When asked for the secret of his success, baseball player Wee Willie Keeler replied, "Hit 'em where they ain't." What worked for Willie at the plate applies equally well in investing.
Seeking stocks that others ignore, shun, or simply forget gives individual investors like you an edge over the professionals. When Wall Street turns a blind eye, you have a chance to get in before these stocks get discovered -- or rediscovered -- and start taking off.
Below, we'll check out companies with only a handful of analyst coverage, then pair our list with the opinions of the Motley Fool CAPS community. A stock that earns CAPS' top ratings, but hasn't yet caught analysts' attention, could be your next home run investment.
Wall Street Picks
5-Year EPS Growth
Ascent Solar Technologies
NIVS IntelliMedia Technology
Source: Yahoo! Finance; NA = not available.
Remember, without analyst support, you'll have to do your own scouting to see whether these stocks deserve a spot on your portfolio's roster. Don't just buy or sell them based solely on their appearance here.
Hiding in plain sight
Copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) solar cells are achieving efficiencies that may put them at a more competitive price point faster than previously figured. And because Ascent Solar Technologies became the first high-power flexible CIGS module manufacturer to complete IEC 61646 certification, it can aggressively push into the building-integrated photovoltaic market, where rooftop panels are added afterwards.
Crystal silicon panel maker SunPower
Its shares went up fast, so some investors like CAPS member randomtask16 wrote that Ascent Solar Technologies is due for a short-term pullback. Indeed, shares have fallen about 30% from the recent highs. Now 92% of those rating the company think it will beat the market; you can add your opinion on the Ascent Solar Technologies CAPS page.
All charged up
Canadian gold miner Crystallex International is subject to the whims of gold's movements. Its shares fell sharply one day, then fell again just a few days later. Yet as much as Crystallex, Barrick Gold
The company's principal asset is its interest in the Las Cristinas gold project in Bolivar, Venezuela, but it has been waiting, hat in hand, on the mining ministry's doorstep for permission to begin work there.
Although 89% of the CAPS members rating Crystallex have indicated they think it will outperform the market, with no revenues coming in and a going-concern notice from its auditor, this is definitely a high-risk investment.
Keep an eye on all developments for Crystallex by adding it to your My Watchlist page.
A utility player
A few Chinese small-cap stocks are feeling pressure because of alleged less-than-honest approaches to bookkeeping. CAPS All-Star pennystockguy believes they're ready for some scorching returns, particularly Chinese consumer audio visual products maker NIVS IntelliMedia Technology.
Buying at the open tomorrow. Chinese small cap stocks are going to explode going into 4th quarter. They are popping up everywhere as I do all my various screens of stocks. Whenever you see a significant amount of these small caps at one time that is where you want to put your money on a macro basis. From Aug 1-Oct 15 I was seeing nothing but gold/silver and other small cap miners as well as semi [manufacturing] and semi [equipment].
However, there has been a major shift on the small caps to Chinese stocks. From my experience these shifts can last several months to several quarters.
The CAPS community is pretty optimistic, too, with 99% of the 360 members rating NIVS IntelliMedia Technology believing it will outperform the broad market averages. Let us know on the company's CAPS page whether this is a big opportunity.
Swing for the fences
When seeking investments where no one else is looking, Motley Fool CAPS is the best place to start your own research. Read a company's financial reports, scrutinize key data and charts, and examine the comments your fellow investors have made, all from a stock's CAPS page.
Sign up today for the completely free service and tell us whether these hidden stock opportunities will help us go one up on Wall Street.
First Solar is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.