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," but 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

Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG)








NewMarket (NYSE: NEU)




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

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 that you use this list as a launch pad for your own research and analysis.

Highfalutin' honeys
Fast-food eateries Burger King and McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) were paragons of frugal dining in the early part of the recession, but when all is said and done, eating at home still offers the cheapest option for diners.

Yet Chipotle Mexican Grill is still serving up tastier fare, and planning to open 120 to 130 new stores this year. Despite the elevated levels at which its stock trades, some analysts say it still has room to run. At 30 times next year's earnings, it's not cheap -- Burger King and Mickey D's trade at half that level -- but it's able to generate $51 for every $100 it invests in a new store. That kind of return on investment deserves a premium.

CAPS member amisela argues that if Chipotle is doing this well in a recession, it will perform even better when people have money to spend again:

The quality of the product easily outpaces the competition. There are many imitators that just don't seem to be having the growth. Customers are drawn by the quality and seem to be willing to pay a premium for it even in a recession. I expect better when consumers have more discretionary income

Not so rough
An ETF chained to the Dow Jones Industrial Average has been a good bet for investors looking to invest in the safety of the blue-chip stocks comprising the index. If you didn't want choose between Alcoa (NYSE: AA) or GE, or United Technologies (NYSE: UTX) or Exxon, as eventual winners, a basket containing all of them -- the DIAMONDS Trust ETF -- would have been a good alternative.

Yet it also would have meant betting that Recovery Summer was real and sustainable. I'm not sure I have that same level of faith now. Whatever gains our economy has made, they result at least in part from an arguably irresponsible level of government spending and debt. That bill will eventually need to be paid, and the cost might leave little cash left for private capital investments. The DIAMONDS might be better than trying to pick individual winners, but not if they're all going to turn into losers.

Let us know in the comments section below or on the DIAMONDS Trust CAPS page where you think this economy is heading.

Triple-digit titans
Oil additives look like a slick opportunity. Lubrizol (NYSE: LZ) bucked the trend of a slowing economy, scoring a 26% jump in sales and generating a 50% surge in net earnings. NewMarket enjoyed a 30% jump in profits. Perhaps the one stain was Ashland's Valvoline division, which booked 5% higher sales, but suffered a 30% drop in operating profits.

As auto production has risen this year, so has the demand for additives. Whether that kind of momentum can be sustained remains to be seen. Yet 97% of the CAPS members rating NewMarket believe it will continue outperforming the broad market averages. You can stay on top of the additives specialist by adding it to your My Watchlist page, and having all our Foolish news and analysis on the company aggregated in one place.

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.

Chipotle Mexican Grill is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Chipotle Mexican Grill is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendation. The Fool owns shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill, and Exxon Mobil. 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.