In my weekly Fool column "Get Ready for the Fall," I run's 52-week highs list through the "wisdom of crowds" meter we call Motley Fool CAPS. The result: a list of stocks that have flown so high, investors are starting to get nervous about that whole "gravity" thing. But while many stocks will indeed plunge back to Earth, some seem immune to gravity, steadily riding a rising megatrend to ever-greater heights.

Today, we'll move beyond stocks that have hit 52-week highs, and identify companies now surpassing five solid years of outperformance. Which of these will thrash the market averages for another half-decade? Here are this week's leading contenders:


Recent Price

CAPS Rating
(out of 5)

Bull Factor

Medco Health Solutions (NYSE:MHS)




WMS Industries




Lumber Liquidators











Companies are selected from the "New 5-Year Highs" list published on MSN Money on Friday. CAPS ratings from Motley Fool CAPS.

"Everybody loves a winner"
Um, well, apparently not everybody. Fact is, here on the bleeding edge, the majority of stocks hitting all-time highs are actually getting panned pretty hard by the CAPS crowd. Fact is, there's only one stock on the list today that Fools believe will hold onto its gains, and make more of the same.

That's why today we'll be examining ...

The bull case for Medco Health Solutions
CAPS member bgries likes Medco Health's "[l]arge market share in the health care mail-order pharmacy business. Excellent EPS growth and earnings surprise." Similarly, BuckeyeChuck is impressed by Medco Health's size relative to "major competitors [CVS Caremark (NYSE:CVS) & Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX).]" Additionally, BuckeyeChuck points out: "MHS makes a higher gross profit on generics and generics sales are growing."

One of the great things about CAPS is that with 135,000 members (and growing), we're bound to come across an investor who has firsthand knowledge of the company being rated. So let's take advantage, and close with a quote from CAPS All-Star investor Dr. ikkyu2, who wrote out the following 'scrip for Medco back in January: "I work with these companies daily in my day job as a practicing doc. In terms of market share, responsiveness to patients and physicians, and back end, I am beginning to feel strongly that Medco is best of breed."

Medco Health is also exceedingly wired into the pharmaceutical dispensing supply line, with customers including Abbott Labs (NYSE:ABT), Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), and TEVA Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:TEVA) on the production end, and Coventry Health and Assurant on the insurance side of things. But even if it's a major "player" in the meds game, Fools may wonder whether investing in this stock here at its five-year high is like playing with fire.

Me, I have no such worries. I mean, sure, the stock looks a little richly priced at first glance; 24 P/E and 16% annual five-year growth rate looks expensive, right?

Look a little closer, though, and I think you'll see that the P/E doesn't tell the whole tale about this stock. Fact is, while GAAP accounting rules only allow Medco to report $1.2 billion in trailing "earnings," the company has generated more than $3.4 billion in free cash flow over the past 12 months. So while its P/E may well work out to "24," the stock is in fact selling for less than eight times the amount of cash it generates in a year.

Foolish takeaway
Fools, that's cheap. Unless I miss my guess, today's five-year high is only the beginning for Medco Health.

(Disagree? Feel free. Dissent isn't just welcomed -- it's encouraged here at the Fool. So if I'm missing a crucial piece of the puzzle on Medco Health, I'd love to hear what it is. Click on over to Motley Fool CAPS, and tell me why I'm wrong.)

Medco Health Solutions, Coventry Health, and are all Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections.

Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any company named above. You can find him on CAPS, publicly pontificating under the handle TMFDitty, where he's currently ranked No. 523 out of more than 135,000 members. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.