Some stocks simply have such great potential that "everyone" knows they are a good buy today. Yeah, we wish.

If we knew beforehand that Pool Corporation (NASDAQ:POOL) was going to return more than 1,600% over the past decade, we'd have mortgaged the house to the hilt. If we had the inside scoop that Hansen Natural was a 29,000% winner in that time period, we'd have mortgaged your house, too!

In fact, if investing were so easy, we'd all be millionaires. It's easy to see after the fact which companies have been the winning investments. What we need is a way to know beforehand which companies will become the next Microsoft or Wal-Mart, growing tens of thousands of percent in value over the years. But there hasn't been a way.

Until now, that is.

More than 60,000 professional and novice investors have rated stocks on Motley Fool CAPS, and we can check in on their opinions about which stocks will beat the market and which will lose to it. While it's often a tug-of-war between the bulls and the bears, we've identified dozens of stocks that members of CAPS have unanimously chosen to outperform the market.

That's no small feat. Thousands of companies have been rated, and convincing arguments can, and are, made on both sides. For example, Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendation Ctrip (NASDAQ:CTRP) is a top-rated stock, with ratings from more than 2,720 CAPS investors have rated the company. Yet while 2,600 of them think the stock will beat the market, that still means there are more than 120 CAPS investors who don't.

So when you come across a stock that everyone thinks is going to outperform, you've got something special, and we as investors ought to take notice.

Here are a handful of those "obvious" investments.



CAPS Rating

FMC Technology (NYSE:FTI)



Gildan Activewear (NYSE:GIL)



Woodward Governor (NASDAQ:WGOV)



As always, none of the companies on this list should be considered formal recommendations, but rather starting points for further research. What we've done is narrowed your workload by focusing on the companies that CAPS investors are universally expecting to beat the market.

Airport energy food
FMC Technology is a diverse company that not only produces food-processing equipment for the food industry but also makes passenger bridges and cargo loaders for airport terminals. But CAPS players are presumably backing its services to the energy-production industry, given that more than 70% of its revenues come from the manufacturing of high-pressure valves and the like.

CAPS All-Star WCWlooky, with a 99.96 player rating, is one who sees higher oil prices as the catalyst for FMC's future growth:

I am not sure on the timing or catalyst that will send Oil and gas higher and higher. I do feel that it will happen because of limited supply, growing demand and political turmoil in many regions of production.

It was FMC's operating performance, though, that attracted clarkrl2.

I like the way the company is consistently beating the previous year same quarter in both revenue and earnings. The revenue increase for [the fourth quarter of] 06 compared to [Q4] 05 was more than 20%.

Controlling Governor
While Woodward Governor makes control systems for a number of industries, All-Star Starrob thinks its virtual monopoly status in the manufacturing of governors is what sets it apart.

[I've worked as an] Engineer on ships for over 20 years. In all of that time the only company that I can remember that makes governors is Woodward.

They have a virtual monopoly on making governors. Governors control the speed of engines preventing them from overspeeding and keeping them at the correct speed for the correct load.

They make governors for virtually every engine you can imagine ... whether it is steam turbines, diesel engines, gas turbines or airplane engines.

All of the places where governors are [necessary] are in a bull market. [Aerospace], energy generation, the gas exploration industry all use these governors.

Let's hear from you
How about you? We'd love to hear what you think about these companies or any others that you believe are worthy "obvious" winning investments. If you want to add your 2 cents, sign up to join the Motley Fool CAPS community, which is 100% free.

Ctrip is a recommendation of Motley Fool Hidden Gems. A 30-day free trial subscription gives you the chance to govern your portfolio with a look at all of the stock selections that are collectively beating the market by 38 percentage points.

Wal-Mart and Microsoft are recommendations of Motley Fool Inside Value.

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