At the start of any year, we often see articles that attempt to zero in on the "Best Stocks for the Coming Year." For 2008, many will emphasize recession-proof stocks, companies unconnected to the housing market, or stocks that can benefit from the booming commodities markets. However, such a short-term focus can be borderline backward-looking, and many stocks featured in such articles may wind up better known as the "Best Stocks of 2007." We're in it for the long haul, and we use forward-looking valuations to seek out firms with sustainable competitive advantages that currently trade at a discount to what they're really worth. With a little patience, we can take advantage of the market's disquiet to root out long-term opportunities.
We've compiled a list of five companies with stocks that are well-positioned to outperform in the coming decade. These firms share two key qualities. First, they possess either a wide or narrow moat that should remain intact--if not widen--through 2018. Second, transient negative news has driven their share prices into bargain territory. Each carries our 5-star rating as of this writing, meaning that their shares can be purchased for considerably less than where we peg their intrinsic values.