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Here at the Fool, we're passionate about investing. It permeates every level of this organization. Today, we thought we'd mix up our normal roundtable format. Instead of collecting a narrow group of analysts, we decided to go for a broader slice of the company. Remember, it serves investors well to take in a Motley view and not a myopic one.
Let's see which five companies have grabbed our attention here at Fool Headquarters.
Meredith Bessette, executive assistant: While SandRidge (NYSE: SD ) experienced disastrous returns in 2008 and 2010, this stock beat the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC ) by nearly 150% at one point this year thanks in part to management's commitment to conventional drilling techniques and making the firm oilier instead of chasing controversial shale gas plays. SandRidge's combined assets and inventory are likely to be sufficient to support profitable business growth for many years to come, even if prices remain at current levels.
Bryan White, Motley Fool Stock Advisor analyst: Corning's (NYSE: GLW ) rugged Gorilla Glass is gaining recognition from its use by 33 major brands in more 400 million consumer electronic devices. As smartphone and tablet users grow globally, we expect Gorilla Glass to contribute a larger share of Corning's earnings. In the meantime, Corning receives the bulk of its cash flow from the LCD-TV market, where it holds a dominant position. The TV market has been brutal in the U.S. since the financial crisis and is only getting worse in Europe. That said, the $14 stock is dirt cheap at 8 times forward earnings, with a strong net cash position to help it weather any near-term worsening of the global economy.
Ellen Bowman, Stock Advisor editor: Corning has been on my personal watch list since Stock Advisor first recommended it in the August 2011 issue. I agree with the argument that it's an innovator disguised as a sleepy, established company, and I'm excited about the future of its Gorilla Glass product in smartphones and other mobile devices.
Marthe LaRosiliere, general counsel: Despite its hefty price, Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq: ISRG ) is a company worth watching, as it still has a lot of growth potential. Sales of its da Vinci robotic surgical system continue to grow, but the real growth opportunity may be in its recurring revenues. Intuitive's minimally invasive surgical system is beginning to find acceptance beyond prostate surgery and hysterectomies. Adoption of the system in new surgical procedures should drive recurring instrument and accessory sales, as these items wear out with use in surgery. The company's high-margin maintenance contracts also stand to benefit from increased use of the da Vinci system.
Charly Travers, Motley Fool Million Dollar Portfolio analyst: I'm calling Dendreon (Nasdaq: DNDN ) as the comeback stock of 2012. A confluence of factors ranging from management's loss of credibility, slashed Provenge sales guidance, and a slower-than-expected sales ramp has sent this former highflier stock crashing back to Earth. As a one-of-a-kind product for treating prostate cancer, Provenge holds a lot of value, and I expect Dendreon's shares to bounce back.
David Williamson, health-care editor: Staying with the health-care sector, let me suggest Aeterna Zentaris (Nasdaq: AEZS ) , a small-cap biotech with a fast-tracked "orphan" drug that is almost ready for FDA review. Perifosine, currently in phase 3 trials, is designed to treat late-stage refractory colorectal cancer and multiple myeloma. It sold the North American rights to perifosine with marketing partner Keryx Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: KERX ) , but Aeterna Zentaris will get royalties and still controls the licensing rights most everywhere else. Combine that with a potentially deep drug-development pipeline, and you have a stock worth Foolish attention.
In our sights
So there you have it -- five companies that have caught our attention and deserve to be watched. But if you want to see which five companies we are buying, download our special free report, "5 Stocks The Motley Fool Owns -- and You Should, Too."
And for a handy way to keep track of the companies mentioned here, add them to our free My Watchlist feature: