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 (those with four- and five-star ratings) could be a sign that further research is in order.

Here are three such stocks:

 Company

Today’s High

Industry

CAPS Rating

Fools Saying Outperform

Terra Industries (NYSE:TRA)

$57.64

Chemicals

****

999 of 1,045

Flowserve (NYSE:FLS)

$145.45

Industrial

*****

578 of 592

Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG)

$76.80

Drugs

****

1,024 of 1,072

Source: Motley Fool CAPS, as of July 31, 2008.

Five-star chemical companies:

  • Sociedad Quimica y Minera (NYSE:SQM): Up 157.8% in the past year.
  • Praxair (NYSE:PX): Up 22.5% in the past year.

Five-star industrial companies

  • Terex (NYSE:TEX): Stock price is 44.7% cheaper than a year ago.
  • Manitowoc (NYSE:MTW): Stock price is 29% cheaper than a year ago.

Join us on CAPS to learn more about these and countless other interesting stock ideas.

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 Terex. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy runs circles around the competition.