Stocks hitting fresh highs can either signal that a stock is on its way to greatness or that it has run its course. Even with the risk of the latter, searching for these outperformers can reveal companies that are doing something right, much to their investors' delight.

I'm a poet and didn’t know it
With that in mind, we'll use the aggregate intelligence of the 110,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS to find stocks hitting 52-week highs today. The community's approval could be a sign that further research is in order.

Here are three such stocks:

 

Today’s High

Industry

CAPS Rating

Fools Saying Outperform

Research

Royal Gold (NASDAQ:RGLD)

$37.52

Metals & Mining

****

231 of 262

Research

Axsys Technologies (NASDAQ:AXYS)

$64.99

Electronics

*****

487 of 498

Research

AZZ (NYSE:AZZ)

$47.40

Industrial

****

474 of 495

Research

Source: Motley Fool CAPS, as of July 21, 2008

Five-star metals & mining companies

Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) -- up 11.4% in the past year.
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (NYSE:FCX) -- up 10.9% in the past year.

Five-Star Industrial Companies

GrafTech International (NYSE:GTI) -- up 35.8% in the past year.
Eaton (NYSE:ETN) -- stock price is 28.7% cheaper than a year ago.

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Fool Analyst Dan Dzombak spends his days on CAPS searching for great investments. He wishes he had purchased these companies a year ago, but unfortunately he does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. Axsys Technologies is a Stock Advisor recommendation. The Fool’s disclosure policy’s brother lets people know how CAPS works.