Some stocks are one-hit wonders, making a big splash when they first appear, then quickly fizzling into obscurity or oblivion. But for other stocks, that initial big move is only a preview for even bigger and better gains.

Today, we've listed three stocks that made some of the biggest moves up over the past month, which we'll pair with the ratings issued by our Motley Fool CAPS community. The higher each stock's rating, the greater CAPS members' faith in that company's ability to keep on beating the market.


1-Month Change

CAPS Rating
(out of 5)

ZymoGenetics (Nasdaq: ZGEN)



Hypercom (NYSE: HYC)



Ascent Solar Technologies (Nasdaq: ASTI)



One-month percent change from Sept. 1 to Oct. 1.

Because the markets whipsaw to changes in economic performance, the S&P 500 has been volatile. So before we get shaken out again, let's see why some members of the CAPS community think some of these companies might continue to outperform the market.

A mighty temblor
Mergers and acquisitions continue to stir the kettle. With nearly $2 trillion sitting in the bank, non-financial corporations are finding that the best returns on investment will come from paying out dividends, buying back stock, scooping up rivals and competing products, and developing pipelines for the future. What we haven't read about is any real investment in the businesses themselves; research and development seems to be a missing piece of the puzzle, and there are also massive amounts of debt.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) announced last month that it was purchasing troubled biotech ZymoGenetics for $9.75 a share, a huge premium to the price the stock was trading at before the announcement was made. Yet maybe it knew something we didn't, because ZymoGenetics announced encouraging clinical trial results for its skin cancer treatment interleukin 21 (IL-21). While it's still behind Vical (Nasdaq: VICL) in the race to phase 3 trials, it remains a wide-open field.

A sunny disposition
Similarly, VeriFone Systems offered a 52% premium to Hypercom shareholders in a bid to take over the provider of electronic payments and transaction solutions. With more than two-thirds of Hypercom's 2009 revenues coming from outside the Americas, VeriFone figured it would be a powerful step toward increasing its international exposure, particularly in Europe.

Hypercom management, however, rejected the $5.25-per- share offer, saying it was low, that VeriFone has been losing market share to Hypercom, and that this was an attempt to disrupt its growth.

Although 83% of the CAPS members rating Hypercom believe it will turn in market-beating performances, not everyone is convinced. CAPS member tcampbellla says it's being valued too highly by the market, which has pushed its multiples well into the nosebleed section. While naughtyguy correctly notes that's because of the buyout offer, if VeriFone ends up walking away, it’s likely the stock would crash.

A speedy opportunity
Buyout talks didn't send Ascent Solar Technologies shares to their highest point since May. Rather, it was the report that the company signed a supply deal with China's Radiant Holding for modules on a metal roofing demonstration site that it had planned to install immediately.

China remains a driving force in the industry, with JA Solar (Nasdaq: JASO) and LDK Solar (NYSE: LDK) both receiving financing agreements from the China Development Bank, but many investors are still looking for demand to increase globally. According to market analysts at Pike Research, global solar demand will double from 2010 to 2013, reaching 19.3 gigawatts, or a growth rate of 25%, annually.

In the summer, a long-term bull, CAPS member binve, wrote about Ascent Solar's photovoltaic technology.

Current [Ascent Solar] thin film efficiency is 10-12%, which is on par with medium grade terrestrial traditional crystalline cells, whereas state of the art triple-junction Gallium Arsenide PV cells used in high efficiency space applications (about as expensive as you get) are at about 26-29%. But there is over 2 orders of magnitude in cost difference.

It's going to take more agreements like the one Ascent Solar got with Radiant Holding to ease the qualms binve and others have about Ascent Solar going broke before it can prove itself. Add your opinion about this solar shop to the company's CAPS page.

You can add the solar PV specialist to your My Watchlist page, where all the Foolish news and analysis is gathered for you in one place.

Shake, rattle, and roll
With these stocks shaking the market this past month, it pays to start your own research on them at 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.

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 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.