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- and five-star stocks that have been shootin' for the moon in recent months.

While 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)

Allegheny Technologies (NYSE:ATI)





Atwood Oceanics (NYSE:ATW)










Halliburton (NYSE:HAL)





Northgate Minerals (NYSE:NXG)





Vimpel Communications (NYSE:VIP)





Data from Motley Fool CAPS and Yahoo! Finance as of June 29. EPS = earnings per share.

You can rerun the CAPS screen I used by clicking here

Whither, trucks?
Last week, I discussed Burlington Northern (NYSE:BNI) and the re-emergence of the railroad play. In short, the prospect of higher fuel prices reinstates the competitive advantages rail lines have over trucks. Since railroads can haul freight fairly cost-efficiently, high fuel prices make them more attractive. This is reinforced by the industry's staggeringly high barriers to entry, keeping further competition at bay.

Last summer, Harvard professor John Stilgoe summed it up:

All the evidence is there that the train is returning to a degree once never expected [and that] an economic and cultural tsunami is about to transform the United States ... Track is being expanded, modernized and relaid, and once-abandoned rail right-of-ways are being reclaimed. And what you are seeing now is only the beginning. The best is yet to come.

Another company you may want to consider in the rail trade is CSX. Like its competitors, CSX has been on a roll lately as commodity prices, including fuel, have begun reflating amid signs (however weak) of "green shoots."

CSX's stock performance has been especially swift because it traded at a discount to peers. A recent report by UBS analyst Rick Paterson attributed the valuation discrepancies to "poor management" criticism, but went on to state:

Four or five years ago that was probably true, but we think those days are long gone and (mis)perception is lagging reality. These guys know what they're doing ... If anything, we believe CSX deserves a premium to the group, not a discount. 

Our CAPS community seems equally bullish. Of the 1,600-plus members currently rating this stock, 95% expect it to outperform the broader indices. CAPS member dreese1 elaborated, writing: 

Railroads are poised to take an increased role in the domestic economy. With the fallout from high fuel costs weeding out many small-time over road trucking companies, the share of goods in need of transport over rail will likely increase. Infrastructure is in place, logistical support is in place...Look for rail to go up steadily. 

CSX trades at roughly 12 times forward earnings estimates. That seems fairly conservative when you consider the significant tailwinds that could boost the industry. The trifecta of massive monetary expansion, production cuts by oil producers, and the prospect of returning global economic growth pretty darn well cements the odds of rising fuel prices. In due time, that'll send railroads back to the superiority they enjoyed last year. Warren Buffett figured this out a while ago. We could do worse than follow his lead. 

Your turn to chime in
Have your own take on CSX? More than 135,000 investors use CAPS to share ideas and swap opinions. Click here to check it out and speak your mind. It's 100% free to participate.

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Fool contributor Morgan Housel doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. Atwood Oceanics is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. The Fool has a disclosure policy.