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:

Company

Today’s High

Industry

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Fools Saying Outperform

ATS Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATSI)

$3.00

Medical Appliances & Equipment

5 Stars

140 of 141

Medifast, Inc. (NYSE:MED)

$7.46

Specialty Retail, Other

2 Stars

105 of 128

NCI, INC. (NASDAQ:NCIT)

$27.83

Information Technology Services

5  Stars

125 of 126

Source: Motley Fool CAPS, as of Aug. 15, 2008.

Other medical appliances & equipment companies:

  • Exactech, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXAC): Stock price is 76% higher than last year.
  • STAAR Surgical Company (NASDAQ:STAA): Stock price is 36% higher than last year.

Other specialty retail, other companies:

  • Ultrapar Participacoes SA (ADR) (NYSE:UGP): Stock price is 13% higher than last year.
  • Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS): Stock price is 13% higher than last year.

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

Disclosure is important to us here at The Motley Fool. The stocks mentioned in this article received "five-star" ratings from participants in The Motley Fool's CAPS service and are showing strong percentage gains in today's market, at least compared with other CAPS five-star stocks. No individual person selected the stocks in this article, so there is no author to disclose an interest in them. Since this article was automatically generated by identifying the stocks loved both by the CAPS community and by buyers in today’s market, it is possible that Motley Fool personnel (and even The Motley Fool itself, through our Million Dollar Portfolio), have positions in these stocks. We thought you'd like to know that. You can learn more about The Motley Fool’s disclosure policy here.