Most investors don't keep tabs on their companies' fundamental values. That's a mistake. If you take the time to read past the headlines and crack open a filing now and then, you're in a much better position to spot potential trouble early. Better yet, you'll improve your odds of finding the underappreciated home run stocks that provide the market's best returns.

This is especially true when investing in emerging markets where crazy price swings are the name of the game. We can help you keep tabs on your companies with MyWatchlist.com, our free, personalized stock-tracking service. Here are three stocks from my own watchlist.

1. Ivanhoe Energy (NYSE: IVAN)
Chinese small-cap oil stocks such as China Natural Gas (Nasdaq: CHNG) and China North East Petroleum (NYSE: NEP) have taken a beating the past year. Like the previous two, Ivanhoe gets most of its oil and gas from China, but the company is also investing to become more diversified by developing two large oil and gas projects, one in Ecuador and the other in Canada. The kicker, however, is a technology Ivanhoe acquired in 2008, a patented heavy oil upgrading process called HTL. As CAPS All-Star GREYGOLD explained last year:

With this company the sky could be the limit. Let's look at the facts. First this company has developed an exclusive technology called HTL. This technology is able to upgrade heavy oil, like the kind found in tar sands, into more valuable lighter oil and do it cheaper and faster than ever before. So what does this mean? It means while other companies are struggling to squeeze a profit from heavy, less valuable oil, this company has the ability to transform this oil into more expensive, easier to market oil up to 20,000 bpd. This also gives the company the chance to produce additional revenue from leasing their technology to other oil companies.

I would like to see Ivanhoe's price come down before investing to compensate for the speculative nature of the company, so I'm putting Ivanhoe on my watchlist to keep an eye on it. 

2. Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU)
Baidu is China's leading search engine and a favorite among growth investors. Currently trading at 81 times trailing-12-month earnings, if Baidu can maintain its growth that valuation may be justified. A double bagger in the past year, Baidu is growing by leaps and bounds. Year-over-year revenue was up 78% and earnings per share were up 137%. Analysts estimate 62% EPS growth this year and 46% next year. Using these estimates, Baidu still isn't cheap at 33 times next year's projected profitability, but the stock is growing so fast that it may never be cheap. If you are looking for a growth stock in China, this could be your best bet.

3. CAPS Weekly Top Stock Idea: ChinaCache (Nasdaq: CCIH)
Each week, I cull a top stock idea from the pitches made on CAPS, The Motley Fool's 170,000-member free investing community. ChinaCache, a pick from last month, caught my eye, since Baidu is one of the firm's customers.

Similar to U.S. firms Akamai (Nasdaq: AKAM) and Level 3 Communications (Nasdaq: LVLT), ChinaCache makes money by using its network of servers to speed up Web page delivery for its customers. As more users in China begin to utilize the Internet, the opportunity facing ChinaCache is huge. To see the pitch selected for CAPS' Weekly Top Stock Idea, click here. If you want to follow my weekly picks you can subscribe to the serie's RSS feed or follow on Twitter: @CAPSTopStocks.

My Foolish bottom line
If you're looking for more information on these companies, add them to your watchlist to keep up with any news in the coming weeks.

Dan Dzombak's musings and articles he finds interesting can be found on his Twitter account: @DanDzombak.

Akamai Technologies and Baidu are Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations. 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.