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6 Great Stocks You've Never Heard Of


Virtually every investor has heard about Apple (symbol AAPL), the Cupertino, Cal., tech phenom that doubled in value over the past two years and is now the world's biggest company by stock market capitalization. But did you know that the shares of a little fertilizer company based in Newport Beach, Cal., have trounced Apple's?

That's right. While the shares of Apple, at $597, have roughly doubled since October 2010, the shares of American Vanguard (AVD) have soared by about 400% over the same period. So, if you had invested $1,000 in Apple two years ago, your investment would be worth $1,844 today; if you had invested the same amount in American Vanguard, it would be worth $4,290. Of course, with just $304 million in sales (compared with Apple's $108 billion), the company is just a fraction of Apple's size.

American Vanguard and many small companies like it fly under the radar of the vast majority of investors. Typically, few analysts cover these companies, so they're tough to ferret out. We've dug up six little-known outfits that have been growing at a heady pace, in terms of both profits and share price, and are still worth your consideration. Here they are, in alphabetical order. (Analyst estimates are provided by Thomson Reuters.)

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