There are plenty of strategies for picking stock winners, from finding low P/E stocks to seeking companies selling at a discount to their future cash flows. At the small-cap investment service Motley Fool Hidden Gems, even in this market, the analysts are able to stay ahead of the pack by finding undervalued stocks that Wall Street and investors have ignored.

But what if we could whittle down our list of prospects beforehand, to find those whose engines are just getting warmed up?

Using our investor intelligence database at Motley Fool CAPS, I screened for stocks that were marked up by investors before their share prices rose over the past three months. My screen returned just 134 stocks when I ran it, no doubt reflecting the market's turmoil during that time, and included these recent winners:

Stock

CAPS Rating 
7/19/10

CAPS Rating 
10/19/10

Trailing 13-Week
Performance

RSC Holdings

**

***

50.1%

Ivanhoe Energy

**

***

47.3%

J. Crew Group (NYSE: JCG)

**

***

37.2%

Source: Motley Fool CAPS Screener; trailing performance from Oct. 22 to Jan. 19. CAPS Rating is out of 5 stars.

J. Crew Group, in fact, was previously picked as a stock ready to run in October, and represented a period when the market rose by 9%. But while this screen might tell us which stocks we should have looked at three months ago, we'd rather find the stocks that we ought to be looking at today. I went back to the screener and looked for stocks that were just bumped up to three stars or better, sport valuations lower than the market's average, and haven't appreciated by more than 10% in the past month.

Of the 53 stocks the screen returned, here are three that are still attractively priced, but which investors think are ready to run today:

Stock

CAPS Rating 
10/12/10

CAPS Rating 
1/11/11

Trailing 4-Week 
Performance

P/E Ratio

Goldcorp (NYSE: GG)

**

***

(9%)

23.1

Kroger (NYSE: KR)

**

***

(1%)

12.6

Unisys (NYSE: UIS)

**

***

5.6%

4.6

Source: Motley Fool CAPS Screener; price return from Dec. 23 to Jan 19. CAPS Rating is out of 5 stars.

You can run your own version of this screen over on CAPS; just remember that the data's dynamically updated in real time, so your results may vary. That said, let's examine why investors might think these companies will go on to beat the market.

Goldcorp
When the price of gold was just finding its legs last year, and like the tech-supported stock market of the late 1990s seemed to hit new highs every week, gold miners like Goldcorp, Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX), and AngloGold Ashanti closed out their hedge books to benefit from its rise.

Now governments globally are trying to apply the airbrakes to the inflation they helped to create and gold prices have been pulling back. There seem too many factors advocating for greater inflation to come to think gold will go into free fall -- Ben Bernanke, after all, thinks a higher stock market is an indicator of his quantitative easing programs' success and not just another asset bubble -- it's always possible gold does calve off large chunks of value.

Goldcorp itself is down 11% year to date, but with more than 2,000 CAPS members weighing its fate, 93% still see a glittering opportunity, rating it to outperform the broad market averages. You can add it to your watchlist and stay on top of all the Foolish news and analysis as they develop.

Kroger
Competitive pressures keep eating away at the margins of grocery store chains like Kroger and SUPERVALU (NYSE: SVU). Both have reported major earnings disappointments in recent months, and as the economy improves, the desire to attract more consumers to their aisles pushes the stores to keep a lid on prices. Eating rising costs can only be allowed to progress so far, but as the largest chain Kroger seems best able to rise to the challenge.

Kroger's shares sold off sharply after its earnings report, but CAPS member RankinCP thinks the grocery store is now in the express checkout lane.

[Kroger] is the best food play in the market. I'm going long after yesterdays sell off. Stores are impressive, prices are fair, food inflation will hurt other like stores, but not so much Kroger.

Unisys
Last October CAPS member johnnywong expected an agreement between Unisys and Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) to spur much needed growth as the latter sought out enterprise and government contracts. Steve Jobs admitted on the prior quarter's earnings call it was losing that space because it hadn't been pushing hard enough. But now with Verizon to soon be selling the iPad and the iPhone, Apple will be pushing hard to grab those markets back.

Indeed, Apple's Tim Cook says the iPad is being deployed or piloted in 80% of the largest corporations today, and 88 of the Fortune 100 companies are testing or using the iPhone.

You can add the technology services specialist to the Fool's free portfolio tracker, then head over to the Unisys CAPS page and let us know whether it will be yet another company able to ride Apple's coattails higher.

Three for free
Are these companies still a good value and ready to make their move? I'm heading over to CAPS to mark them to outperform the broader averages. If you agree join me there, or let us know in the comments section below whether you think these or any other stocks are starting to rev their engines.

Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. The Fool has written puts on Apple. The Fool owns shares of Apple and SUPERVALU. 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. 

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.