Successful investing requires you to think independently and stick to your convictions. That's hard enough with stocks that are generally popular -- after all, in the stock market, there's a seller for every buyer. But it gets even tougher with stocks that can't seem to find good press or bullish investors anywhere. Of course, defying popular opinion has led many contrarian investors to great returns.

In that spirit, I've headed to Motley Fool CAPS to dig up some unloved stocks that have delivered big gains to shareholders over the past month. Our community of more than 100,000 investors has put each of these companies on the bottom two rungs of the CAPS rating scale:

Stock

One-Month Return

One-Year Return

Current CAPS Rating (5 Max)

InterOil (AMEX: IOC)

37.7%

(8.8%)

*

Friedman Billings Ramsey

28.6%

(61.3%)

*

Parkervision

16.1%

(20.0%)

*

Trina Solar (NYSE: TSL)

15.8%

(24.6%)

**

Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD)

14.9%

(47.4%)

**

Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU)

13.1%

(45.8%)

**

Sony (NYSE: SNE)

12.4%

(16.1%)

**

Data provided by Motley Fool CAPS and Yahoo! Finance as of May 8.

Now, given CAPS' knack for accurately gauging winners and losers, I'm not recommending that you run out and buy these stocks! An index set up to short CAPS' least-liked stocks has outperformed over 98% of all other CAPS players. That said, CAPS players have proved overly negative on some high-performing stocks. Are any of the stocks in the table above the same sort of undercover rockets?

Providing the pep
AMD's numbers have been dismal. As the David in the David-and-Goliath clash in the world of processors, AMD has been left more than a bit beaten and bloody over the past couple of years. On the bright side, the losses at least seem to be moving in the right direction, and there's hope that the company will, in fact, return to profitability.

In the meantime, there have been reasons for investors to take hope. A week ago, the company filed an expanded list of allegations under its antitrust suit against big-dog Intel (Nasdaq: INTC). In short, AMD is arguing that Intel persuaded major computer makers like Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) and Hewlett-Packard not to buy AMD chips. Investors hope that a convincing enough case will score AMD a juicy settlement.

Meanwhile, investors have also been waiting for AMD to announce plans for a restructuring. Rumors that the company would be talking about the restructuring at its annual shareholder meeting caused the stock to jump, but management ended up staying pretty quiet about the topic.

Combing CAPS
AMD is hardly a favorite on CAPS, but 2,194 players think that the stock has the potential to outperform the S&P 500. CAPS All-Star claygrant1974 is one of those fans, and thinks that it is making the right moves. Here's an excerpt:

[The] ATI buy was brilliant. ... Integrating a real graphics processor and main together is long overdue. ... AMD chips are truly a leap forward, not just a gradual increase in capability. They are quickly going to 45nm production and concentrating on TOTAL video experience, including HD, all at a reasonable cost. Vista, HD, and new games demand an upgrade cycle, and many people will choose AMD.

So what's your take? Is there good reason to get more bullish on AMD right now, or are its sunnier days numbered? Head over to CAPS and let the community of more than 100,000 Fools know what you think. While you're there you can start your research on the other stocks listed above or any of the 5,600-plus stocks on CAPS.

More CAPS Foolishness:

Dell and Intel are Inside Value selections, and Dell is a former recommendation of Stock Advisor. You can test-drive any of the Fool's newsletters free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer didn't see these particular moves coming, but he's rarely surprised at Mr. Market's general tomfoolery. He does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool's disclosure policy is processor-agnostic but definitely prefers chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.