Some stocks are one-hit wonders that make a big splash when they first appear and then quickly fizzle into obscurity or oblivion. But for other stocks, that initial big move is only a preview of even bigger and better gains to come.

Today, we've compiled 10 stocks that made some of the biggest upward moves over the past month. We'll then pair that list with the ratings issued by our Motley Fool CAPS community. The higher each stock's rating, the greater CAPS members' faith in that company's ability to keep on beating the market.


30-Day Change

CAPS Rating
(Out of 5)







Savient Pharmaceuticals



KV Pharmaceutical (NYSE:KV-A)



Metalico (NYSE:MEA)



ISTA Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ISTA)






American Axle & Manufacturing (NYSE:AXL)



Spreadtrum Communications (NASDAQ:SPRD)



American Greetings (NYSE:AM)



As you can see, the CAPS jury is strongly divided about the prospects for these stocks. Let's take a closer look at one of the stocks whose prospects don't look all that attractive to the CAPS community.

Lying down on the job
Actions speak louder than your words. After reading articles about how La-Z-Boy's stock looks poised to plunge -- or perhaps even get put to sleep forever -- bullish investors might feel a bit smug that the furniture maker posted a surprise profit in the latest quarter. But I still side with those Fools who say it's best to stay in your overstuffed recliner instead of running out and buying this stock.

The improvements that La-Z-Boy was able to make came primarily from some dramatic cost-cutting measures. And while that's an admirable achievement in the current economic environment, it's unclear why the company waited as long as it did to slash expenses drastically. The robust housing market that helped support furniture makers for years topped out back in 2006, as measured by the Case-Shiller Index, and the free fall in home prices still hasn't hit bottom.

Moreover, despite the cost-cutting measures, La-Z-Boy still suffered a 23% decline in sales compared to the same quarter last year. It's not clear to me exactly what "progress" the company is making on stemming losses on a more permanent basis.

The furniture maker has made progress on its debt levels, having reduced its total debt to 20% of its equity. That puts La-Z-Boy in better financial condition than either Ethan Allen, with debt totaling 63% of equity, or even Bassett, which clocks in with a debt-to-equity ratio of 33%.

Yet with the housing market still moribund and potentially catastrophic implosions still to come as future mortgage rate resets continue to threaten the industry, growth looks like it'll be hard to come by in this business. The turn in housing may come, and perhaps La-Z-Boy will survive to see it, but if the company fails to keep showing improvement in profits, investors won't lie back in their recliners and watch their shares lose value again.

Still, CAPS All-Star getrichdietrying believes that La-Z-Boy's return to profitability this quarter is a sign that it will see the other side of this recession: "Beating estimates and cost cutting measures are working. Outlook is good and will be great once out of this recession."

But that's not enough for CAPS All-Star brocksamson, who feels that the company's 21% reduction in inventories since last year played a large part in its performance:

This rally is totally unfounded. My guess is that the current profits are a result of liquidating inventory combined with low-interest rate financed sales. In this downturn? Furniture? Seriously?

The nearly 100 stocks comprising CAPS' Household Durables sector have shown some strength in the face of general market apathy, rising nearly 5% compared to the S&P 500's generally flat performance. No doubt La-Z-Boy's own exceptional showing helped boost that number quite a bit.

Shake, rattle, and roll
With these stocks shaking the market over the past month, it pays to start your own research on them at Motley Fool CAPS. Read a company's financial reports, scrutinize key data and charts, and examine the comments your fellow investors have made -- all from a stock's CAPS page.

La-Z-Boy is a Motley Fool Income Investor stock selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey has no financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings. You can shake, rattle, and roll The Motley Fool's disclosure policy, but it still won't break.