Wednesday's Top 5 Growth Winners

Ask cheapskate value investors to buy a stock that's achieved a new 52-week high and you'll get one of two responses:

  • Hysterical laughter.
  • Sudden nausea.

Pity them, Fool.

How many times did Activision (Nasdaq: ATVI  ) touch a new 52-week high on the way to becoming a seven-bagger over the past five years? Too many to count, of course. Never assume that "rocket stocks" -- high-growth stocks that are also realizing heavy price appreciation -- are too expensive. What looks like a cliff could really be base camp on a climb toward the summit of Everest.

Rocket stocks, not rocket science
Each weekday in this column, we'll enlist the more than 80,000 pro and amateur stock pickers in our Motley Fool CAPS community to find stocks that are still climbing. We'll start with The Wall Street Journal's 52-week high lists. But we'll focus our search on stocks expected to boost net income by at least 15% a year for the next five years, and whose CAPS ratings sport at least two of the maximum five stars.

Here's what we've turned up today:

Company

Closing Price

CAPS Rating

(5 max)

5-Year Growth Estimate

52-Week

Range

SonoSite (Nasdaq: SONO  )

$38.30

***

63.3%

$26.50-$38.37

PAREXEL International (Nasdaq: PRXL  )

$53.00

****

21.2%

$28.00-$53.75

Tele Norte Leste Participacoes (NYSE: TNE  )

$23.98

*****

17.1%

$12.19-$24.50

Gilead Sciences (Nasdaq: GILD  )

$48.50

*****

17.0%

$31.20-$48.56

Humana (NYSE: HUM  )

$85.79

****

16.6%

$51.00-$86.15

Sources: The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo! Finance, Motley Fool CAPS.

Our mostly small-cap list features some promising (though speculative) stocks. Yet these tiny titans can create astounding returns if they're bought before the market discovers them. Witness biotech PAREXEL, which is up 81% over the past 52 weeks. The S&P 500, by contrast, is down over the same period.

A magical balm?
For Edgar Allan Poe, the Balm of Gilead was a compound believed to heal a broken heart. If only Gilead Sciences could make that same claim here, in the real world. Billions would follow.

But its balms aren't without use. And billions may still follow. Here's how CAPS investor drstocks1 put it a week ago:

As a Doc I can confirm that they are leader in HIV treatment, but more importantly Tenovir, an HIV drug, will be approved for Hepatitis B usage. Current data indicate that it will be the most effective anti-Hepatitis B drug on the market with no reported resistance.

If true, wow. Roughly eight people die of hepatitis B every day in the U.S., and in China, the daily toll is closer to 800. More than 130 million Chinese have the disease. Here's to hoping drstocks1 is right. There's no better story than that of a company delivering for investors by addressing a pressing humanitarian need.

But that's my take. What's yours? Would you buy Gilead at today's prices? Let us know by signing up for CAPS now. It's 100% free to participate.

I'll be back tomorrow with more rocket stocks.


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