Find These Stocks Before Wall Street Does

Seeking stocks that others ignore, shun, or simply forget gives individual investors like you an edge over the professionals. Getting in before Wall Street discovers them -- or rediscovers them -- means you can stake a claim before they start taking off. 

Here we check out companies with minimal analyst coverage at best, 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 St. Picks

Wall St. Bullish Sentiment

Est. EPS Growth Next Year

8x8 (Nasdaq: EGHT  )

****

3

100%

47%

BGC Partners (Nasdaq: BGCP  )

*****

3

100%

15%

Source: Motley Fool CAPS.

Remember, without much analyst support, you'll have to do more digging on your own to see whether these stocks deserve a spot in your portfolio, so don't just buy or sell them based solely on their appearance here. 

Hiding in plain sight
Acquiring new customers is one of the more expensive activities a business engages in, so being able to retain them once acquired is one key to generating higher profits. Enterprise-facing VoIP specialist 8x8 seems to have found the formula for gaining customers and keeping them happy because it has reduced its customer churn numbers to 2% for the second straight quarter. Moreover, it now offers customers a suite of products and abilities, including voice mail, call center services, and more, giving clients a complete virtual office, which has helped boost monthly revenue per customer 20% from the year-ago period.

8x8 has been steadily adding new customers to its rolls, reaching almost 28,700 in the fourth quarter. While that does represent a decrease in the rate of growth, 8x8 has been moving upstream from its small-business roots and now targets mid-size customers as well as enterprise-class businesses and government agencies. What can be seen here is the quality of its customer is improving, as evidenced by the growing ARPU. With a growing channel sales team -- revenues tripled in the division -- the VoIP provider ought to see more growth coming its way.

Undoubtedly, offering hosted communications services will meet some resistance from the crowd that believes it's always safer to go with an on-premises PBX solution from Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO  ) , but 8x8 is starting to gain traction. With long-term growth estimated in the mid-20s, CAPS member longallequities sees the potential for exponential stock expansion: "26% annual forcast earnings growth for the next 5 years makes this a $15 stock with it's current P/E."

Let us know your views of its expanding business opportunities on the 8x8 CAPS page, and add the VoIP specialist to the Fool's free, personalized stock-tracking service to see if it can dial up more growth.

Stuck in the doldrums
Considering the financial tumult in Europe as the world prepares for Greece's exit from the eurozone, global securities broker BGC Partners thinks the more staid world of commercial real estate will smooth out the bumps and gyrations of currency trading. While it saw lower volumes and declining activity in various markets it serves because of the Fed's quantitative easing policies, it expects its new real estate venture picked up from the debris of Grubb & Ellis to contribute as much as $110 million in revenues in the second quarter and is already profitable for the firm.

The turmoil was also felt by BGC rival ICAP, which reported slightly higher profits even as trading levels grew weaker, while GFI Group (Nasdaq: GFIG  ) saw revenues fall from the year-ago period as earnings missed estimates by $0.04 per share. So maybe commercial real estate is the better bet these days, as Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE: JLL  ) beat analyst expectations on the top and bottom lines because the global real estate markets continued its cyclical recovery, at least according to management.

While BGC's near-11% dividend yield leaves latinoeconomist sounding incredulous, 85% of the CAPS members rating the global trader think it will still beat the broad market indexes going forward. Let us know on the BGC Partners CAPS page if you agree, and add it to your watchlist to be alerted if any changes in the dividend are announced.

Swing for the fences
Global unrest might just lead to soaring energy prices. Read The Motley Fool's special free report on "3 Stocks for $100 Oil" and the three companies poised to profit from the world's insatiable thirst for energy. But to find out which stocks our top analysts picked as the best of the best, download this report now. Hurry, because it's free for a limited time only.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey owns shares of Cisco Systems, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Cisco Systems and Jones Lang LaSalle. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Jones Lang LaSalle. 

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


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  • Report this Comment On May 23, 2012, at 9:08 PM, wi52907 wrote:

    >With a growing channel sales team -- revenues tripled in the division -- <

    Over what time period.

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