True penny stocks are a minefield, but small-cap copper beauties can be one way to easily double your money.

There are also those companies whose shares trade at the other end of the price spectrum. I call 'em "three-digit stocks," though if they're anything like Berkshire Hathaway, they can trade in the four-, five-, and six-digit range, too.

While a penny stock might not be a good buy simply because it's cheap, a three-digit stock shouldn't scare you away just because it carries a hefty price tag. Handsome is as handsome does, so we check in with the Motley Fool CAPS community to see which ones the investor-intelligence database sees as having the best chance of succeeding.

Below are a handful of these high-priced highfliers. We'll take a look to see if investors think they can maintain their lofty valuations.

Stock

3-Digit Price

CAPS Rating

Return on Capital, TTM

Apache (NYSE:APA)

$102.75

****

(14.2%)

Diamond Offshore Drilling (NYSE:DO)

$105.61

****

28.9%

Flowserve (NYSE:FLS)

$105.01

*****

19.1%

IntercontinentalExchange (NYSE:ICE)

$105.84

****

13.2%

SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE:GLD)

$103.18

***

NM

Source: CAPS and Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's. TTM = trailing 12 months.

Highfalutin' honeys
In gold we trust. The threat of reflation is stalking investors as the government stokes the fires under the nation's printing presses. The national federal deficit has surged above $1.42 trillion and equals some $4,700 for every man, woman, and child in the country. And that's before we even start spending on Obamacare.

We might not be facing bankruptcy as a nation, but we should all fear the potential of a beggarly future, with an inflation rate that even Zimbabwe might laugh at. That has people turning to gold for the stability it offers, bidding up the shares of SPDR Gold Shares, the exchange-traded fund that holds more than $37 billion in assets. This might be a more advantageous play than overloading on the gold and buying stocks of miners like Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) or others, though some represent an interesting investment opportunity all on their own.

CAPS member val1nyc thinks the volatility of the situation will lead even more investors to put their faith in gold:

There is still a lot of chatter and fear about inflation which is generally advantageous to Precious metals. Furthermore, there has been a slight uptrend in volatility and I expect that trend to continue till Q1 '10, which will lead to more money moving to more stable vehicles such as Gold

A gusher again
Markets may finally stop playing the funeral dirge for oil. Prices are holding steady above $75 a barrel, and oil-services firms are reporting earnings that indicate industry conditions are -- if not back to the boom times -- at least on the road to recovery. The downturn wasn't as bad as expected.

This should work out well for oil rig drillers Diamond Offshore and Transocean (NYSE:RIG), which have suffered from declining dayrates, lower utilization rates, and/or stacking of idle equipment.

Still, investors have been enamored with the drillers, with 98% of CAPS members rating Diamond Offshore to outperform the market. mitleg likes Diamond's low-debt position, though All-Star member toolboy2 says it's more than he feels comfortable with. Still, he thought the driller was ready to soar when it was priced in the $80s, a market call subsequently proven correct:

Is there such a thing as black diamonds? Oh yes! This gem of the crude type has kick-butt profit margins, $675mil in cashola and rockin investment returns (ROE=39.7%). The only drawback is that they carry a little more debt than I would normally prefer, but it's not out of hand. A solid buy around $85.

Count to 10
These three-digit stocks might be on their way to even higher valuations. That's why it pays to start your own research in Motley Fool CAPS. Read a company's financial reports, scrutinize key data and charts, and examine the comments your fellow investors have made, all from a stock's CAPS page.

Want help finding your own three-digit darlings? Join Fool co-founders David and Tom Gardner at Motley Fool Stock Advisor as they search the market for stocks enjoying not only a triple-digit price tag, but the potential to double, triple, and even quadruple in value over time.

Click here to join Stock Advisor free for 30 days and get immediate access to all of David and Tom's proprietary research. There is no obligation to subscribe. Already a subscriber? Log in at the top of this page.

Berkshire Hathaway is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection and a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. The Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and Flowserve. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services today, free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and Flowserve but does not have a financial position in any of the other stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.