Penny stocks are one way to double your money, though it's fraught with risk, but there are equally shiny opportunities trading at the other end of the price spectrum, too. I call 'em "three-digit stocks," yet 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:

Stock

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

3-Digit Price

Return on Capital, TTM

Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN)

**

$145.07

19.3%

Franklin Resources (NYSE: BEN)

**

$106.20

14.4%

Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM)

*

$118.59

5.8%

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

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.

Highfalutin' honeys
Money manager Franklin Resources has been living by Poor Richard's motto that "a penny saved is a penny earned." With a stronger balance sheet expected to feature some $4 billion in cash by the year's end, along with better earnings power according to one analyst, the likelihood for a special dividend to shareholders grows. It paid a one-time $3 per share dividend last year when it had less than $3 billion in the bank.

The caution for investors is that money flows to equity mutual funds have been falling. According to the Investment Company Institute, net cash outflows from domestic equity funds totaled $7.6 billion for the week ending Sept. 1, a three-month high and the biggest outflow since $13.4 billion exited funds the week ending May 26.

Yet 88% of the CAPS members rating Franklin Resources believe it will continue posting market-beating results, suggesting the outflows will soon turn to inflows and the fund family will continue earning its dues on each transaction.

Tearing down housing
You can't argue that salesforce.com is cheap since no matter what metric you look at, it looks expensive. At 80 times earnings Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) looks downright Spartan compared to the salesforce's multiple in excess of 200 and an otherwise heady VeriSign (Nasdaq: VRSN) at 30 times trailing profits seems almost reasonable.

Yet salesforce has a proven ability to generate gobs of free cash flow and looking at its adjusted price-to-FCF makes the stock much cheaper than many investors would otherwise think. At 88 times that metric it's not a bargain basement offering. But the company has a good chance of impoving its price in the future because of its recent settlement of a patent dispute with Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), the launch of its social network offering Chatter, and a successful acquisition of Jigsaw Data, which helped juice revenue growth.

Triple-digit titans
Amazon.com, like online movie rental shop Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX), has had a hard time generating sufficient investor support to justify the triple digit price tag they carry. They always seem too expensive but each has proven the critics wrong time and again.

And with a new marketing ploy for its Kindle, Amazon is betting the market will comes to its senses at last. Bringing its e-reader to the masses by putting it on the shelves of national electronics stores while openly tweaking the iPad means the e-tailer has confidence the Kindle can stand up to the comparisons and gain even greater mindshare.

Yet a quarter of CAPS members rating Amazon suspect it will ultimately underperform the market. stocky5 sees it unable to hold the lofty valuation it carries despite having an excellent reputation, while CraigMiles predicts the fall will come sooner or later: "May not under-perform today, tomorrow, or in a year; however, over a long time they will not be valued as highly as they are now."

But jamie8848 says that along with the Kindle, Amazon has a lot going for it that will allow it to turn in market-beating results.

Amazon's Kindle 3 has the thumbs up and will stay segment market leader. Consumer sentiment is rising and so they will sell more stuff, and lastly while I don't know much about the cloud computing side, they have resources and are smart, and at the very least won't screw up.

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.

Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Salesforce.com is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Amazon.com and Netflix are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool owns shares of Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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.