With all the volatility in the markets today, there's no shortage of market seers attempting to call a bottom. Man of the Year Ben Bernanke called a bottom not once, but twice, though some still argue that the worst is yet to come.

Investors should consider buying stocks after a big decline, when pessimism has unduly beaten good companies down to great prices. That's why we here at the Fool -- and 165,000-plus investors like us -- look to the Motley Fool CAPS community to help sniff out the real opportunities from languishing companies driven by speculation.

A real bottom or another leg down?
Of course, there's no foolproof method for timing a market bottom. But CAPS has a great balance of both quantitative and qualitative resources available on 5,400 stocks, and even a nifty stock screening tool to help investors quickly zero in on potential investment opportunities.

I've used the CAPS screener to find $100 million-plus companies that have seen their stock price appreciate by at least 15% in the past 13 weeks even while they remain at least 25% below their 52-week high.


CAPS Rating
(out of 5)

Price Change

% Below 52-Week High

Jamba (Nasdaq: JMBA)




AVI BioPharma (Nasdaq: AVII)




Keryx Biopharmaceuticals




Source: Motley Fool CAPS.
Results from March 19 through June 15.

AVI BioPharma's shares have gotten a boost after it shared positive results of an early stage clinical study for its drug to treat genetic muscle-wasting disease. But smoothie retailer Jamba holds a one-better, four-star rating in CAPS, as members see more potential for Jamba's stock to beat the broader market.

The bottom case
CAPS members cite several reasons why Jamba may be looking nowhere but up today. Jamba's restructuring has many investors optimistic about improved financial performance, and recent trends of consumers' seeking healthier food and drinks improves its long-term prospects. With upscale health food grocer Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq: WFMI) posting soaring earnings in its most recent quarter, investors like the broader signs that consumers are willing to open their wallets again for premium-priced, healthy foods and drinks.

New menu items like oatmeal and hot drinks could attract more customers to Jamb stores. In a move similar to Burger King's (NYSE: BKC) move to bring frozen crinkle-cut fries to grocery stores, Jamba now has a line of frozen bars aimed to increase customer exposure to its brand. It's also been making progress in refranchising a number of its stores as part of a larger strategy to slim down and sees tremendous growth potential overseas. While Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM) plans a big move to open 500 more restaurants in China this year, Jamba has its own region of Asia in its sights with plans to open about 200 franchise locations in South Korea over the next 10 years.

Or further to fall?
But not all investors are sold on Jamba's prospects, as the company faces a tough competitive environment. For instance, Jamba isn't alone in trying to expand its menu in the breakfast niche and other alternative markets -- McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) has tested oatmeal in 600 stores in the Northeast, and the warm breakfast food is already on Starbucks' menu.

Some are wary of Jamba's small size, as keeping up with deep-pocketed competitors can be a tall order while trying to establish consistent earnings. So far, restructuring efforts haven't yielded profits as refranchising steps dragged on fiscal-first-quarter revenue, similar to the effects of refranchising efforts by Krispy Kreme (NYSE: KKD) on its first-quarter results. Jamba ended up in the red again in its first quarter, leaving some investors with reservations that the turnaround efforts will pan out as well as the company hopes.    

What's your call?
About 94% of the 786 CAPS members rating Jamba are bullish and see it outperforming the broader market. For my part, I believe Jamba will do better with its new structure going forward, but I'm not so certain that significant profits will result.

But what ultimately counts is your own opinion; CAPS is just there to help you form it. The best part is that the Motley Fool CAPS database is all free, and you can even add your own insight on any of the 5,400 stocks that our 165,000-plus members have covered.

The Motley Fool Stock Advisor service looks for companies with strong management poised to beat the market over the long haul. To see all the stocks that have helped Tom and David Gardner beat the market by 63 points on average, take a free 30-day trial.

Since getting new sneakers, Fool contributor Dave Mock is showing a little more spring in his step. He owns shares of Starbucks. Whole Foods Market and Starbucks are Stock Advisor selections. Motley Fool Options has recommended a bull call spread position on Yum! Brands. The Fool's disclosure policy sometimes gets wound too tight and needs a deep-tissue massage.