Penny stocks can be one way to easily double your money, but there are equally shiny opportunities trading at the other end of the price spectrum, too. 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.

penny stock might not be a good buy simply because it's cheap, and a three-digit stock shouldn't scare you away just because it carries a hefty price tag. Handsome is as handsome does. Let's check in with the Motley Fool CAPS community to see which of the high-priced stocks below earn the greatest confidence from our investor-intelligence database:


CAPS Rating
(out of 5)

3-Digit Price

Return on Capital*

IntercontinentalExchange (NYSE: ICE)




Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq: ISRG)




PotashCorp (NYSE: POT)




Source: CapitalIQ, a division of Standard & Poor's; Motley Fool CAPS.
*Trailing 12 months. 

But just because these stocks are purring is no reason to jump into them blindly. Catching a tiger by the tail -- or a knife falling from on high -- can end up leaving you scratched and bleeding. That's why we recommend you use this list as a launch pad for your own research and analysis.

High-falutin' honeys
Like the health-care reform legislation before it, the financial reform bill recently passed by Congress is creating a lot of uncertainty as to what it contains, and how those contents will impact companies like IntercontinentalExchange or CME Group (NYSE: CME), even if it's believed they'll actually come out ahead.

That could be why CAPS members remain upbeat about Intercontinental's prospects. Of the more than 800 members who've weighed in on the exchange company, 95% believe it will go on to beat the broad market averages. You can add your opinion on the IntercontinentalExchange CAPS page.

An art masterpiece
Budgetary constraints seem to have vanished as hospitals are again buying Intuitive Surgical's Da Vinci robotic assistant device. Revenue in the latest quarter surged 42%, while recurring revenue -- sales of replacement items -- jumped 35%. Importantly, revenue from new system installments continued, as 89 units were put in place, giving it a total of 1,579 at quarter's end.

The loosened purse strings will hearten investors in other big, costly medical systems like Accuray and Varian Medical (NYSE: VAR), but mrhineheart says Intuitive's strong balance sheet will preserve its leadership position.

Revenue growth is strong along with earnings. Cash flow is healthy and there is ZERO debt. There is one insider selling strongly (multi-million $$$'s!) but the rest are standing pat. 

In the aftermath of wheat export bans in Russia, as the nation deals with drought and wildfires that have spread across the country, fertilizer companies like PotashCorp, Mosaic (NYSE: MOS), and Agrium (NYSE: AGU) stand to benefit as wheat farmers find their crops in even greater demand. Some analysts forecast U.S. wheat exports could rise as much as 16%, to one billion bushels in the year begun June 1.

The fertilizer companies are likely to benefit from positive trends in corn too, particularly PotashCorp, which supplies 20% of the world's capacity of potash, a key plant nutrient. That kind of market power helps CAPSmember blesto lean in favor of continued outperformance.

Coming back up from their 52 wk low of $82.00 but really their deepest low of flirting with $50.00 back in just Dec '08. From there they seem to be on a steady trend back up. Not to mention they're a solid business that fills a continuous need. Anyway, if they were to increase the div, I would probably hold indefinitely. 

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.

Best Buy is a Motley Fool Inside Value choice. Intuitive Surgical is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Best Buy and Staples are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. Motley Fool Options has recommended a bull call spread position on Best Buy. The Fool owns shares of Best Buy. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services today, 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 here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.