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

If we knew in advance that Quality Systems (Nasdaq: QSII) would return more than 1,800% 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 want to know beforehand which stocks will grow tens of thousands of percent in value over the years. That's where Motley Fool CAPS comes in.

The 83,000-plus professional and novice investors in CAPS rarely agree on a stock's prospects. Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation Embraer (NYSE: ERJ) is a well-respected, top-rated stock, but 15 of the 438 CAPS players to rate it still believe it will underperform 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, Trailing 12 Months

Dorman Products (Nasdaq: DORM)





Masisa (NYSE: MYS)





ATS Medical (Nasdaq: ATSI)





California First National Bancorp (Nasdaq: CFNB)





Liberty Global (Nasdaq: LBTYB)





Sources: Motley Fool CAPS and Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's. NA = not applicable.

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.

Sit back and relax
The housing market is in the dumps here at home, but that doesn't mean it is elsewhere. Homebuilding continues apace in Latin America, with Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina expected to lead the way in 2008. Like the U.S. boom that carried a number of other industries higher, expect to see Latin America's surge to push ancillary businesses with it.

Among them will be the furniture market, which obviously will benefit from more houses being built. Latin Americans in their new homes will need somewhere to sit and sleep, and that's good news for Masisa, one of the leading wood-products companies for the furniture market. It manufactures medium-density fiberboard (MDF), particleboard, and oriented strand board (OSB) for use in furniture and moldings. Though it sells to the U.S. and has seen some impact from the slowdown here, its primary market is Latin America, and the boom has led to rising prices.

As a result, fourth-quarter results showed revenues rising 16%, operating income jumping 66%, and earnings per share jumping 44%. The gross margin, too, improved from 24% to 27% on the strength of price increases and new business in Vietnam. Although solid board sales were off because of the U.S. market, our nation makes up only 15% of its net revenues, down from 22% last year. Brazil and Argentina have more than made up for the faltering housing industry here.

On Masisa, CAPS player WilliamCrook2003 is able to see the forest for the trees. As long as trees continue to grow in South America, he says, the company will continue to make a profit.

CAPS All-Star steelpoker, with a 94.39 player rating, concurs that Masisa as a commodities gem hidden away from the view of most analysts and investors.

Let's hear from you
How about your take on these or other "obvious" winning investments? Is this a chance to dig deep with your portfolio to mine 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.

Quality Systems and Embraer are Stock Advisor selections. Everyone thinks the 30-day trial subscription is something you ought to try now.

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.