Some stocks simply have such great potential that "everyone" knows they're a good buy today. Yeah, right.

If we knew in advance that eBay would return nearly 1,400% over the past decade, we'd have mortgaged our house on it -- and yours, too! It's easy to see which companies have been winning investments after the fact. We need to know beforehand which stocks will grow tens of thousands of percent in value over the years. That's where Motley Fool CAPS comes in.

The more than 83,000 professional and novice investors in CAPS rarely agree on a stock's prospects. Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation LabCorp (NYSE: LH) is a well-respected, top-rated stock, but 11 of the 335 CAPS players to rate it still believe it will underperform the market. So when you come across a stock where every investor who rates it thinks it will outperform, you've got something special. Here are a handful of those "obvious" investments.

Company

Bulls

All-Star Bulls

Price

Return on Capital, MRQ

Chemical & Mining Co. of Chile (NYSE: SQM)

177

76

$169.68

9.3%

EnerSys (NYSE: ENS)

109

25

$26.90

7.3%

Duncan Energy Partners (NYSE: DEP)

73

32

$21.65

4.3%

Williams Controls (Nasdaq: WMCO)

64

18

$14.72

34.9%

Fundtech (Nasdaq: FNDT)

63

17

$11.09

3.3%

MRQ = most recent quarter; sources: Motley Fool CAPS and Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's.

As always, none of the companies on this list should be considered formal recommendations -- just starting points for further research. We've simply used CAPS to narrow down your workload.

Industrial-strength power
The lineage of EnerSys stretches as far back as Thomas Edison, although after many years of mergers, acquisitions, and growth, the industrial battery company is a far different one than ol' Tom knew. Today, EnerSys serves the telecom industry, backup power supply needs, the military -- even forklift operators.

In its reserve power segment, its customers include wireless and Internet access companies that need to have an uninterruptible power supply, along with military applications like nuclear submarines and tactical vehicles. On the motive power side, you'll find primarily industrial forklift trucks. Yet if you've bought a DieHard battery from Sears (Nasdaq: SHLD) anytime recently, you've bought an EnerSys battery; the company became the exclusive manufacturer of DieHard Platinum batteries last year.

EnerSys has been successful in passing along increases in its commodity costs to its customers. In its third-quarter conference call, company officials noted that EnerSys had recovered about 80% of those costs and was looking to recover more. Demand, pricing power, and cost-cutting initiatives led to 46% growth in revenue and an 89% increase in adjusted net earnings. New contracts with the U.S. Navy have led EnerSys to build up its capacity to meet the new demand. The stock, which was trading essentially sideways throughout much of 2007, began to rise rapidly in November and has appreciated nearly 50% since then.

The rosy outlook might explain why no CAPS investors have weighed in against EnerSys, but it may also be that it's simply flying under the radar of many analysts, let alone investors. Only a handful of bullish pitches has been posted in favor of the battery maker. CAPS player 1bravebear, for example, briefly notes that EnerSys "(m)ade small profit 06 and added to cash flow," while its batteries help reduce greenhouse emissions.

At $27 a share, however, EnerSys is trading at 16 times projected 2008 earnings, which is about 1.5 times its expected long-term growth rate. That may not make it the cheapest stock around, but it's not the most expensive either, particularly with rival Energy Conversion Devices (Nasdaq: ENER) trading at 28 times forward earnings. Investors in CAPS may just be hoping to keep news of this little gem to themselves.

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

LabCorp and eBay are Stock Advisor selections. Everyone thinks the 30 days of free stock picks available with the trial subscription is something you ought to try now.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.