Some stocks simply have such great potential that "everyone" knows they're a good buy today. Yeah, right.

If we knew in advance that LabCorp would return over 1,600% over the past decade, we'd have mortgaged our house on it -- and yours, too! It's easy to see which companies have been winning investments after the fact, but we need to know beforehand which stocks will grow hundreds of percent in value over the years. That's where Motley Fool CAPS comes in.

The more than 82,000 professional and novice investors in CAPS rarely agree on a stock's prospects. Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation Satyam Computer (NYSE: SAY) is a well-respected, top-rated stock, but only 818 of the 829 CAPS players to rate it believe it will outperform the market. So when you come across a stock that everyone on CAPS thinks will outperform, you've got something special. Here are a handful of those "obvious" investments.



All-Star Bulls


Return on Capital, TTM

El Paso Pipeline Partners (NYSE: EPB)





National Presto (NYSE: NPK)





Tortoise Capital Resources (NYSE: TTO)





Virtual Radiologic (Nasdaq: VRAD)





012 Smile.Communications (Nasdaq: SMLC)





Sources: Motley Fool CAPS and Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's. Price reflects yesterday's close. N/A = not available, TTM = trailing 12 months.

As always, none of the companies on this list should be considered formal recommendations -- just starting points for further research. We've simply used CAPS to narrow down your workload.

Like, radical, dude
Needing emergency medical treatment during the middle of the night could be a problem if a hospital's radiology department is understaffed. With teleradiology, however, such as that provided by Virtual Radiologic, a CT, MRI, or ultrasound image can be read by radiologists wherever they are available.

Teleradiology transmits digital diagnostic images to radiologists not located on site at the hospital. That means a patient entering an ER in California at 3 a.m. can have the scan read by a radiologist in New York; Sydney, Australia; or Bangalore, India. While that capability has created a lot of opportunity for growth for companies like Virtual Radiologic, it has also generated its share of controversy. The American College of Radiology (ACR), which admits there is a nationwide shortage of radiologists, has also expressed concerns over using international radiologists who might not have the same level of licensing and certification qualifications.

Virtual Radiologic, the second-largest teleradiology company, according to market researchers at Frost & Sullivan, has avoided that problem by primarily contracting only with U.S.-based ACR-certified radiologists. In contrast, Motley Fool Hidden Gems Pay Dirt recommendation NightHawk Radiology (Nasdaq: NHWK) provides preliminary radiological interpretations at its Australia and Switzerland facilities, which are then followed up with final reads by U.S.-based radiologists. The ACR, though, is concerned that such radiologists providing final reads may simply be "signing off" on the preliminary interpretation without more closely examining the films themselves.

Yet NightHawk, like Virtual Radiologic, adheres to ACR guidelines for certification, and the field is expected to enjoy 15% annual growth by 2009, says Frost & Sullivan. That makes for some heady opportunity, though there is resistance among some U.S.-based radiologists.

CAPS investor  spoorts notes that the industry's success is because a range of specialized radiologists are on hand to analyze scans. There are advantages to Virtual's model, he believes, when paired against NightHawk that should allow it to capture greater market share:

In comparing these two companies, I do see some significant differences (I own both).

1. VRAD has the advantage in the more lucrative day final reads. Prelim reads or "wet reads" are more commodity play ... More importantly, VRAD's radiologists are US-centric providing an extensive edge here...

2. Workflow is key -- I have been told VRAD has a technology edge and it's platform is more rad-friendly...

3. Both are remarketing their technology...

You can read his full Top Bull pitch from early January here.

Let's hear from you
How about your take on these or other "obvious" winning investments? Is this a slick chance to oil up your portfolio with the next "buy now" stock? If you want to add your 2 cents, sign up to join the Motley Fool CAPS community, which is 100% free.

NightHawk Radiology is a Hidden Gems Pay Dirt selection. Everyone thinks the 30 days of free stock picks available with the trial subscription is something you ought to try now. Lab Corp and Satyam are both recommendations of Stock Advisor.

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.