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)

KV Pharmaceutical (NYSE: KV-A) 433.3% **
EMCORE (Nasdaq: EMKR) 83.2% *
Weight Watchers International (NYSE: WTW) 62.1% **

^From Jan. 26 to Feb. 25.

While you were out, the market surpassed the 12,000 level, but it's threatening to crash back through that barrier, 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
After trading in a fairly narrow range between $2 and $3 a share for the better part of a year, KV Pharmaceutical exploded higher this month, becoming the top-performing stock by quintupling in value. The FDA approved Makena, the treatment it's developing with Hologic (Nasdaq: HOLX) for reducing the risk for women with a history of singleton spontaneous preterm birth. It didn't hurt that it's the only such treatment on the market.

Not surprisingly, KV chose to use the opportunity to raise cash to bring Makena to market, raising $32 million in a private placement and setting up a $130 million financing facility, too. Also unsurprisingly, long-suffering investors used the nosebleed-section stock price to cash out some profits. Last week, the stock gave back almost 7%, or about $2 a share.

CAPS member doctorsynthesis says KV Pharmaceutical has a blockbuster development on its hands:

While the number of premature births (and thus the market for Makena) may not be as large as for typical blockbuster drugs, the cost to the health care system from premature births is disproportionately high. This is what allows Makena to get away with such high margins since $1500 per injection to prevent a premature birth is still way cheaper than the costs of long-term care for premature babies in hospitals. This is money in the bank for K V.

You can keep tabs on this drug developer by adding it to your free watchlist then inject your opinion onto the KV Pharmaceutical CAPS page.

Sight for sore eyes
Optical networking specialist EMCORE has also been a sleepy stock for the most part, but got a big boost from first-quarter earnings results that showed a surge in revenues and profits from a nascent recovery in photovoltaic segment sales. The profit picture at EMCORE is steadily improving with margins across the board on the rise.

It's not alone. The optical networking segment is coalescing around stronger gains with Finisar, JDS Uniphase (Nasdaq: JDSU), and Oclaro (Nasdaq: OCLR) all looking to use recent strength to step up their game. Burgeoning demand is allowing the sector to rise up, but that does create a more intense competitive environment. It's why the solar sector is attracting EMCORE and JDS Uniphase, though the telecom market remains their meal ticket.

With 82% of the CAPS members rating EMCORE marking it to outperform the broad market averages, it's clear they think it will be able to dial up additional profits going forward. Add EMCORE to the Fool's free portfolio tracker to keep an eye on the optical networking specialist's progress.

The skinny on weight loss
A new, more affordable plan from Weight Watchers International was enough to make investors love its stock, sending it up 62% this month, while dumping shares of NutriSystem (Nasdaq: NTRI) from their portfolios. It's lost 34% over the past four weeks.

Between Weight Watchers, NutriSystem, and Nestle subsidiary Jenny Craig, there's plenty of opportunity for investors to earn fat profits from the urge to get thin. CAPS member MajorBob04 says the formula for success is simple: exceed expectations, which Weight Watchers has managed to do exceptionally well lately. Profits swelled to $48.9 million, from just $18.7 million the year before, and guidance far exceeded what Wall Street was expecting.

You can stay in shape by staying on top of the Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation by adding it to the Fool's free portfolio tracker, then power-walking your way over to the Weight Watchers International CAPS page and adding your own thoughts on its fat profits.

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.

Weight Watchers International is a Motley Fool Inside Value choice. 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.