It pays to be skeptical when you invest. In addition to doubting what the analysts tell you, you often have to discount what the companies tell you, too. On Wall Street, going against the grain can reap huge rewards. Like baseball's greatest place hitter, "Wee Willie" Keeler, great contrarian investors such as Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett, and John Neff "hit 'em where they ain't."

Today's new breed of contrarian investor can be found at Motley Fool CAPS, where savvy Fools are willing to see both the upside and downside of a stock. Although their often negative opinions peg them as "skeptics," their top CAPS ratings mean they're right far more often than not. And when they find a stock that these skeptics believe will outperform, perhaps we should take notice.

Here are some recent picks from our list of Foolish CAPS skeptics:


CAPS Rating (Out of 5)


Player Rating

McDermott International (NYSE: MDR)




Crocs (Nasdaq: CROX)




Building Materials Holding (NYSE: BLG)




IndyMac Bank (NYSE: IMB)




Dynamic Materials (Nasdaq: BOOM)




Just as a list of their worst stocks would not be a list of stocks to short, this list of the skeptics' favorites isn't automatic buys. But they do offer an excellent starting place for your own future research.

Skeptically skeptical
Forget the guys in the Iron Man masks with the acetylene torches. That's so passe. Dynamic Materials welds together metals that otherwise can't be joined -- by using explosives. How cool is that? The company's explosion-welded carbon steel plates are used in some of the biggest booming industries now: oil and gas exploration and production, oil refining, chemical production, power generation, and aluminum production.

It's been enjoying some explosive growth of its own, too, but a weaker-than-expected first quarter was announced the other day, and guidance for the second didn't set off any fireworks, either. However, the industrial metalworking company left intact its full-year guidance of 60% revenue growth, a move suggesting that the second half of the year will be strong based on its recent acquisition of DYNAenergetics.

The rising cost of steel, though, raises concerns that margins may end up getting compressed. Shares now trade at their lowest point over the past year and stand at about half of their 52-week highs.

Still, some investors are looking for a quick turnaround in the stock, which appears to some onlookers to have been oversold. Here's a pitch from StormBroker from just a few days ago:

Dynamic Materials took a hit today following disappointing earnings, it's currently down 22%. With a strong company such as Dynamic Materials, it's prime time to double down and turn a quick profit with a two to three week horizon. Personally, I would purchase at this point and look to sell after a 5-6% gain.

Meanwhile, tenmiles had been betting against Dynamic Materials until recently and is now bullish on it. This CAPS All-Star thinks the fundamentals of the company suggest that this should be a long-term holding. "I closed out my short on BOOM earlier today -- selloff now places it back in attractive long term value category. More debt than I generally like in fallen angels, but most value metrics, as well as [technicals], suggest $36 is a good buy for this one for those willing to wait out the near term headwinds."

Seeing past the obvious
Skeptics know that just beyond the storm clouds lies a shimmering, clear morning. Conversely, the sun can't shine forever, whatever the crowds may think. What's your forecast? Drop by CAPS, and tell us which stocks are your favorite contrarian picks. 

Don't be skeptical about the 30-day free trial offer available for any of the Fool's investment newsletters. It's yours for the asking!

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