This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Secret Santa for Stock Pickers

Stock quotes in this article: DAL, FSLR, NWSA, OSTK, VIA.B, CMCSA, DIS

My third present is Overstock.com (OSTK). This has long been a laggard in the e-commerce space, but founder Patrick Byrne, who is most-often blamed for its problems, is slowly stepping away. He's no longer OSTK's biggest shareholder.

More important, the company has figured out how to get value from "big data," using an open source program called Apache Mahout to deliver customized gift recommendations that actually make sense.

Since April, when an SEC investigation of the company's operations ended with no action, the stock is up about 170%. The company is now a prime takeover candidate for any brick-and-mortar operator, and its shareholders are in a receptive mood to hear the pitch.

Finally, we have First Solar (FSLR). First Solar is the first of the solar stocks to rise from the ashes. Its cadmium-telluride technology is unique, protected by patents, and uses what is said to be the waste from other mining operations.

The company has also learned how to sell its panels in bulk by building its own "power plants," and it's starting to make money - about $2.27 per share over the last two quarters.

The smart money is on to this story -- the shares have doubled in price over the last six months. But if you just mention "solar power" to most individual investors they laugh at you. Then they turn away.

Fact is, however, that solar's best days are yet to come. Hawaii has reached "grid parity," the point at which solar power becomes cheaper than what you can buy from your electric company. California is passing that point, too.

More places will follow, as companies like FSLR continue to focus on cutting costs and increasing efficiency, and as new panel-making technologies emerge. Don't let cheap natural gas prices fool you, either. That's actually a benefit to solar because it eliminates the intermittency everyone complains about, what happens when the sun goes down.

So here we have four stocks on the rise, with great prospects, that most small investors don't want to hear about, or read about when I write about them. Consider me your Secret Santa. Merry Christmas.

At the time of publication the author had a position in NWSA.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

2 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,720.39 -84.32 -0.50%
S&P 500 1,934.43 -11.73 -0.60%
NASDAQ 4,390.1970 -31.8880 -0.72%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs