiding in plain sight
After peaking at almost $77 a share at the end of October, teen retailer Abercrombie & Fitch was exposed as being more bare than one of its models, and the stock lost more than a third of its value. Its international expansion plans came to a screeching halt as Europe, Japan, and Canada all experienced a decline, particularly its flagship stores in Europe.
While its domestic operations seemed to have held up well, with same-store sales accelerating in the quarter -- Abercrombie's U.S. business fared better than Aeropostale (NYSE: ARO ) , for example, which saw comps decline here by 9% -- the retailer went on to report narrowing margins as double-digit increases in average unit costs in the U.S. sapped strength.
It also might have thought it was being cheeky with a publicity campaign to pay Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino to not wear its clothing line, but now it will have to spend more money defending itself in a lawsuit brought by the Jersey Shore star, who claims Abercrombie never really offered him money, all the while launching a clothing line based on his GTL (gym-tan-laundry) lifestyle, and selling "Fitchuation" shirts based on his nickname. It might do better just concentrating on its clothing, like Aeropostale and American Eagle Outfitters have, than trying to gin up attention by hitching its trailer to reality stars.
In selecting Abercrombie for a big move up, tenmiles thinks the sell-off has been overdone, at least on technical metrics: "Buyer under $47 off the earning's miss-technically oversold near term; likely long term value after today's 15% haircut."
Let us know in the comments section below or on the Abercrombie & Fitch CAPS page whether the teen retailer will clothe itself in respectability again, and add it to your watchlist to be notified of the latest developments in the situation.
A long time coming
Biotech Geron announced that it's leaving the field of stem cell research to Cytori Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CYTX ) and Aastrom Biosciences (Nasdaq: ASTM ) and will instead focus its efforts on further developing its oncology therapies.
There are just too many hurdles in the field to surmount right now, and with limited resources available to it, the oncology side of the business would suffer if the company tried to finance both. Obviously it thinks cancer research has a better chance of generating returns near-term than stem cell research, meaning Cytori, NeoStem, and Pluristem Therapeutics (Nasdaq: PSTI ) might be facing a difficult future. One less rival to contend with is a positive, but the voluntary departure of a leading stem cell researcher doesn't bode well for the industry.
Geron, on the other hand, is concentrating on a booming field that continues to attract larger drug companies. Even though it was a top-tier stem cell research outfit, whether it can make that transition to oncology specialist remains to be seen.
While 92% of the CAPS members rating Geron think it will outperform the market indexes, this rating was largely based on the company's leading stem cell role. CAPS members will have to reevaluate its new outlook, but you can add Geron to your watchlist and let us know on the Geron CAPS page if you think it will successfully change direction.
A rocket higher?
The financial crisis that has the European community teetering on the brink is spreading to countries outside of the Commonwealth, like Hungary, which is seeing its currency devalued and the risk of collapse heightened because of its exposure to European banks. As one fire is extinguished -- the resignation of Italy's prime minister, for example -- another is ignited.
The uncertainty is even affecting gold prices, which hover above $1,700 an ounce. While the metal is normally considered a safe-haven investment in times of turmoil, because it has been such a profitable investment it is now being used to cover bad investments elsewhere. With gold being redeemed at higher rates, there is downward pressure being exerted on its price.
That will only last for so long, though, and its value should march north again. Yum! Brands' Taco Bell is even offering the chance to win real gold coins worth $1,100 (based on August 2011 gold prices) when you buy a bag of their Doritos. It shows how fast gold can rise.
Which is good news for Goldcorp, which was just issued a certificate of authorization for its Eleonore gold project in northern Quebec. With construction set to begin immediately, Goldcorp is positioned to use its leverage as a low-cost producer to exploit the mine to its fullest. It's estimated Eleonore will average 600,000 ounces of gold production per year at cash costs below $400 per ounce over an approximate 15-year mine life. Without having to buy a single bag of Doritos.
With 93% of the 2,245 CAPS members rating Goldcorp to beat Wall Street's expectations, they seem tuned in to the prospects for growth. Add the gold miner to the Fool's free portfolio tracker and tell us on the Goldcorp CAPS page if this is a snack investors should be noshing on.