Short-sellers and hedge funds may be shadowy, but sometimes they are the smartest guys in the room. They've done their homework, and they're willing to bet their capital against the crowd -- an investing strategy that can be as lucrative as it is contrarian.
On Motley Fool CAPS, we've also got leading analysts who find the chinks in a company's armor and correctly call its fall. Our "Underdogs" have earned 100 or more CAPS points by correctly predicting that one or more stocks would underperform the market. However, we're going to focus on the stocks these top members expect will outperform the market. If these CAPS investors have scored big by correctly predicting which stocks will fail, it may be worth our while to see which others they think will succeed.
CAPS Rating (out of 5)
Source: Motley Fool CAPS
Not every short sale goes as planned, making shorting a risky proposition. Stock prices can be irrational longer than you have money to stay in the game. So don't use this as a list of stocks to sell or buy -- just the launching pad for further research.
A popular stock?
After a disappointing 2011 that saw Puerto Rican banking giant Popular lose more than half its value, investors have reason to be hopeful the coming year holds the promise of better returns. It's posted three consecutive quarters of profits as the tiny island's economy has stabilized, although loan loss reserves did pop in the most recent period.
Caribbean rival Doral Financial
Puerto Rico's government is also Popular's largest customer, which has almost $1 billion of credit facilities granted to or guaranteed by it, its municipalities, or its public companies. So there should be a level of stability associated with that. As the Fool's Sean Williams notes, Popular sports tier 1 ratios that exceed those of Bank of America and even Wells Fargo.
Still its fortunes are largely tied to those of the idyllic destination and the market has opted to discount it because of that. CAPS member neilepi is looking for the recovery of the financial sector to extend down to the Caribbean and carry Popular higher too.
Recovery stock in recovery sector. Insider buying. Tax-loss sellers will repurchase.
Add Popular to your Watchlist and see if, like the only place in the U.S. that is home to a rain forest, the bank will become an island jewel again.
So much for happy holidays
Toymaker JAKKS Pacific found itself behind the eight ball after lowering full-year guidance, saying no one wanted to play ball this holiday season, forcing it to markdown product.
Investors in rival Hasbro
JAKKS is in a weaker position than either of its larger rivals, though, since it doesn't have the same level of movie tie-ins they do. While that does create a level of risk beyond just being a toymaker, it also opens up additional streams of revenue and allows them to save on marketing expenses since the movie studios carry all the advertising weight. No need for Hasbro to pay on a big ad spend for a Transformers figure when the studio will be promoting the heck out of the film anyway, driving consumers to stores looking for the toys. JAKKS doesn't have that leverage, so it is a riskier proposition.
There's no need to fear...
Underdogs often shine brightest with their backs against the wall. Still, it takes more than a few All-Star picks and a quick paragraph to make buy or sell decisions. Start your own research on these stocks on Motley Fool CAPS where your opinion can still save the day. While there, you can 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.
Fool contributor Rich Duprey owns shares of Hasbro, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America and Wells Fargo, as well as having created a covered strangle position on Wells Fargo. Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Hasbro and Mattel. 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.