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:


CAPS Rating
(out of 5)

3-Digit Price

Return on Capital, TTM





Mettler-Toledo International (NYSE: MTD)



19.1% (Nasdaq: PCLN)




Source: Capital IQ, 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 launchpad for your own research and analysis.

Highfalutin' honeys
In a CNBC appearance yesterday, hedge fund manager Jim Chanos defended President Barack Obama's policies, saying the uncertainty they created in the business community were no different from those created when Ronald Reagan was cutting taxes. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), also on the show, scoffed at the comparison, saying the uncertainty created by a policy like the health-care reform legislation was a heckuva lot more severe for a business than not knowing just how low your taxes would be cut.

The uncertainty divide is highlighted by the regulations being crafted for the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill and who will be included as a "major derivatives user." For IBM, it's not just semantics, since the outcome could inhibit its ability to make acquisitions and grow its business. Companies classified as major users would have to post collateral for their derivatives, which for IBM could be as much as $5 billion, or a year's worth of acquisitions.

Having just announced a deal to buy data analytics firm Netezza (NYSE: NZ) for $1.7 billion, IBM may not be sure if it can continue making such deals until the details are worked out. Acquisitions, growth, and jobs all hang in the balance.

CAPS member halfstop is pretty certain that by having hedged its bets with open-source technology, IBM is still on the road to higher valuations: "IBM will trend upwards over the next year or so. It's a strong company and they've embraced a fair amount of open source technology to hedge their bets and balance open source with their closed source products."

Holy Toledo!
It's not like the future hangs in the balance, but Mettler-Toledo International, the world's top maker of scales and other analytical instruments, benefited from recovering markets as second-quarter results grew 16% year over year without the impact of currency fluctuations. But currency fluctuations remain a big concern for Mettler-Toledo, and the value of the Swiss franc compared to the euro plays a big role in its profits because most of its manufacturing operations are located in Switzerland.

They estimate a 1% rise in the value of the franc can reduce annual profits before taxes by as much as $1.4 million. So far this year, the franc is up more than 12% compared to the euro. But with almost half of its revenues coming from its lab segment, investors seem to think the chance for growth weighs in its favor, particularly against rivals such as Measurement Specialties (Nasdaq: MEAS) and recent spinoff Vishay Precision Group. More than 94% of the CAPS members rating Mettler-Toledo have measured the probability, and they believe it will outperform the broad market averages.

Triple-digit titans
With online travel agent trading in north of 30 times last year's earnings and 24 times 2011's profits, you might be tempted to think analysts are deluding themselves by thinking it's still cheap. A Citigroup analyst recently raised his price target to $425 a share (Henry Blodget's call immediately comes to mind), but when you compare priceline to Expedia (Nasdaq: EXPE) (trading at 15 times forward estimates) and Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE: OWW) (22 times), it's not as outrageous as all that. Add in its ability to generate copious amounts of free cash flow compared to its rivals, and an argument can be made that it's still not as overvalued as it looks.

While I've been in the camp that it's too pricey to buy for at least the last 100 points, almost three-quarters of the more than 1,100 CAPS members rating the travel agent think it will continue outperforming the broad market averages. But you can get all the Foolish news and analysis about aggregated in one place by adding it to your My Watchlist page.

Count to 10
These three-digit stocks may 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., Berkshire Hathaway, and are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. Berkshire Hathaway is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. The Fool owns shares of International Business Machines and Berkshire Hathaway. 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.