3 Stocks Approaching Greatness

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For every stock out there screaming, "buy me," others simply give us a nudge and a nod. While all the attention might be focused on their five-star peers, we can sift through Motley Fool CAPS to find four-star stocks giving us the "high sign" they're approaching greatness. 

These opportunities -- including familiar names and beaten-down companies -- rank higher than most of the other 5,400 starred companies, and it pays to investigate their potential. For consideration today I've got this handful of stocks on their way to fame.

  • Great Panther Silver (ASE: GPL)
  • IMAX (NYS: IMAX)
  • Sequenom (NAS: SQNM)

As the 180,000-plus CAPS members have chosen these companies as less obvious sources for tomorrow's great buys, let's see why they might merit your attention.

A white-hot metal
Shares of Great Panther Silver are down 18% since the company reported earnings last month, and trade at half the value they did at their highs. The market has focused on the ore degradation that first arose in the second quarter and spilled over into the third, leading to an 18% decrease in silver equivalent ounce production. Nor did it help that its metal trader's smelter had issues, leading to delays in concentrate shipments.

But with reserve growth keeping pace with its plan and exploration continuing to expand mineralization, Great Panther could turn into a turnaround story every bit as exciting as Brigus Gold (ASE: BRD) or the potential held in Primero Mining (NYS: PPP) .

CAPS member ThePoulTrend thinks Great Panther has plenty of potential: "Love Silver, and Gold Stocks for the Next Few Years. Great Panther Silver Limited will continue to move up, not to mention their has been talk of a EXK being interested in Buying GPL out."

More than 96% of the 388 All-Star CAPS members rating the silver miner think it will outperform the broad market averages. Put Great Panther Silver on your watchlist, and let us know in the comments section below whether you think the market is disconnected from reality here.

Getting more realistic
The slack market for small-screen technology isn't necessarily a reflection of the conditions present in the big-screen industry. Samsung is pulling out of 3-D television, shaking RealD (NYS: RLD) in the process and throwing into doubt whether the demand exists for the silver screen. The dearth of summer blockbusters left RealD, IMAX, and even Dolby Labs (NYS: DLB) in the doldrums, but fourth-quarter installation guidance by IMAX may change that.

IMAX increased the number of new screens it plans to install from about 35 to between 49 and 59, which, as the Fool's Travis Hoium notes, would allow IMAX to double its theater network every year. Still, the earnings report lacked a lot of the splash of an IMAX movie premiere, so although the stock has bounced off its lows, it still trades at a significant discount to its highs.

The recently released and well-received Martin Scorsese film Hugo might not give Avatar a run for its money, but it continues to show that, done right, technology can really shine while bolstering theater operators' bottom line.

CAPS member thechumley thinks a few more movies due for release will also help investors see the light on IMAX: "I expect a upward trend with catalysts from both MI: Ghost Protocol and Nolan's ever growing obsession that will be evident in Dark Knight Rises."

Tell us in the comments section below or on the IMAX CAPS page whether Hollywood is in for a rude awakening with technology, and add it to your watchlist to see its progress.

Applying itself
Another beaten-down stock the CAPS community is rallying behind is Sequenom. Despite it announcing it would start selling its Down syndrome test MaterniT21 -- albeit two years late -- the market hasn't given it any credence, and despite a brief bounce higher, shares have continued to trade down.

Part of that might have to do with its earnings report, which, while meeting profit expectations, fell below revenue estimates. It seems it's overlooking a great opportunity.

The MaterniT21 test checks the fetal DNA present in the mother's blood for trisomy 21, the most common form of Down syndrome. Safer than amniocentesis, the test can be administered as early as 10 weeks into the pregnancy with better than 99% accuracy. Perhaps investors are waiting to see proof of demand before jumping in.

Not CAPS member bevo002, who has enumerated several reasons why there should only be "bulls and pigs" in Sequenom, including potential partners who would be willing to snap it up: "The technology has enormous intrinsic value. If SQNM lacks the chassis to deploy it, there are several companies that will find the technology to be highly accretive to their existing business development infrastructure."

I've rated Sequenom to outperform the market, but read bevo002's full thoughts on the Sequenom CAPS page, then add the stock to the Fool's free portfolio tracker to see if it can bounce back.

A great opportunity for you
Investor sentiment suggests these four-star investments still seem to be on their way to five-star greatness, but 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.

At the time this article was published Fool contributorRich Dupreyowns shares of Dolby Laboratories, Great Panther Silver, and Primero Mining, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned.Click hereto see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Primero Mining.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of IMAX and Dolby Laboratories. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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