No one has perfect foresight, but let's be honest: The market is full of people who, as Oscar Wilde once said of cynics, 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.

I've summoned our Motley Fool CAPS community to point out a few four- or five-star stocks that have been truly shootin' for the moon in recent months. While they aren't formal buy recommendations, these three-month bloomers caught my attention:


13-Week Price Change

Recent Share Price

Forward P/E Ratio

CAPS Rating  
(out of 5)

Cummins (NYSE:CMI)





Disney (NYSE:DIS)





General Electric (NYSE:GE)





Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG)





Teck Resources (NYSE:TCK)





Data from Motley Fool CAPS, and Yahoo! Finance as of Sept. 16.

You can rerun the CAPS screen I used by clicking here.

A closer look at General Electric
It's been evident for a while now that GE Capital -- the finance arm of General Electric -- was unfairly lumped in with other hobbled financials like Citigroup (NYSE:C) and AIG (NYSE:AIG). But it appears that the market is just now coming to terms with this reality. Shares have been on a tear lately, as it becomes clear GE Capital won't destroy the other world-class, profitable segments of General Electric.

"Recent reviews and ratings upgrades have removed the pall of death from this long term winner," writes CAPS member Scorpioray. "Its finance arm is not completely out of the woods, but it doesn't appear to be at death's door either."

And thank goodness for that. While GE Capital contributes greatly to GE's bottom line, it's hardly the sole profit center of this megaconglomerate:


2008 Operating Profit

Energy Infrastructure

$6.1 billion

Technology Infrastructure

$8.2 billion

NBC Universal

$3.1 billion

Capital Finance (GE Capital)

$8.6 billion

Consumer & Industrial

$365 million

Take away the apocalyptic predictions plaguing GE Capital, and General Electric is still an immensely profitable company packed full of some of the world's greatest operating businesses. As CAPS member hugh89 writes:

Engineering/Technology/Transportation divisions are solid green economy plays, not to mention their nuclear energy involvement. Capital division continues to adjust/rebound from bad debt. At some point, this 400 lb. gorilla will be forgiven, and cannot be kept down with its ongoing leadership in technology.

Now, investors must decide whether shares are still worth buying. GE stock trades at about 19 times 2010 earnings estimates, which shouldn't fall into anyone's definition of "cheap." Investors must figure out how depressed next year's earnings forecasts are, compared to GE's true long-term earnings power. The $0.91 per share analysts expect the company to earn next year equates to around $9.7 billion. That's roughly half of what GE was able to earn, on average, from 2004-2006. Granted, some of that profit was magnified by GE Capital riding the financial bubble. But the fast-increasing demand in other areas, particularly energy technology and infrastructure, give GE previously nonexistent profit avenues to pursue in years ahead.

On average, it's probably safe to say GE is still priced to treat long-term investors quite well.

Your turn to chime in
Have your own take on General Electric? More than 140,000 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. Intuitive Surgical is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Disney is a Stock Advisor and an Inside Value selection. The Fool has a disclosure policy.