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After checking finviz.com, I was able to identify 5 stocks that are poised for big profits in 2012. They may not be the most well-known stocks, but they each have strong opportunities for major growth. Let’s see what is driving these medium-term opportunities:

ATP Oil & Gas Corp. (ATPG) has had high levels of short interest, but there is good reason to look to this position as a slightly longer-term investment. ATPG is currently trading at $6.65, but its one-year target estimate is expected to exceed $16.40 per share. ATPG is not a terribly large company– it has a market cap of only $339 million – and it has had its issues after BP's Macondo spill, forcing it to the low end of its 52-week range. However, it is priced low compared to its competitors, with a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 6.19 compared to GoodrIch Petroleum’s (NYSE:GDP) forward price-to-earnings ratio of 13.32 times and Petroleum Development Corporation’s (PETD) 30 times. Moreover, ATPG is ripe for speculation. It will likely restructure its debt, it may expand its operations, or it could be acquired. At any rate, its long-term debt comes due in 2015, and something has got to give by then – whatever it is, big profits are likely, as long as you buy while it's still low.

Potash Corp. Of Saskatchewan, Inc. (NYSE:POT) recently traded around $42 per share. While that may be uncomfortably close to its 52-week low of $41.72, for a new buyer, it is great news. After all, POT’s one year target estimate is $68.63, almost $5 per share higher than its 52-week high. POT also has a 0.60% dividend, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.21 and a PEG of just 1.22, indicating it is likely undervalued and that strong growth is predicted.

Further, POT is reporting better numbers than its competitors, BASF SE (OTCQX:BASFY) and Mosaic Co. (NYSE:MOS). POT has stronger quarterly revenue growth, at 63% compared to 14% and 40%, respectively. POT also has higher operating margins, at 42% compared to 13% and 27%, respectively. Further, potash is a commodity, and if more easing comes, in it can provide some hedging opportunities for POT. As such, buying POT has great potential for big profits and, at worst, it means adding a stock to your portfolio that will help hedge your investments.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE:FCX) - If you are considering adding a commodity to your investment portfolio, you could do worse than FCX. It has a dividend yield of 3.30%, which is wonderful, but it is also expected to more than double – it is currently trading at $29.87, and its one-year target estimate is $61.63.

FCX is also outperforming its competition, producing a 50.5% quarterly revenue growth compared to the 10.70% reported by competitor Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE:NEM). FCX also has a lower PEG, just 0.35 compared to NEM’s 1.84. However, the best part about FCX is that it is hedged itself, because it has a copper division as well as a gold division. Copper and gold may not be mutually exclusive, but they are not tied to one another. As such, buying a stake in FCX is marginally safer than investing in a company that mines only one commodity.

SandRidge Energy, Inc. (NYSE:SD) is a cheap stock. Share prices are currently around $5 a share, and it may have fallen enough for Jim Cramer to advocate a selling, but its 1-year target estimate is more than twice that at $12.47. Even if you decided to take a long position in SD and employed call and put options to offset risk, there is still room for big profits. The main thing to remember is that SD is a gas and oil company and, as such, it will be affected by changes in the oil industry and, considering it is constantly exploring new areas, it could strike big at any time. However, the biggest reason to purchase SD is the strides it has made toward better earnings, and the fact that crude (currently close to $80), is not nearly as likely to drop as it probable it will reach a $100 (or more) high, according to Seeking Alpha (see here). SD is worth the risk.

Silver Wheaton Corp. (NYSE:SLW) is another commodity stock expected to double, according to its 1-year target estimate; SLW is trading for $29.16 and its 1-year target estimate is $52.15. It also offers a 0.40% dividend yield, a 0.90 PEG and a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.95, meaning growth is expected around 23%. Further, compared to its nearest competitor, Coeur d’Alene Mines Corporation (NYSE:CDE), SLW has much higher margins and a higher EBITDA. And it's no wonder – SLW is the largest metals streaming company in the world. This means that “it buys streams at low fixed prices and sells the metal at market prices. The streaming strategy allows the company to significantly reduce its operating costs and keep its capital expenditures at a minimum, while still having access to a large amount of silver.” For example, it has fourteen silver agreements and two precious metal contracts in place. In other words, SLW is a great addition to any long portfolio.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Source: 5 Commodity Stocks For Big Gains In 2012