There can be only one winner in sports. Whether it's the World Series, the Super Bowl, or the Stanley Cup, a single team comes out on top.

But in investing, while one stock may indeed have the greatest return in any one year, there are still many roads that can lead you to profit. To fund our financial security, we don't need to find the "best" stock year after year. Just finding really good ones, really consistently, will help us achieve our goals.

To help do that, let's turn to the 77,000 investors at Motley Fool CAPS. We'll look for CAPS' top-rated stocks -- and then find the companies that our investing community thinks can beat even those superstars. For example, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) -- the maker of all things "i" -- is one of CAPS' highest-rated stocks, and has had a phenomenal year by most accounts: It unveiled its well-done iPhone, selling a cool million faster than anticipated; its market share in computers has reached 8%; and its shares have more than doubled in price so far this year. Yet as good as Apple has been, and as bright as its prospects are (as indicated by its four-star rating), there are companies that rank even higher in investor sentiment.

Finding them is easy. Go to the CAPS page and plug in the ticker for Apple. That takes you to Apple's CAPS page, and just below the search box on the top right is the "Beat this Stock!" button. Click it. This gives you a company with a higher rating. While CAPS shows only one- to five-star ratings, behind the scenes, all companies in CAPS have a numerical ranking. As the service explains, "there is a No. 1 stock in CAPS and a worst-ranked stock in CAPS." If you click enough times, you'll eventually arrive at the World Series winner of stocks in the CAPS universe.

So who ranks better than Apple? Below are six stocks that ranked higher in the estimation of CAPS investors when I pulled them this morning. We'll then take a look at some of the reasons CAPS players think these companies will outperform not only the market, but Apple as well.

Company

1-Year Return

5-year Growth Forecast

CAPS Rating

Apple

112.44%

22.10%

****

iCAD (NASDAQ:ICAD)

(34.29%)

35.00%

****

Enterprise GP Holdings (NYSE:EPE)

0.09%

10.50%

*****

WisdomTree Int'l Utilities Fund (AMEX:DBU)

25.26%

NA

*****

First Trust NASDAQ Clean Edge U.S. ETF Liquid (NASDAQ:QCLN)

44.08%*

NA

*****

Tele Norte Leste Participacoes (NYSE:TNE)

40.04%

17.10%

*****

Horsehead Holding (NASDAQ:ZINC)

(1.18%)**

10.00%

*****

Sources: Yahoo! Finance; Motley Fool CAPS.
* From 2/14/07.
** From 8/10/07.

This is not a list of stocks to buy; instead, it should be a springboard for your own due diligence.

Looking with laser-like focus
Let's look at zinc miner Horsehead. Would it really be better than the iMac maker? More than 11,000 investors have weighed in on the latter with 91% rating it as an "outperform." In contrast, only 99 players have rated newly IPO'ed Horsehead, but all of them give it an "outperform."

Zinc prices have plummeted over the past year, falling from about $2 a pound to just more than $1. Part of the fault may be the meteoric rise in prices in the two years prior, but there's also China's ability to produce more zinc than it needs, thus reducing demand for the metal. Yet a pending change in China's tax laws may make it more expensive to export zinc, which could lead to a recovery in zinc prices. In fact, they've moved up about 10% in just the past few weeks, which could lead zinc producers to become more robust plays.

CAPS player TokyoJoe101 thinks zinc prices have bottomed and will recover from here on out:

This is still a remarkable value, and is just coming out of a dip. I placed a buy order today. Zinc, the base metal, is trading at almost half of its peak (in April '07) for the past year, presumably contributing to the discount in this stock's price. I'll gamble that zinc is nearing its bottom, and the growth of ZINC will offset further declines in the metal's price.

CAPS investor xray028 thinks the company's fundamentals are superb while its valuation is cheap:

ZINC is a major producer in the U.S. and currently has a P/E under 5. Also, its Market Cap is undervalued, as this company is worth close to $1 Billion easy. I [foresee] this company's stock to increase as popularity increases. I call a $28 Target price in the future 12 months.

Is zinc a better play than iPods? Some analysts see a slowdown ahead for Apple's retail efforts, while they're looking for rebounds in metals. But that increase in global market share for computers sure looks exciting.

Just beat it!
So who's got it right? Maybe these companies rate higher than Apple, but will they actually perform better over the year ahead? Go over to Motley Fool CAPS and let us hear what you have to say about your favorite company. Is it the stock to beat?

For every post you make to CAPS or to any Foolish discussion board in the month of December, The Motley Fool will donate $0.02 to charity. So give us your two cents and we'll pay it forward! To learn more about the My 2 Cents campaign and how you can help us raise money for five very Foolish charities, check out our Foolanthropy site.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.