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 been shootin' for the moon in recent months. Some are still bargains, others are getting ahead of themselves.

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


Price Change

Share Price

P/E Ratio

CAPS Rating  
(out of 5)

Halliburton (NYSE:HAL)





Intutive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG)





sanofi-aventis (NYSE:SNY)





Under Armour (NYSE:UA)





Data from Motley Fool CAPS and Yahoo! Finance as of Sept. 28.

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

A closer look at sanofi-aventis
Well over a year ago, CAPS member lubkenbj wrote:

I hate investing in pharmaceuticals. It costs billions to get a drug through testing which will most likely never make it to market. However, if there is a company with a lot of drugs in testing, I'm willing to take a gamble [and] put in a small possition. Sanofi has an extraordinary number of drugs in testing, not to mention the number of drugs in late stage testing! That is my play... nothing more, nothing less. I think Sanofi could see 1, 2, or maybe even 3 of these drugs make it to market which would put their stock through the roof.

Just last week, Sanofi commented on one of those drugs, and it's getting investors fired up. Regarding Sanofi's HIV-related vaccines, a company press release triumphantly announced: "Albeit modest, the reduction of risk of HIV infection is statistically significant. This is the first concrete evidence, since the discovery of the virus in 1983, that a vaccine against HIV is eventually feasible."

CAPS member ssbb123 responded quickly, writing: "Major breakthrough in HIV vaccination. If they get it better than 30% effective and more like 90% effective it will be pretty much mandatory for the world, ch- ching."

The thrill of pharmaceutical companies and their lottery-esque pipelines makes investors giddy when news like this emerges. But to get a better sense of Sanofi's long-term prospects, investors might learn a thing or two from one of the company's largest investors, Warren Buffett.

As of June 30, Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A) owned about 1.95 million Sanofi shares, worth about $143 million. Yet at Berkshire's 2008 annual shareholder meeting, Buffett proclaimed his ignorance, admitting:

Unlike many businesses, when we invest in pharma, we don't know the answer on pipeline. And it'll be different pipeline 5 years from now, anyway. We don't know whether [Pfizer (NYSE:PFE)] or [Merck (NYSE:MRK)] has a better chance, or which of those will come out with a blockbuster. But we do feel we have a group of companies bought at a fair price that overall will do well, and should offer chances for decent profits. ... If you buy pharma at reasonable multiple, you will probably do OK five to ten years from now.

Fair enough. So the main question here isn't the prospect of Sanofi's pipeline, but simply whether investors can buy shares for a reasonable multiple.

Fortunately, the answer to that question is a resounding yes. Sanofi currently trades at all of 7.7 times forward earnings estimates. That's about as low as you'll find for a large-cap stock these days. Plus, only 31% of sales (in 2008) came from the United States, meaning the potential impact from domestic health-care reform is about as limited as it gets among major pharmaceutical companies.

Your turn to chime in
Have your own take on sanofi-aventis? 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 owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. Berkshire Hathaway and Pfizer are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. Berkshire Hathaway is also a Stock Advisor pick. Intuitive Surgical and Under Armour are Rule Breakers picks. Under Armour is also a Motley Fool Hidden Gems pick. The Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and Under Armour, and has a disclosure policy.