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 120,000-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 two such stocks:

Company

Today’s Intraday Price

Industry

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Fools Saying Outperform

Hot Topic, Inc. (NASDAQ:HOTT)

$8.79

Specialty Retail

1 Stars

84 of 274

Cogent, Inc. (NASDAQ:COGT)

$13.76

Electronic Equipment, Instruments and Components

4 Stars

548 of 571

Source: Motley Fool CAPS, as of Dec. 8, 2008.

Top-rated specialty retail companies:

  • Tractor Supply Company (NASDAQ:TSCO): Stock price is 2% higher than last year.
  • Sherwin-Williams Company (NYSE:SHW): Stock price is 6% lower than last year.

Top-rated electronic equipment, instruments and components companies:

  • SAIC, Inc. (NYSE:SAI): Stock price is 9% lower than last year.
  • FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLIR): Stock price is 14% lower than last year.

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

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.