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 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

Enterprise Products Partners (NYSE: EPD)




Visa (NYSE: V)




Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU)




Human Genome Sciences (Nasdaq: HGSI)



68% (NYSE: CRM)




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

Hot stocks leave investors cold
Is the recession over? Warren Buffett says so, and with the Dow still comfortably above the 10,000 mark, and the S&P posting sizable gains of its own these past two weeks, investors seem to be coming around to Buffett's way of thinking. Bullish sentiment is back, and the five stocks named above are all hitting five-year highs. (In fact, with the exception of Human Genome, they're at all-time highs.) But how long will they stay there?

Judging from the CAPS ratings handed out above, investors appear to be rethinking their optimism about many of these stocks -- but not about Enterprise Products Partners. Why has Fools' bull thesis for this company remained intact?

The bull case for Enterprise Products Partners 
It's been nearly five months since I last looked at EPP. Inspired by a $150 million open-market purchase of stock by company Chairman Dan Duncan, I declared the stock "richly priced." A mere 20% rise in share price later (versus just a 4.7% rise in the S&P 500), it seems I was a bit early on that call. But even I'm surprised to see just how well the stock has performed. Can this stock keep up the growth?

CAPS All-Star jbolley sees no reason why it shouldn't, calling EPP a "great pipeline company with some hard-to-duplicate assets, strong div."

Fellow All-Star rpgizzle also likes EPP's "strong dividend," and that it "makes money off the transporation of oil/gas." Continuing the theme, DaveOfDukeIPO praised EPP earlier this year for having just raised its dividend payout for "the 22nd quarter in a row." (Current yield: 6.5%. Kudos.)

But why should we believe that EPP will continue to prosper? Well, there's Tomdunno's October 2009 prediction, for one thing:

Nat gas will become a fuel source for autos and trucks in the future. This will force distribution to increase even if the price stays lower due to production. Companies involved in the distribution now will barely be able to handle the flow.

Green fuel, green ticker
I agree. Natural gas is cheap, cheap, cheap right now. It's also abundant. And clean. (And green.) It's only logical that an energy-hungry nation, and especially one worried over global warming, would turn to this fuel source for its energy needs. So while the plummeting price of natural gas may be giving fits to the companies that extract it, like Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK), or those who trade it, like the United States Natural Gas (NYSE: UNG) ETF, it's only logical that the cheaper this commodity becomes, the more of it people will buy -- and need to transport through pipelines like those that EPP operates.

Time to chime in
To me, this makes investing in nat-gas pipeline plays like EPP a veritable no-brainer. Here we've got the prototypical Warren Buffett "tollbooth"-type business capitalizing on a long-term trend (actually several -- cheap, clean, and green), paying a monster dividend to its shareholders, and led by management with a sizable stake in the business.

I may be no fan of the P/E ratio (still), but it really does look like the pluses outweigh that minus this time.

Of course, if you disagree, I'd love to hear why. If you see a downside to EPP at this price, click over to Motley Fool CAPS now, and tell me why I'm wrong.

Chesapeake Energy is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick and The Fool owns shares of it. Baidu and are Rule Breakers choices. Enterprise Products is an Income Investor selection. The Fool has a synthetic long on United States Natural Gas.

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. 697 out of more than 160,000 members. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.