Some stocks have such great potential that "everyone" knows they are a good buy today. Yeah, we wish.

If we knew beforehand that Hansen Natural would return as much as 25,000% over the past decade, not only would we have mortgaged the house on it, we'd have mortgaged your house too!

In fact, if investing were so easy, we'd all be millionaires. It's easy to see after the fact which companies have been the winning investments. What we need is a way to know beforehand which companies will grow tens of thousands of percent in value over the years. But there hasn't been a way.

Until now, that is
More than 75,000 professional and novice investors have rated stocks on Motley Fool CAPS, and we can read their opinions on stocks they say will beat the market -- and lose to it. It's often a tug-of-war between the bulls and the bears, but we've identified dozens of stocks that members of CAPS have unanimously chosen to outperform the market.

That's no small feat. Thousands of companies have been rated, and convincing arguments are made for both sides. For example, Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation Nintendo (OTC BB: NTDOY.PK) is a well-respected, top-rated stock that more than 1,250 CAPS investors have rated. Yet while some 1,277 of them think the stock will beat the market, there are still almost a dozen CAPS investors who don't.

So when you come across a stock that everyone thinks is going to outperform, you've got something special, and we as investors ought to take notice.

Here are a handful of those "obvious" investments.





Return on
Capital, TTM*






Wonder Auto Technology (NASDAQ:WATG)





Ultrapar Holdings (NYSE:UGP)





Hersha Hospitality (AMEX:HT)





Validus Holdings (NYSE:VR)





Sources: Motley Fool CAPS, Yahoo!, and Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's. Prices reflect yesterday's close. *Trailing 12 months +As of Dec. 31, 2006.

As always, none of the companies on this list are formal recommendations, but rather starting points for further research. What we've done is narrowed your workload by focusing on companies that CAPS investors expect will beat the market.

An iconic contract research organization
As resources for biotech R&D increase, contract research organizations (CROs) should benefit, particularly because about 25% of drug development spending is outsourced. That figure is expected to grow to 35% to 40% over the next three to five years, according to at least one analyst, and that ought to help Covance (NYSE:CVD), the largest CRO, and Charles River (NYSE:CRL). Yet smaller outfits like Irish ICON will also reap the benefits.

Top-rated CAPS All-Star reddingrunner, with a player rating greater than 98, views ICON as the biotech version of the Energizer bunny that would do well as a long-term pick. Here's his pitch from last August:

Icon just keeps growing and growing and growing ...

Medical clinical research firm is a great megatrends pick. I'm looking to add this to my real portfolio- it's a great buy and hold and hold and hold and hold stock: what do you think it will be worth in 20 years, fools?

CAPS player SmallCapKing noted last summer, ahead of the analyst upgrades for the sector, that higher R&D expenditures from biotechs will come back to boost the CROs:

ICLR is the leader in R&D Pharma, clinical trials and development of new drugs, trading at a discount to its peers, like PRXl and PPD even thought its numbers are better. It has an UNBELIEVABLE almost $1 billion backlog for its services, almost the size of its market cap! Trades at about 20x earnings and has blown away numbers every earnings report and raised guidance. This company's growth will only accelerate as big pharma co's try to increase their pipelines. Should be close to $60 by January.

Let's hear from you
How about your take on these or other "obvious" winning investments? Is this the chance to light up profits from the next "buy now" stock?  If you want to add your 2 cents, sign up to join the Motley Fool CAPS community, which is 100% free.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.