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





Polo Ralph Lauren (NYSE: RL)




W.W. Grainger (NYSE: GWW)




Sources: 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
Despite economist Nouriel Roubini believing that India may surpass China in growth over the next decade, the subcontinent has to deal with how it's going to grow in the immediate future. IT bellwether stock Infosys (Nasdaq: INFY) posted earnings that came in under expectations and failed to offer a compelling guidance road map, leading to a sell-off in Indian stocks.

With the country also laboring under runaway food price inflation, the government is stepping in with measures that will likely only exacerbate the problem. "Hoarding" is banned, so supply and demand won't be permitted to work; onion exports were stopped, and despite that not achieving its goal, the government will ban wheat exports next.

If the economy is that unstable, it's not surprising that Indian bank HDFC has shed almost 20% of its value over the past month, but the government is also planning on hiking interest rates in the country, by as much as 25 basis points according to some reports, which should help banks like HDFC and ICICI (NYSE: IBN), which is down 11% in the past 30 days.

CAPS All-Star member rhallbick views HDFC's position in India as warranting closer attention. Despite the growth it has realized, it remains undervalued.

HDFC Bank Limited is a high-growth bank with a high P/E. Indian banks are highly regulated in regards to risk management, so they have weathered the global financial crisis much better than most. For example, HDB sports a 7.1 to 1 debt to equity ratio, compared say to [JPMorgan]'s 11.3 to 1.

You can deposit your opinion on the HDFC CAPS page on whether India is about to undergo a painful realignment.

King for a day?
We've been hearing about the rebound in consumer spending for so long now that you'd be inclined to believe those green shoots from yesteryear grew into mighty oaks already. Unfortunately, the hype around spending was just that: hype. December's consumer spending numbers were up an anemic 0.1% while still being down 0.5% from 2007 when the recession began.

And according to the researchers at Gallup, January ain't looking so hot either. Spending is down 27% in the first week from December's figures -- a drop-off not necessarily surprising -- but it's also down 20% from the year-ago period for the same week.

Surprisingly, when consumers are spending, more likely than not it's on luxury goods. Coach (NYSE: COH), Tiffany, and Polo Ralph Lauren have all reported better than expected holiday sales.

While CAPS investor rboling91 has some concerns about inventory at Polo Ralph Lauren, he still sees its growing profitability improving further:

The company has a very positive balance sheet (cash to debt of over 1.5, increasing gross and net margins, share buybacks, gross margins over 50 %, net margins over 10%), but I am very concerned with its Foolish Flow ratio, which is 2.25. Is [Ralph Lauren] having problems with inventory control? Any details? What's going on with management?

You can monitor how management performs by adding it to the Fool's free portfolio tracker, and then post your thoughts on the Polo Ralph Lauren CAPS page.

Triple-digit titans
As weak as spending is, you can't deny there have been improvements made in the underlying economy. Of course, that's all relative. When things were as bad as they had been, any firming of the base looks hopeful if not good. The PMI index, for example, showed that the manufacturing sector continued to expand as it moved up to 57 in December -- the highest it's been since May.

It's been slow going, sometimes seeming we're going two steps back for every step forward, but industrial suppliers like W.W. Grainger, Fastenal (Nasdaq: FAST), and MSC Industrial Direct, will continue to lead us out of the recession, and over the past year these three have jumped 33% in value, on average.

Grainger was my preferred supplier, and it still offers a compelling valuation. The CAPS community apparently agrees, as 90% of those rating the industrial supplier think it will still supply market-beating results. Supply your own opinion on the W.W. Grainger CAPS page with your own opinion of its growth prospects.

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.

Coach and MSC Industrial Direct are Motley Fool Stock Advisor choices. The Fool owns shares of Coach and JPMorgan Chase. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. 

Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not have a financial position in any of the other stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.