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 garners CAPS' top ratings, but hasn't yet caught analysts' attention, could be your next home run investment.
Wall St. Picks
Source: Yahoo! Finance; Motley Fool CAPS; NA = not available.
Remember, without much 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
Having already benefited from positive midstage trials for its drug therapies targeting ovarian and prostate cancer, biotech Exelixis was the subject of some buyout speculation that helped send its shares higher still. Its shares pared back some of their early gains when no deal materialized, but then the FDA granted orphan-drug status to its XL-184 drug, and they have been climbing again. One can easily surmise that takeover rumors will begin again.
While sanofi might not be in the running, it's easy to see other pharmaceuticals becoming interested in Exelixis. Yet even if it's destined to go it alone, its strong portfolio makes it likely the drugmaker will deliver on its promise, which is enough for CAPS member joecourt, who has personal reasons for hoping for its success:
My father was recently diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He is also the person who introduced me to investing, and to The Motley Fool. XL 184 (the new drug that Exelixis is testing) is not used to treat my fathers type of cancer, but I hope that its further development will not only lead to positive steps in the types of cancer it is used to treat, but many other types of cancer.
Nearly 2,500 CAPS members have weighed in on the biotech, with 96% rating Exelixis to outperform the broad market averages. You can shape the opinion over on the Exelixis CAPS page and then add the stock to the Fool's free portfolio tracker.
What do investors prefer?
It's difficult to see sin stocks like Playboy
On the second hand, Rick's was done in by the economy, with ill-timed deals like the one where it opened a Las Vegas strip club just before the tumbleweeds blew into town. Yet while the Las Vegas club is still a money loser, Rick's has been able to work its way back to a profit. As revenues crept back up, profits soared 165%.
A precision investment
Maybe the short-sellers don't think Rubicon Mineral's Phoenix project will pan out like it's supposed to, with the potential to become a world-class mine should it reach the 13 million to 16 million ounces of gold that are expected. But Goldcorp
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.
Exelixis is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers choice. The Fool owns shares of Exelixis and Rubicon Minerals. 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.