Successful investing requires you to think independently and stick to your convictions. That's hard enough with stocks that are generally popular. After all, in the stock market, there's a seller for every buyer. But it gets even tougher with stocks that can't seem to find good press or bullish investors anywhere. Of course, defying popular opinion has led many contrarian investors to great returns.

In that spirit, I've headed to Motley Fool CAPS to dig up some unloved stocks that have delivered big gains to shareholders over the past month. Our community of investors has put each of these companies on the bottom two rungs, out of five, of the CAPS rating scale:

Stock

30-Day Return

One-Year Return

Current CAPS Rating

DryShips (Nasdaq: DRYS)

36.1%

356%

**

TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO)

31%

57.8%

**

Mannatech (Nasdaq: MTEX)

28.8%

(49.1%)

**

Micron Technology (NYSE: MU)

19.1%

(33.9%)

**

Priceline.com (Nasdaq: PCLN)

15.9%

135.7%

**

Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA)

14.5%

(19.9%)

**

Ballard Power Systems (Nasdaq: BLDP)

10.8%

(23%)

*

Data provided by Motley Fool CAPS as of Feb. 27.

Now, given CAPS' knack for accurately gauging winners and losers, I'm not recommending that you run out and buy these stocks! An index set up to short CAPS' least-liked stocks has outperformed just under 98% of all other CAPS players. That said, CAPS players have proved overly negative on high-performing stocks such as Crocs and DryShips. Are any of the other stocks in the table above the same sort of undercover rockets?

Do research? You're kidding!
That's right. The best way to figure out whether any of these stocks is worth considering for your portfolio (real or CAPS) is to roll up those sleeves and dig in a bit. What we're looking for here are stocks that have good fundamentals despite the lack of popularity -- a profitable business, good management, and some decent growth prospects.

How does this bring us to Comcast? There have been a number of CAPS All-Stars over the past few weeks telling us why. From the business and growth angle, slade15342 wrote less than a week ago:

As Morningstar states, [Comcast is] the only cable company in position to offer the 'triple threat' service package. And they have a broad audience, which means more channels will want to join, which in turns brings in a broader viewer base.

Meanwhile, commenting on management, fellow All-Star ChrisGraley wrote a few days earlier:

What's this, Comcast is actually thinking about shareholders when making decisions? Looks like the old dog has learned some new tricks.

The latter comment gets at what has been driving a lot of the excitement around Comcast recently. When the company announced its earnings for the quarter ended in December -- which, by the way, were above analysts' estimates -- it also announced that it will start paying a quarterly dividend and will use its $6.9 billion buyback authorization by the end of 2009.

The announcement was likely the result of some saber rattling by major shareholder Chieftain Capital, who had been calling for the ousting of the company's CEO. Regardless of the reasoning, though, the move has been seen as very shareholder-friendly -- if for no other reason than the fact that the buyback could put some life in Comcast's ailing stock.

So what's your take? Is there good reason to get more bullish on Comcast right now? Head over to CAPS and let the community of more than 84,000 Fools know what you think. While you're there, you can start your research on any of the other stocks listed above or any of the 5,000-plus stocks on CAPS.

More CAPS Foolishness:

Priceline is a Stock Advisor pick. You can test-drive any of the Fool newsletters free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer didn't see these particular moves coming, but he's rarely surprised at Mr. Market's general tomfoolery. You can check out Matt's CAPS portfolio here, or visit his blog. He does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool's disclosure policy is never going to give you up, it's never going to let you down, and it's definitely never going to run around and desert you.