The Fool community has chosen these shares to deliver supersize returns.
There's always an extra buzz in Paulypilot's Pub at this time of year, as the annual Nicky Fraser Share Competition gets into gear.
The contestants -- numbering 157 this time around -- have picked the shares they think will top the charts for 2012; and the company write-ups, required to validate the entries, are already coming thick and fast.
This year, the competition is being run by TheMinx, who made a slight tweak to the format. Contestants were asked for two share picks: one that hadn't been selected by anyone else, and one that didn't have to be a unique pick.
Thus, in addition to the usual host of individual share ideas, the competition reveals this year's most popular high-risk/high-reward bets (high risk/high reward because you're not going to win the comp with lumbering giants such as Vodafone (LSE: VOD) or GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK)).
So, which companies in TheMinx's list of entries have been most popularly backed by Fools to rocket in 2012?
Lloyds Banking Group
Part-nationalised bank Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) comes joint top in the popularity stakes with six nominations, and a starting price of 25.9p.
The black horse -- which has one of the most active company discussion boards on the Fool site -- has got off to a flyer, with the share price now at 29.2p.
Our oil and gas discussion board is also a favourite haunt with many Fools, and the share comp typically attracts plenty of selections from this sector.
Joining Lloyds with six nominations is Coastal Energy (LSE: CEO), a mid-cap exploration and production company with assets in Thailand. The starting share price of this one was 9,473p.
Another oily is the first of three companies that attracted five nominations: Aminex (LSE: AEX) is a real penny share -- starting price 4p -- and has a sizeable Foolish following.
The principal focus areas of this £32m company are the coastal margin of Tanzania and the US onshore Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana.
Video security solutions firm IndigoVision (LSE: IND) has been a long-standing favourite with the regulars in Paulypilot's Pub, and has a dedicated discussion board.
Listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), and valued at £25m, the shares started the share comp at 327.3p.
Software Radio Technology
Also listed on AIM, and valued at £25m, Software Radio Technology (LSE: SRT) is a maritime identification and tracking software specialist.
Shares in this firm were trading at 25.6p at the competition start, and BobHellen's impressive write-up of the company has so far attracted most recommendations from readers.
Wisdom of crowds
The company write-ups are what really make the Nicky Fraser Share Competition for me, and I'm looking forward to reading those for Lloyds, Coastal, Aminex and IndigoVision.
If none of the five popular picks grab you as being worthy of further investigation, there are already plenty of write-ups of other companies to get your teeth into -- and there'll be a lot more gracing the board before the end of February write-up deadline.
So far, in addition to several oil explorers, the most recommended posts include companies as diverse as machinery and instrumentation firm Molins (LSE: MLIN), cruise ship operator All Leisure Group (LSE: ALLG) and yellow pages outfit Yell Group (LSE: YELL).
Will the wisdom of crowds prevail, and one of the popular five selections win the day? Or will an overlooked gem be the champion choice of 2012?
Don't forget, though, that most of the share comp picks are high-risk bets and the write-ups are generally emphasising the bull case. Don't take anything on trust! As we say on the Fool, DYOR -- do your own research -- before making any investment.
And let's hope for some big winners in 2012!
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> The Motley Fool owns shares in GlaxoSmithKline.