Some stocks are one-hit wonders, making a big splash when they first appear, then quickly fizzling into obscurity or oblivion. But for other stocks, that initial big move is only a preview for even bigger and better gains to come.

Today, we've compiled 10 stocks that made some of the biggest upward moves over the past month. We'll pair that list with the ratings issued by our Motley Fool CAPS community. The higher each stock's rating, the greater CAPS members' faith in that company's ability to keep on beating the market.


30-Day % Change*

CAPS Rating

Petrobras Energia



Sunrise Senior Living



Alpha Pro Tech (NYSE:APT)



Diedrich Coffee (NASDAQ:DDRX)






Harvest Energy Trust (NYSE:HTE)



Select Comfort



Bucyrus International (NASDAQ:BUCY)



Starent Networks





*From Sept. 25 to Oct. 26.

As the markets whipsaw to changes in consumer sentiment, we'll see more weeks like this one, when the gains exceptionally outpace the movers and shakers of prior weeks. So before we get shaken out again, let's see why the CAPS community thinks some of these companies might continue to outperform the market.

A mighty temblor
Much attention has been focused on vaccine makers like Novartis when it comes to the swine flu frenzy, but there's also been a residual benefit for manufacturers of cleaning products, sanitizers, and even facemasks. For the biggest players in the field, like Clorox (NYSE:CLX), the hysteria has probably generated incremental revenue at best. But for smaller companies such as facemask maker Alpha Pro Tech, the impact of the panic has been more pronounced.

Last month, the maker of disposable protective apparel reported that it was ramping up production to meet demand. Already swamped with back orders, Alpha Pro Tech was tripling its N-95 respirator mask production starting at the beginning of October.

Shares of the small cap have been soaring along with the fever pitch of flu worries, and the stock is up more than 600% year to date. CAPS member Garyestein took notice as well, looking at Alpha Pro Tech as a swine flu play, while All-Star geomadam suggests it could be considered a form of insurance:

One thing that Alpha Pro Tech produces are face masks that can be used to prevent the spread of disease. H1N1 is on everyone's mind and there is a continued threat that the virus could mutate into a more lethal form. Various forums suggest that people stock up on facemasks as a form of insurance.

As Alpha Pro Tech's stock has risen, its CAPS rating has declined. Maybe that's a recognition that this company is too specialized to sustain those lofty valuations. Already, swine flu is being knocked as a media-created scare backed by alarmists in the government, with analysts caught up in the mayhem. Despite widespread fears, the virus has turned out to be milder than initially thought.

Whether measured against its reported earnings (Alpha Pro Tech sports a price-to-earnings north of 40) or to its cash flows (its enterprise value is more than 20 times free cash flow), Alpha Pro Tech is not cheap. When the panic eventually subsides, its price will come around to reflect that.

So far Alpha Pro Tech has defied the naysayers, but what do you think? Head over to Alpha Pro Tech's CAPS page and let us know.

Shake, rattle, and roll
With these stocks shaking the market this past month, it pays to start your own research on them at 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. is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. Clorox is a Motley Fool Income Investor selection. Novartis AG is a Motley Fool Global Gains recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings. You can shake, rattle, and roll The Motley Fool's disclosure policy, but it still won't break.