Surprises are part of the game when it comes to picking stocks. Sometimes this can mean bad news, like one of your top stocks revealing that management has been backdating options.

Other times, though, the market gets caught off guard by positive surprises from stocks that most investors thought were down for the count. In this situation, investors who stood by the stock often break out into a chorus of "I told you so," as short sellers are forced to figure out just how much pain they can take.

To dig up some of these unloved stocks that have been defying naysayers, I'm turning once again to The Motley Fool's CAPS community. Each of the companies below had been given a one-star rating (the lowest) by our community of investors just 30 days ago:


30-Day Return

One-Year Return

Current CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Tecumseh Products (NASDAQ:TECUA)








Genesis Microchip (NASDAQ:GNSS)








Cogent Communications (NASDAQ:CCOI)












Data from Motley Fool CAPS as of July 11.

It's important to remember that some of these stocks, particularly the smaller, more volatile ones, could just as easily reverse these big gains over the next 30 days. In some cases, though, the strength could be a sign that the prospects for the company have changed for the better, or that it had been beaten down just a little too far.

So the question with these stocks is: Are they better than CAPS players had thought, or are they just singing that proverbial swan song? The best way to get a feel for where these guys are headed is to dig in and do some research. I thought I'd kick you off with some thoughts on Cogent Communications.

Cogent's cajoling
Let's be straight here: Investors who have been holders of Cogent over the past year have been big, big winners as the stock has more than tripled. Those who have taken the opposite position on the stock -- well, they can't be too happy.

Cogent's stock peaked back in early 2004 at more than $50 before crashing down to just more than $4 in late 2005. Since then, though, the stock has been a rocket shot, and it's now up almost eightfold since the bottom. The company hasn't managed to hit profitability yet, but its revenue is up 150% over the last three years and it had an 18% EBITDA margin over the last 12 months.

Still, the CAPS universe has not been convinced, and 23 of the 61 players who have rated the stock expect it to underperform the market. dwot, one of the top players on CAPS, is one of the Cogent bears and cites a number of reasons. Besides the high price -- Cogent trades at 10 times its revenue -- she also points out that Cogent has had to issue a lot of additional stock in order to keep the company going. Between 2005 and 2006, the company sold more than $100 million in new common stock.

She also notes that Cogent insiders have been taking advantage of the stock's recent run-up. The board members, most of whom came from Cogent's pre-IPO venture funding, have sold hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of stock since the fall of last year. dwot's bottom line on Cogent is that it is "so good of the retail investors to so richly line these guy's pockets."

So do you think Cogent has a more promising future? Or are insiders really just getting out while they still can? Head over to CAPS and let the community know what you think. While you're there, you can start your research on any of the other stocks listed above -- or any of the 4,700-plus stocks on CAPS.

More CAPS Foolishness:

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer didn't see these particular moves coming, but he's rarely surprised at Mr. Market's general tomfoolery. You can check out Matt's CAPS portfolio here, or visit his blog. He does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool's disclosure policy is never going to give you up, it's never going to let you down, and it's definitely never going to run around and desert you.