This article is part of our Rising Star portfolio series.

The field of special situations can be a happy hunting ground. As Joel Greenblatt details in his book You Can Be a Stock Market Genius, special-situation investing led him to 50% annualized returns for a decade. That type of return transforms a $1 investment into $52 in just 10 years.

Such special situations are created by transactions that transform the business -- spinoffs, reorganizations, and recapitalizations, to name a few. But the value created by such transactions often isn't reflected in financial statements, so agile investors can get a jump, and a good price, on these stocks before they appreciate to full value. Also, these situations can be complicated, but it's this transactional complexity that often creates value.

Situation

Timeline

Tesoro (NYSE: TSO) / Tesoro Logistics (NYSE: TLLP)

April 20, 2011

Tessera Technologies (Nasdaq: TSRA) / Imaging and optics business

Unclear

Sears Holdings (Nasdaq: SHLD) / Orchard Supply Hardware

Unclear

Tesoro used an IPO to raise about $250 million for its logistics unit. The logistics unit owns pipelines, storage, and terminals, including a crude-oil-gathering system in the Bakken shale-Williston Basin area, eight refined products terminals, and five short-haul pipelines in Salt Lake City. The company planned to pay a 6.8% yield at its initial price midpoint of $20. With the recent move up in price, Tesoro Logistics should yield about 5.4%. Add Tesoro or Tesoro Logistics to your watchlist.

Tessera is considering whether it might spin off its imaging and optics business. The unit provides inexpensive but high-quality camera capabilities in consumer electronics and has been increasingly adding revenue to the business. The company hired GCA Savvian Advisors to advise on the best course of action, which could include a spinoff. Add Tessera to your watchlist.

Sears Holding has decided to spin off Orchard Supply Hardware, an 89-store chain in California. The company had just $8.7 million in earnings in 2010 and dropped to a loss in the latest quarter. The company will have about $340 million in debt when it is spun off. Add Sears to your watchlist.

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This article is part of our Rising Star portfolio series, where we give some of our most promising stock analysts cold, hard cash to manage on the Fool's behalf. We'd like you to track our performance and benefit from these real-money, real-time free stock picks. See all of our Rising Star analysts (and their portfolios) here.

Jim Royal, Ph.D., does not own shares of any company mentioned here. 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.