Like the song says, investors are looking for stocks to love in all the wrong places. They'll pile into the momentum stocks everyone else buys, but ignore lesser-known opportunities for fear of straying from the crowd.

Yet the search for undiscovered jewels has informed many of our Motley Fool Hidden Gems picks, from Blackboard to TransDigm. Overlooked by Wall Street and Main Street, and thus undervalued, these stocks hold the best potential to deliver outsized returns.

The Motley Fool CAPS community knows a bargain when it sees one. Below, you'll find several under-the-radar stocks that brim with promise. These companies have garnered 100 or less active recommendations on CAPS, though the community thinks they still have outsized potential.


CAPS Rating
(out of 5)

No. of Active Picks

Est. EPS Growth
Next Year

Global X Silver Miners ETF (NYSE: SIL)




Lear (NYSE: LEA)




Occam Networks (Nasdaq: OCNW)




Source:, Motley Fool CAPS; NA = not available.

Naturally, we want you to look a bit closer at these stocks before buying. Maybe investors are staying away from these stocks for a reason so make sure there's nothing seriously wrong with the company before you plug it into your own portfolio.

Under the radar
For the Fool's silver guru Christopher Barker, Silver Wheaton (NYSE: SLW) has long been a favorite pick to play the precious metal. It was his top stock for this year. Nice call, Chris: Silver Wheaton's up 77% this year, and more than 700% since his November 2008 call! Now he's heartily backing Global X Silver Mines ETF; along with Silver Wheaton, its basket includes other top names like Silvercorp Metals and Hecla Mining (NYSE: HL).

With 98% of CAPS members expecting the silver ETF to beat the market, and no one on Wall Street keeping an eye on it yet, investors still have time to beat the rush. Let us know on the Global X Silver Mines ETF CAPS page whether you think all that glitters is ... silver!

Rev those engines
Auto-parts supplier Lear came out from under court protection last winter, just in time to see Ford (NYSE: F) catch consumer demand driving off at a speedy clip. Although fleet sales remain a concern, even General Motors -- which is preparing to return to the public markets -- is seeing bolder growth.

So if the industry is roaring ahead, then Lear is definitely an auto-parts stock you'd want to own. The big carmakers aren't going anywhere without Lear or Johnson Controls to steer them in the right direction. That probably explains why 90% of the CAPS members who have rated the auto parts supplier believe it will bolt on market-beating returns.

Add Lear to your My Watchlist page, and get all the Foolish news and analysis about this company supplied to you in one convenient place.

End of times
Occam Networks might have been laying low with most investors, and even Wall Street -- only two analysts had picked the stock. But Calix was well aware of it, offering to buy Occam for $171 million. That's a nice 47% premium to the stock's pre-offer trading price.

Occam wasn't the only company working to bring broadband to rural areas. Smaller telecoms like Frontier Communications (NYSE: FTR) and CenturyLink are also wiring up these areas with high-speed Internet and satellite TV offerings.

tjseattle's only regret about his investment in Occam Networks was that he didn't buy more when he had the chance:

I bought this stock twice durning the past 18 months: Should have bought more!! My return has more than doubled. With the pending buyout and the potenial markets that exsist there is money to be made.

Keep a high profile
We've had three stocks today that hold a lot of promise, but possess equally persuasive arguments against them. That's why you need to look beneath the headlines and press releases, to get a fuller picture of where your money is going.

Check into Motley Fool CAPS and tell us whether these low-profile stocks are on their way to higher returns.

Blackboard and Ford Motor are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Blackboard and TransDigm Group are Motley Fool Hidden Gems choices. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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.