When a stock hits a fresh high, it can mean that it’s 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.

Let’s dig deeper
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 (signified by four- and five-star ratings) could be a sign that further research is in order.

Here are three such stocks:

 

Today’s High

Industry

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Fools Saying Outperform

Varian Medical Systems, Inc. (NYSE:VAR)

$60.67

Health services

****

227 of 238

Alcon, Inc. (NYSE:ACL)

$172.65

Health services

****

257 of 265

Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN)

$64.00

Drugs

****

1,649 of 1,797

Source: Motley Fool CAPS, as of July 29, 2008.

Five-Star Health Services Companies
Stryker Corp (NYSE:SYK): up 1.5% in the past year.
St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE:STJ): up 8.4% in the past year.

Five-Star Drug Companies
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ:TEVA): up 9.4% in the past year.
Abraxis BioScience, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABII): up 21.4% in the past year.

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Fool analyst Dan Dzombak wishes he had bought these stocks last year. Unfortunately, he does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. The Fool owns shares of Stryker. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy has been noticing a lot of health services and drug companies hitting high notes lately.