No one has perfect foresight, but let's be honest: The market is full of people who, as Oscar Wilde would say, know "the price of everything and the value of nothing." Far too often -- over the past year especially -- investors have been pitched sensational stock recommendations, only to be left high and dry as shares crumble.  

To hunt down top-recommended stocks that have been rewarding investors accordingly, I summoned our Motley Fool CAPS community to point out a few four- or five-star stocks that have gone gangbusters in recent months.

While they're not formal buy recommendations, these three-month bloomers caught my attention: 


13-Week Price Change

Recent Share Price

2009 EPS Estimates

CAPS Rating  
(Out of 5)

General Electric (NYSE:GE)





Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW)





Marvel Entertainment (NYSE:MVL)





Disney (NYSE:DIS)





Suntech Power (NYSE:STP)





Data from Motley Fool CAPS and Yahoo! Finance as of May 7. 

You can rerun the CAPS screen I used

Too big to succeed
Big conglomerates rarely, if ever, produce anything good. Not for Tyco (NYSE:TYC). Not for Citigroup (NYSE:C). And, as investors learned over the past year, not exactly foolproof for General Electric.

Investors spent years thinking GE was a well-diversified group of some of the best business in the world -- which, of course, it is. What was unfortunately overlooked was the size and explosiveness of its finance arm, GE Capital.

But while GE Capital indeed has its shortfalls, it was never even close to the destructive force that blew up Wall Street banks in their entirety. If GE Capital were a major standalone bank, it would rank as one of the strongest among peers by some measures.

Needless to say, investors would hear nothing of it, and they bid shares down to levels that not only implied that GE Capital was about to erupt, but that GE's other businesses were worthless. Shares were bid down below $6 a share in March -- which represented little more than a call option on hope.

That selloff was superbly overdone, and investors are realizing it. With the specter of financial annihilation starting to fade, shares have been on a sensational rebound in recent weeks.

And well they should. Looking past GE Financial -- which is actually expected to be profitable in 2009 -- we can see that this company's other operating units are still profit machines:


2008 Profit

Energy Infrastructure

$6.1 billion

Technology Infrastructure

$8.2 billion

NBC Universal

$3.1 billion

Consumer & Industrial

$365 million

Add the two points together, and one conclusion seems fairly obvious: GE is not going bankrupt, as some thought it would, and it's still a tremendously profitable, high-quality company. Baseless fear cast upon an extremely high-quality company can be good for bargain-hunting investors.

That's why CAPS members such as dollarbrain have been recently writing posts like this:

In a couple years, investors will kick themselves for not buying GE at these low levels. Yes, its financial arm has exposure to toxic assets, but it has a diversified core business that will allow it to weather the economic storm. Even if this takes some time, the company's juicy dividend will reward patient investors.

CAPS member AceBull chimed in with how GE's wide diversification could be a boon when the economy starts to rebound:

With the service side creating a lot of revenue for GE. GE is quick to restructure the company and run the economy in different econmical situations. Once the economy picks up, americans will be able to start purchasing again the "stuff" that they need. Many corporations are on a spending freeze right now, once the find some cash they will be purchasing higher quality items such as MRI machines and other expensive GE based technology. Long term play here, dont expect do squeeze a $100.00 out of a dime here anytime soon.

Your turn to chime in
Have your own take on General Electric? More than 130,000 investors use CAPS to share ideas and swap opinions. Check it out and speak your mind. It's 100% free to participate.

For related Foolishness:

Fool contributor Morgan Housel doesn't own shares of any of the companies mentioned in this article. Suntech Power Holdings is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Walt Disney and Marvel Entertainment are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Walt Disney is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. The Fool has a disclosure policy.