There's a school of thinking that sees more promise in superior gains than in digging up great starting prices, even if you seem to be overpaying for that bottle rocket. Richard Driehaus, the godfather of momentum investing, takes exception to buying low and selling high: "I believe that far more money is made buying high and selling at even higher prices." Our Motley Fool Rule Breakers analysts would agree with that; momentum-like criteria show up twice in the six pillars of that newsletter's strategy.

Price momentum may not be a traditional marker of a strong business or a capable management team, but when you think about it, those qualities should eventually generate strong returns. This is just a slightly backward way of looking at the numbers, throwing "cause" and "effect" into the same basket to find a starting point for more research.

So what kind of bottle rockets can we find today? I took that question to our CAPS screener, looking for stocks that have at least doubled from 52-week lows and are still within 10% of yearly highs.

One stock that caught my eye among the resulting 127 tickers today is Silver Wheaton (NYSE: SLW). If you bought shares a year ago, you're sitting on a massive 118% gain today. It's been nothing but blue skies ahead since hitting rock bottom in late 2008; the stock has produced seven-bagger returns since then and looks set to explore new highs -- again and again.

Here's how Silver Wheaton's gains stack up against some direct rivals over the past year:

Company

% Above 52-Week Low

% Below 52-Week High

Silver Wheaton

140%

0.0%

Hecla Mining (NYSE: HL)

93%

(26.5%)

Coeur d'Alene Mines (NYSE: CDE)

28%

(30.7%)

Silvercorp Metals (NYSE: SVM)

124%

(18.1%)

Source: Motley Fool CAPS.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results, and you should always do more research after finding a promising stock by screening. In this case, I'm no authority on precious metals, but our Foolish expert in the field, Christopher Barker, loves Silver Wheaton to pieces.

Silver Wheaton runs a unique "silver streaming" business model, in which the company buys the silver by-products of other mining operators, including Goldcorp (NYSE: GG) and Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX), then turns around and sells them at a significant profit margin. According to Silver Wheaton, 70% of the world's silver is unearthed in the process of digging out other metals, and those gold, zinc, and copper miners gladly monetize that by-product through Silver Wheaton rather than operating their own silver sales at great expense.

Buy now or forever hold your peace: This bottle rocket still has plenty of dry powder left in its growth engines. Chris thinks the stock will hit $100 per share before running out of rocket fuel.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.