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

Mad Catz Interactive (NYSE: MCZ)



Western Refining (NYSE: WNR)



IPG Photonics (Nasdaq: IPGP)



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

While you were out, the market surpassed the 12,000 level, a threshold it hasn't 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
It might not mean the same thing as when tech geeks break down the latest Apple product to see whose chips, controllers, and other gizmos won the right to be included, but the exclusive agreement between Mad Catz and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) to develop a co-branded wireless headset for the Xbox 360 is a pretty big achievement nonetheless.

It's apparently the first time Microsoft has allowed any third-party vendor to offer such a device and it builds on the relationships the accessories maker has with other platform developers, including Nintendo and Sony (NYSE: SNE). Those ties led Mad Catz to a record quarter where revenues surged 90% to $93 million. Microsoft, though, represents the bulk of its business, generating 31% of Mad Catz' revenues, with Nintendo and Sony each comprising another 19%, respectively.

Yet investors need to be wary of the videogame market these days, as January sales were down for the second straight month, according to the market researchers at NPD Group, and off for the 10th time in the past year. CAPS member Nikobonjon, however, says the gaming industry should recover, boosting Mad Catz too.

Whoa! Here is my ten bagger. Sales up, Profit margins up, Contracts up. High quality product line with the company's new direction toward consumer items. The gaming industry should continue to expand as young players demand the most form thier gaming experiences. The long term and heavy debt issue should ease as income levels improve even further but watch out if the management goes on a M&A spree.

You can this gaming accessories maker by adding it your watchlist then plugging in your opinion on the Mad Catz CAPS page.

A sticky situation
Considering the overabundance of oil flowing from the Bakken shale plays, its not surprising Western Refining, Frontier Oil (NYSE: FTO), and other refiners are benefitting from the price disparity in West Texas Intermediate. Western's pipeline, acquired from Chevron and sold to Kinder Morgan Energy Partners with a 30-year transportation agreement, has access to the majority of the producing fields in the Permian Basin, giving the refiner access to a plentiful supply of sweet and sour crude oil from fields with long reserve lives.

CAPS member goldminingXpert says investors who wrote off the refining industry for as good as dead were a bit premature in their pronouncement: "To all those who say refiners are a dying industry ... nope. And WNR is best of breed. Stay long and strong WNR!"

As strong as Western Refining is, though, Frontier has had an equally good month with its stock rising 58%. A rising tide lifts all boats. Add Western to the Fool's free portfolio tracker to stay on top of the refinery's progress.

A house in shambles
With laser-like precision, fiber laser specialist IPG Photonics took out earnings estimates, far outpacing expectations and follows the lead of peer Coherent, which also had blowout earnings. Although 2011 is already shaping up to be an exceptional year, investors might want to keep an eye on how the rare earth minerals brouhaha falls out.

Fiber lasers are the next generation of lasers with greater flexibility, ease of use, and lower energy consumption advantages over traditional lasers. They're sort of the LED lighting of the laser industry, and will likely see faster growth than the traditional kind, putting IPG and II-VI (Nasdaq: IIVI) in the forefront. Yet fiber lasers are infused with rare earth ions, and one of IPG's competitive advantages is that its fibers are infused with higher concentrations of ytterbium, erbium, and thuliumthan than its competitors.

So depending on these cost inputs for IPG and the others, a developing paucity of rare earth minerals could have a material impact on the their business. With expectations for greater growth, however, it doesn't seem to be a problem right now, but it's worth keeping an eye on.

Zippany says IPG's breakthrough technology will keep it one step ahead of the competition.

Leader in a breakthrough technology with big demand for broad applications. There is limitless demand for enabling technologies in broadband infrastructure. IPG Photonics amkes fiber lasers which are a revolutionary step. There are many medical applications waiting to be tapped and some industrial ones too.

Be sure to add IPG to the Fool's free portfolio tracker, then head over to the IPG Photonics CAPS page and add your own thoughts on whether it will continue to burn up the charts.

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.

Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. IPG Photonics is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Apple and Nintendo are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. Chevron is a Motley Fool Income Investor selection. The Fool has written puts on Apple. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool owns shares of Apple, II-VI, IPG Photonics, and Microsoft. 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 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.