Piggybacking on the picks of great investors and money managers can often lead to big rewards -- especially when the stocks in question are suffering. If Buffett's buying railroads, perhaps you should look there, too. Does Bill Miller think financial stocks are beaten down? Maybe investigating more closely will help improve your own results.

Over on Motley Fool CAPS, our top-rated All-Star players represent the best 20% of our more than 83,000 professional and novice investors. Among them, I'm looking for those who've chosen one- and two-star stocks to outperform the market. The majority of CAPS investors may consider these stocks losers, but if our ace contrarians think otherwise, these picks might be worth a look.

Here are a few stocks that have gotten the nod from the cream of our CAPS investors:


CAPS Rating (out of 5) 

1-Year Return

CAPS All-Star

Player Rating

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)





AirMedia Group (Nasdaq: AMCN)





Sigmatel (Nasdaq: SGTL)





Corinthian Colleges (Nasdaq: COCO)





NA = not available. AirMedia started trading on Nov. 6, 2007.

Typically, I find a low-rated stock that has also enjoyed a large one-year run-up in its stock price, leaving me leery. Sure, stocks can continue to run, but that type of pick's high valuations -- and low ratings -- leave me cold. Not so this week, as only Google is in positive territory. A few months ago, though, that might not have been the case. While the search giant is showing positive returns year over year, it's actually down by about one-third from the high of $747 it reached back in November.

Click here
Does accidentally clicking on a link hurt profitability at Google? Seems like the blogosphere (not to mention the market) was roiled the other day when Internet analyst Henry Blodget -- yes, that Henry Blodget -- wrote that efforts by the search king to improve click quality were an "alarming nugget" Google had not previously disclosed. Considering Google's past comments that bad clicks were one of the reasons it came in light on its revenue, adding that note to the annual report seemed to underscore the potential for further revenue hits.

Yet improving click quality for Google's advertisers isn't exactly new news -- even Blodget admits it was discussed on the conference call -- nor should it be viewed in a negative light. While any short-term reversal of fortune hurts the company, an advertiser looking for quality customers will appreciate Google's efforts to have only "real" customers clicking through.

Searching for a reason
Another point for Google is Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) decision to keep making forays onto its turf by trying to grab hold of Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO). Despite some observers' opinion that Yahoo! just might need to do the deal anyway, the Internet portal hasn't hestitated in seeking help from white knights like Google.

Such uncertainty might have the markets guessing, and investors on Motley Fool CAPS speculate that Google will surprise in the future. CAPS player spaeh1002 wrote just yesterday that with the advertising market growing online, Google will continue to rake in its greatest portion of dollars:

This little uncertainty in the markets and especially with the agressive [Microsoft] moves have presented a great buying opportunity. In the last five years [Google's] revenue have doubled every year, profits have done even better, and still [Google] is [trading] at a P/E of below 50. Yet the online advertising market is growing leaps and bounds, and [Google] is getting a lions share of it.

However, some wonder whether Google's vaunted mantra of "do no evil" is coming undone. For example, CAPS All-Star Strnj1 thinks a backlash is growing that may ultimately undo its success:

Unless Google quickly learns from its mistakes, the buzz on the blogs about Google's outright censorship of sites with which it does not agree and site's popping up such as the "Anti Google" variety that offer links to hundreds of alternative search engines will begin to chisel away at profits as people begin looking for alternatives and "advertisers" begin to realize that the number of hits are dropping rapidly.

First lesson in business... If the customers are not happy, profits fall...

Finding value under rocks
So there you have it -- four low-rated laggards that have gotten big endorsements from some of the best and brightest investors in the CAPS community, although some are always not so sure. If you want to add your two cents on these or any other firms, sign up to join Motley Fool CAPS, absolutely free.

Microsoft is an Inside Value recommendation. A 30-day free trial subscription is a markdown you won't want to miss.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article; you're welcome to see his holdings. Yahoo! is a former Stock Advisor pick. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.