Sometimes, unloved stocks are good stocks that have just rubbed investors the wrong way, and actually represent great investment opportunities. Quite often, though, unloved stocks are unloved because there is something very wrong with either the stock or the company behind the stock.

In The Motley Fool's 135,000-member CAPS community stocks are rated on a scale of one to five stars based on the outperform and underperform ratings given to them by CAPS members. Stocks with the worst ratios end up with a one-star rating -- which is the CAPS' equivalent of a flashing red warning beacon.

Palm (NASDAQ:PALM) is one of the stocks that has landed that dreaded one-star rating. Although the company was an awe-inspiring pioneer of the mobile technology market during the Internet boom, Palm fell on hard times after the bubble burst. It's since found itself on the losing end of the competition with foes such as Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).

Since December, Palm's stock has absolutely been on fire, multiplying in value more than eight times. The CAPS community, however, has not budged from its one-star rating.

So what gives? Let's take a look at how Palm stacks up against comparable companies.

Company

TTM Net Profit Margin

One-Year Revenue Growth

Price-to-Earnings Ratio

CAPS Rating
(5 max)

Palm

(72.1%)

(33.6%)

NM

*

Nokia (NYSE:NOK)

6.1%

(12.1%)

14.9

****

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM)

15.2%

14.4%

43.6

****

Apple

14.9%

17.2%

25.1

***

Motorola (NYSE:MOT)

(15.3%)

(19.0%)

NM

**

Research In Motion

17.1%

84.1%

25.1

**

Source: CAPS and Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's. TTM = trailing 12 months. NM = not meaningful.

What we can take away from this chart is that (1) there are companies in the mobile communications space that have put up better financial figures than Palm and (2) there are definitely stocks that the CAPS community thinks are much better bets.

To get more specific, let's take a look at why CAPS member SpoilsofWar recently gave the stock a thumbs-down:

Company doubled down on one product. The Pre cannot save a dying company. This company is running on fumes even if the Pre is a hit. This will drop significantly when the hype dies down, not enough phones are manufactured, and apple and blackberry crush them with their new releases in june and july.

Now I'm going to toss the ball in your court -- so what will it be? Is Palm a stock worthy of a rock-bottom rating? Or has the CAPS community overlooked the company's potential? Head over to CAPS and let the 135,000 community members know what you think.

Further Foolishness:

Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Nokia is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool. Palm readers have always been kind to the Fool’s disclosure policy