A gas flare is seen at an oil well site on July 26, 2013 outside Williston, N.D. ©  Andrew Burton, Getty Images

Compiled from StockScouter ratings by Verus Analytics

For the second straight week, StockScouter’s latest list of 10 stocks to watch is gushing with oil companies. And leading the pack once more is Kodiak Oil & Gas (KOG).

Shares of Denver-based Kodiak climbed 5.6 percent in the past week after appearing atop StockScouter's April 11 list, besting the S&P 500’s ($INX) 1.7 percent gain.

Other energy holdovers from last week's picks include ConocoPhillips (COP), up 6.5 percent in the past week, and Devon Energy (DVN), up 4 percent. New energy-sector additions include EOG Resources (EOG) and Williams Cos. (WMB).

Another holdover from last week is AmBev S.A. (ABEV). This South American brewery and beverage company has ranked among StockScouter’s top 10 picks every week since March 21 -- and has risen 8.5 percent in that time.

Shares of Kodiak Oil & Gas get a '10' from the StockScouter rating system on MSN Money, the highest score possible. Based on StockScouter's analysis, shares of KOG are expected to significantly outperform the market over the next six months with average risk.

Read the full Scouter report on Kodiak Oil & Gas here.

StockScouter Top 10 for April 18

Company

Sector

Dividend yield

Forward P/E

Scouter score

Kodiak Oil & Gas (KOG)

Oil and gas

NA

17.1

10

ConocoPhillips (COP)

Oil and gas

3.7%

11.39

AT&T (T)

Telecommunications

5.1%

11.7

9

Devon Energy (DVN)

Oil and gas1.4%11.49

EOG Resources (EOG)

Oil and gas0.5%15.49

Verizon (VZ) 

Telecommunications

4.5%

11.5

9

Williams Cos. (WMB)

Oil and gas infrastructure

3.9%

27.3

9

AmBev S.A. (ABEV)

Breweries & beverages

0.6%

23.3

10

American Realty Capital Properties (ARCP)

Real estate investment trust (REIT)

7.0%

35.6

10

Adobe (ADBE)

Software

NA

32.1

10

StockScouter beats the market

We think the StockScouter rating system developed by Verus Analytics for MSN Money is one of the best tools you can use when you're trying to decide where to invest.

StockScouter looks for stocks whose business fundamentals, price behavior, valuation and stock-ownership characteristics appear to predict a rising price in the future, based on how those factors have influenced stock prices in the past.

The system assigns each stock an expected six-month return and balances that return against the stock's expected volatility.

Scouter rates stocks on a scale of 1 to 10, and ratings can change daily. Ratings and data in the chart above were current as of this article's publication date.

In addition to the daily top 10 list described above, StockScouter is used by investment research firm Verus Analytics (previously known as the quantitative business unit of Gradient Analytics) to generate a monthly benchmark portfolio of stocks that, refreshed monthly, has outperformed the market since its inception in August 2001.

An investor who began in 2001 by investing in each of the benchmark portfolio's top 10 stocks at the start of the month, selling them at the end of the month and then starting fresh with a new group of 10 stocks, would have generated returns, before trading costs and taxes, of 1,069 percent through March 31, 2014.

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Writer Jon Markman, at the time a columnist for MSN Money, collaborated with company researchers on the tool.

Markman suggested rolling over the top 10 stocks every six months to hold down trading costs, a strategy that might be a better fit for most investors; that would yield different results, which would vary based on your starting point.

Performance through March 31, 2014

Full 50 position portfolio    

Index

1 month

3 month

6 month

1 year

Since
inception

Average
annual
return

Portfolio

1.0%

2.2%

12.1%

16.7%

593.6%

17.0%

Nasdaq

-2.5%

0.5%

11.3%

28.5%

107.1%

7.8%

S&P 500

0.7%

1.3%

11.4%

19.3%

54.6%

4.6%

DJIA

0.8%

-0.7%

8.8%

12.9%

56.4%

4.6%

Top 10 portfolio

Index

1 month

3 month

6 month

1 year

Since
inception

Average
annual return

Portfolio

2.2%

2.6%

15.0%

9.3%

1,069.1%

21.2%

Nasdaq

-2.5%

0.5%

11.3%

28.5%

107.1%

7.8%

S&P 500

0.7%

1.3%

11.4%

19.3%

54.6%

4.6%

DJIA

0.8%

-0.7%

8.8%

12.9%

56.4%

4.6%

Inception: August 2001