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 investors marked up before their share prices rose over the past three months. My screen returned just 78 stocks when I ran it, no doubt reflecting the market's turmoil during that time, and included these recent winners:


CAPS Rating, 12/20/10

CAPS Rating, 3/18/11

Trailing-13-Week Performance

BioSante Pharmaceuticals








Glu Mobile




Source: Motley Fool CAPS Screener; trailing performance from March 18 to June 17.

This screen tells us which stocks we should have looked at three months ago, but we'd rather find the stocks that we ought to be looking at today. So 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 79 stocks the screen returned, here are three that remain attractively priced but that investors think are ready to run today:


CAPS Rating, 3/17/11

CAPS Rating, 6/18/11

Trailing-4-Week Performance

P/E Ratio

Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (Nasdaq: JOSB)





Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS)





Omega Protein (NYSE: OME)





Source: Motley Fool CAPS Screener; price return from May 17 to June 19.

You can run your own version of this screen over on CAPS; just remember that the data is 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.

Jos. A. Bank Clothiers
Despite a fairly heavy and steady diet of promotions, men's tailor Jos. A. Bank Clothiers has been able to expand margins across the board, keeping it ahead of rival Men's Wearhouse (NYSE: MW). The latest earnings report gave investors a bit of a jolt, but I've found the retailer doing brisk business recently, and the general consensus on CAPS seems tailored to the thought that the selloff was too much.

CAPS member gyos23 has confidence that the company is being well managed.

[Jos A Bank] might have missed earnings expectations, but let's not discount the actual numbers put up by the company. I think the market acted irrationally with such a steep selloff. To me? It provided a buying opportunity. The #'s look good relative to its peers. I'm in. Also, the conference call earlier today was a great way to verify how well [Jos A Bank] is being run.

Let us know on the Jos. A. Bank Clothiers CAPS page whether the stock suits your needs.

Considering the state of the economy, it's not surprising that office-supplies retailer Staples is down 35% from recent highs. Businesses are buying little more than the bare essentials -- paper, ink, and toner -- while tech purchases and furniture go wanting.

Now Staples wants to hang its hat on the peg many other retailers are using: mobile-phone sales. It's opening a new website called to offer smartphones. Considering that Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) and Radio Shack (NYSE: RSH) are also pinning their hopes on having cell phones lead the way out of the gloom, it doesn't look promising that Staples will offer anything new except causing lower margins for everyone.

CAPS member MikeBobulinski says Staples is feeling competitive pressures from all sides but ought to be able to rise above the rest: "Looking for the bounce...again, a company puts a realistic view in their guidance, and gets hammered for it. Staples might be pressured in the long haul as their business sees competition from everyone, to Wal-Mart...but they will bounce back when the latest panic on the street subsides."

Add Staples to your personalized version of the Fool's free portfolio tracker, and see whether it's a good investment in the future.

Omega Protein
We all know the health benefits of fish oil. Heart-drug developer Amarin (Nasdaq: AMRN) is working on a triglyceride-lowering fish-oil therapy that won't also raise LDL cholesterol, as competing treatments do. Omega Protein is cashing in on the health trend, too, processing and selling fish meal and fish oil products worldwide.

Revenues in the first quarter jumped 75%, to $56 million, while profit soared sixfold, even though they came in shy of expectations. With consumers attuned to the advantages of fish oil, it could give hope for greater things to come for the sector, meaning you might want to consider an investment in Amarin on the potential that the FDA will approve its therapy.

With 88% of the CAPS members who've rated the company believing that it will outperform the broad market averages, it seems they've gone for the fish-oil salesman hook, line, and sinker. Let us know on the Omega Protein CAPS page whether you think there's anything fishy about this stock.

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.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Wal-Mart and RadioShack. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Wal-Mart, Staples, Cognex, and and creating a diagonal call position in Wal-Mart. Best Buy is a former Motley Fool newsletter service recommendation.

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey owns shares of Best Buy but has no financial position in any of the other stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.