Ever since gold, silver and oil prices took a nasty spill last week, the Street has been abuzz with speculation that the commodities bubble may finally have popped.
A dismal U.S. jobs report showing new claims for unemployment benefits up by 43,000 probably shoulders some of the blame for the tumble. But it's likely that oil prices also reacted to higher than expected inventory, and disappointingly low factory orders in Germany.
Adding insult to injury, the emergence of signs pointing toward an economic slowdown in BRIC powerhouses China and India -- both countries recently raised interest rates to curb consumption and runaway inflation.
Which means that we may be in for "a bit of a ride," according to Matthew Nelson, a trader at Spreadex.
"With silver falling around 30% from recent all-time highs, and all other metals following a similar path due to global demand fears, traders are concerned about the near-term growth prospects of companies."
Patrick Connolly of AWD Chase de Vere seconds this opinion, positing that, "while the long-term outlook for commodities remains fairly positive, investors must be prepared to accept high levels of volatility and potentially significant short-term losses."
In the wake of a commodities crash, which companies will be able to weather the storm -- and even turn a profit off of it?
To help you find ideas, we went back in time, and identified a list of about 400 companies that outperformed the S&P 500 during the most recent commodity bubble crash, which occurred between June 2008 - February 2009.
We narrowed down the list by only focusing on companies that have been dumped by institutional investors over the current quarter.
Big money managers may be betting against these names -- but considering the track record of these companies under past market conditions that mirror's today's commodity pullback, are these companies being underestimated? (To access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas, click here.)
List sorted by the size of relative institutional selling. (Note: All price data reflects changes between June 2008 - February 2009).
1. Strayer Education
2. O'Reilly Automotive
3. Family Dollar Stores
4. ITT Educational Services
6. Myriad Genetics
9. 99 Cents Only Store
10. Lincare Holdings
Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the stocks mentioned above. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research. Note: The numbers on top of items represent the forward P/E ratio, if available.
Kapitall's Eben Esterhuizen does not own shares of any companies mentioned.
The Fool owns shares of Strayer Education. 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. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.