When the clock's ticking down and the game's on the line, which of your teammates do you trust to sink a winning shot? Sure, you could dish the rock to your resident superstar -- but what if he's playing ice-cold at the moment? So instead, you pass to the guy with the hot hand, the one who'll be deemed en fuego tomorrow on ESPN.

Momentum investors are looking for stocks in a similar state of sizzle. But momentum by itself will only get you so far. I prefer to find high-quality stocks that also have some positive inertia on their side. It's like kicking the ball out to your team's superstars when they do have a hot hand.

To find these league-leading winners, I cross-referenced a simple momentum screen with data from The Motley Fool's CAPS investing community. Each of the companies below is up 30% or more over the past year, now trades within 5% of its 52-week high, and has been rated highly by CAPS players.


12-Month Change

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Devon Energy (NYSE: DVN)



Frontline (NYSE: FRO)



Ultra Petroleum (NYSE: UPL)



Noble (NYSE: NE)



Costco Wholesale (Nasdaq: COST)



Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Capital IQ, and CAPS as of April 28.

At first glance, this sure looks like a high-quality group. But, as always, I highly advise taking a close look before you throw a bounce pass in the direction of any of these stocks.

Costco is on the rice
Rice has been all the rage at Costco lately. Rising prices for the commodity -- particularly the Thai Jasmine and Indian Basmati varieties -- have led some small businesses and restaurants to try stocking up at today's prices. The rice run got to the point that Costco and competitors like Wal-Mart's (NYSE: WMT) Sam's Club decided to put a cap on how many of the big bags of rice their customers could buy.

But while the rice rations have made interesting news, limiting what its customers can buy certainly isn't the reason for Costco's rising stock price. Instead, it's likely the combination of better-than-expected same-store sales results in March and investors' expectations that cost-conscious consumers will prefer discounters like Costco as the U.S. economy continues to muddle along. The numbers so far haven't shown a collapse for high-end companies like Coach (NYSE: COH), but investors haven't been impressed and are playing it safe with the low-cost merchants.

Stock Advisor pick Costco also has a strong following on CAPS, with more than 1,800 outperform ratings versus just 105 underperform ratings. TMFEldrehad, one of the top players on CAPS, has been giving a thumbs-up to the stock for nearly two years now. Looking at the bigger picture, he noted:

From the products it chooses to carry to the way it pays its employees, Costco seems to be one of the few companies that knows that what is less expensive in the short term doesn't necessarily translate into value down the road.

So do you think Costco deserves a place on your All-Star team? You can share your thoughts on it, or check out more of what your fellow Fools had to say about it (or any of the other stocks above) by stopping by CAPS. And while you're there, you can also take a peek at few more of the 5,500-plus other stocks that are rated on CAPS.

I think I heard a "booyah" somewhere out there -- thanks, Stuart Scott!

More CAPS Foolishness:

Wal-Mart is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation, and Costco and Coach are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

When it comes to basketball, Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer might be the guy Ron Shelton was thinking of when he came up with the title White Men Can't Jump. He does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool's disclosure policy has a 55-inch vertical jump and can dunk from half court. Or so I hear.