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 to come.

Today, we've listed three stocks that made some of the biggest upward moves 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)

Samson Oil & Gas (NYSE: SSN)



Dot Hill Systems (Nasdaq: HILL)






1 Month % change from Nov. 17 to Dec. 17.

While you were out, the market is fast closing in on 12,000, a level that hasn't been seen since early 2008. So before we get shaken out again, let's see why the CAPS community thinks some of these companies might continue to outperform the market.

A mighty temblor
Research reports can provide valuable insights into a company and its industry, but investors would probably be wise to ignore their buy-sell-hold rating because they're oftentimes unrelated to the real merits of the stock. Samson Oil & Gas recently hired a firm to provide investor relations service and soon after the company updated its report, the stock went on a tear. Samson wasn't involved in the production report, but you're not going to find a company hired by them putting out a negative opinion so you need to take it with a grain of salt.

Yet there is something to be said for Samson's potential. The Niobrara play is the next big thing in onshore oil drilling, and investors are cluing in to the fact that early entrants like EOG Resources, Noble Energy (NYSE: NBL), and Samson are likely to be big beneficiaries, just as Northern Oil & Gas (NYSE: NOG) was with the Bakken shale area.

Highly rated CAPS All-Star 54785478 notes the path is clear for Samson to score as it has interests in several key plays: "Open road for Bakken and Niobrara Oil production.And now with new proprietary 3-D siesmic in Goshen Cty.,Wyo. Medium risk-high reward."

Let us know on the Samson Oil & Gas CAPS page whether this stock will still mine the market of expectations.

Store it away for later
As bad as paid-for research is for making investing decisions, playing the rumor game isn't any better. "Buy the rumor, sell the news" might be an old trading nugget, but it's really not the best way to invest. Storage specialist Dot Hill Systems got a big boost when rumors spread Oracle might be interested in making an acquisition, based on nothing more than the company's statement it would have a big "game changing" announcement at the end of the month.

As hot as the M&A activity has been, if Xyratex's (Nasdaq: XRTX) earnings are any indication, there could be a slowdown coming in the sector that could just as easily impact Dot Hill and LSI (NYSE: LSI). Xyratex posted weak first-quarter profits and blamed soft demand for the shortfall. Of course, Dot Hill says it's planning on exceeding its previous guidance so Xyratex's results could be company specific and make Dot Hill all that more attractive to a potential suitor.

The CAPS community remains circumspect, and more than one-third of the All-Star members rating the storage leader believe it will underperform the broad market averages. You can stow away Dot Hill for later by adding the stock to your watchlist and having all the Foolish news and analysis gathered together for you in one place.

A rare opportunity
It's not paid pumpers or the rumor mill getting NVIDIA's stock going, but rather a real market opportunity that should help its business explode. Smartphones continue to grow in both popularity and the features they offer, each feeding off the other. The more people want them, the more features are added, giving incentive for more people to buy them.

Similarly, the explosive growth in the tablet market will herald new developments there. While Apple is the tablet market right now, some 80 models were unveiled at the recent CES exhibition, indicating the type of opportunity that exists. Smartphones were hot, too.

And NVIDIA is likely to see its graphics chips embedded in these devices as video and graphics drive their adoption. A recent Barron's article says NVIDIA's shares could easily double as a result. As CAPS member kesem succinctly puts it: "mobile, mobile and more mobile!"

Be sure to add the chip maker into the Fool's free portfolio tracker, then head over to the NVDIA CAPS page and add your own thoughts on how it will move forward.

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.

Apple and NVIDIA are Motley Fool Stock Advisor choices. The Fool has written puts on Apple. The Fool owns shares of Apple, and Oracle. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. 

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. You can shake, rattle, and roll The Motley Fool's disclosure policy, but it still won't break.