Hot Stocks You're Buying Now

Welcome back to another Foolish review of the hottest stocks as ranked by Motley Fool CAPS. We're looking at the three best-performing industries over the past 30 days and your favorite long and short candidates in each.

Coal may be cool, but this week there's cash in caching. Companies such as Rule Breakers recommendation Akamai (Nasdaq: AKAM  ) and Compellent Technologies (NYSE: CML  ) are up 17.2% as a group over the past 30 days.

Suppliers of battery technology are nearly as juiced, up 15.1% since mid-May. Geothermal energy specialists, meanwhile, are warming the hearts of investors with a 16% average return.

According to you, our Foolish readers, the best stocks in these industries to own now -- i.e., those with four or five of the maximum five stars in CAPS -- are:

Company

CAPS Stars

No. of CAPS Ratings

Percent Bulls

30-Day Price Change

EnerSys (NYSE: ENS  )

*****

268

98.1%

21.1%

LSB Industries (AMEX: LXU  )

*****

526

97.3%

5.3%

Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI  )

*****

675

96.6%

(7.6%)

Sources: Motley Fool CAPS, Yahoo! Finance (current as of June 17).

And your favorite short candidates -- i.e., those rated with one or two stars in CAPS -- are:

Company

CAPS Stars

No. of CAPS Ratings

Percent Bears

30-Day Price Change

Ener1

*

88

44.3%

29.9%

Valence Tech (Nasdaq: VLNC  )

*

362

46.1%

(7.8%)

NaviSite (Nasdaq: NAVI  )

*

52

23.1%

30.3%

Sources: Motley Fool CAPS, Yahoo! Finance (current as of June 17).

My favorite among today's contenders is Johnson Controls, a maker of power supplies, auto electronics, and other industrial infrastructure that has -- get this -- paid a dividend consistently since 1887. Only Ingersoll-Rand, which has been making payments to shareholders since 1910, gets close.

And the company's growth story remains compelling. Here's how CAPS All-Star dtorres28 explained it in February:

Really think with the ways infrastructure is going in growing economies and the way we are pushing for car efficiency AND the safety as well as the luxury everyone wants, it's a good solid company no matter what the stock price.

Agreed. I also like how returns on equity and invested capital have mostly turned north since 2005. Behold:

Metrics

TTM*

FY 2007

FY 2006

FY 2005

Return on equity

16%

15.9%

15.4%

13.4%

Return on invested capital

9.2%

8.7%

9%

9.4%

Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's. Fiscal year ends on Sept. 30 of the year named.*Trailing 12 months ended March 31, 2008.

Mixing in a perfectly reasonable trailing P/E of 14.5, to me, paints the picture of a cheap yet modest grower whose market-matching yield offers a dollop of safety in a market that's proven to be anything but.

There's also the undeniable truth that, throughout stock market history, durable yielders have proven to be massive long-term winners. Johnson Controls has as good a shot as any of joining the elite class that includes names such as GE and Altria.

Of course, that's my take. But I'm more interested in what you think. Would you buy Johnson Controls at today's prices? Let us know what you think by signing up for CAPS today. It's 100% free to participate.

Cap off your day with related CAPS Foolishness:

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is ranked 17,809 out of more than 110,000 participants in CAPS, and is also a member of the Rule Breakers team. He's twice recommended Akamai to subscribers to the service and has owned shares since 2004.

Find the rest of Tim's portfolio and his latest blog commentary. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy is hotter than city asphalt in the summer heat.


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