Some companies are obviously great investments -- in hindsight. Yet for every stock out there screaming "buy me," others simply give us a nudge and a nod. How can we tell tomorrow's obviously great investments from the thousands of pretenders?
The stars' walk of fame
In the first 20 months we tracked Motley Fool CAPS, the data showed that stocks achieving five-star ratings outperformed the market by 12 percentage points, while newly minted five-star stocks represented the best opportunity to capture those returns. Let's sift through CAPS' proprietary ratings system and find the stocks most likely headed towards superstardom. Here are a handful of four-star firms approaching greatness.
ModusLink Global Solutions
Some of these names might surprise you. ADC Telecommunications, for example, has been providing networking equipment for years. Almost great? Even familiar names can still offer some of the best opportunities. Perhaps we've just forgotten the potential they still hold. The 125,000-plus CAPS members chose these companies as less obvious sources for tomorrow's great buys, so let's see why they might merit your attention.
Undoubtedly, last month's FDA demand that Pain Therapeutics and King Pharmaceuticals
CAPS member SnoopyDancing thinks the joint venture might produce a blockbuster: "New joint venture with King pharma may bring an abuse-free oxycontin to market which would be a blockbuster for the legal pharma market."
Is Reliant reliable?
Sometimes, a company's greatness may hinge not on its future performance, but on its potential returns in the near term. That seems to be the case with Reliant Energy, which is in the midst of a "strategic review" -- code for selling itself or its assets to the highest bidder.
The energy provider recently completed a sale of the Northeastern electricity-marketing assets of its retail subsidiaries to oil and gas company Hess
Reliant found itself in further trouble when Merrill Lynch sued it for terminating a $300 million credit line, which Merrill claims triggered the default of an additional agreement. One analyst suspects Merrill may be trying to force the energy company's hand and possibly take control of its retail power business.
quality,regional utility provider, badly hit by Ike, recently downgraded, trading at a very low price, looks like a time to start a long term position.
A great opportunity for you
With these four-star investments on their way to five-star greatness, it pays to start your own research on these stocks on Motley Fool CAPS. Read a company's financial reports, scrutinize key data and charts, and examine the comments your fellow investors have made, all from a stock's CAPS page.
Sign up today for the completely free service, and let us hear what you have to say about the great and almost-great companies that interest you.
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