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 (Nasdaq: AMZN) ** $172.02 13.5%
Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) *** $600.79 14.7%
NewMarket (NYSE: NEU) *** $124.41 24.6%

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 launch pad for your own research and analysis.

Highfalutin' honeys
E-commerce giant has been able to leverage its business model to the hilt by avoiding collecting state sales taxes. The Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that companies that didn't have a physical presence in a state weren't required to work as an unpaid tax collector for the governor.

California, though, is the latest state finding its coffers depleted after frivolously squandering its money and deciding Internet companies having affiliate programs should be required to collect taxes for it. North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Colorado have all passed such laws, and Amazon's response has been the same: It cut ties to the affiliates in those states. It's also closing a Texas distribution site for similar reasons.

It's true that Amazon does get a competitive advantage over rivals like Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) when it sells electronics through affiliates because its prices will typically be better, but the consumer is the ultimate beneficiary. So the answer doesn't lay in seeing how many more companies we can tax, which ends up putting people out of business, but rather we need to reduce the burden on everyone else by cutting spending.

But Amazon's cut-and-run program can only go so far, particularly if more states decide the revenue stream is easy pickings for cash-strapped budgets. And bricks-and-mortar retailers like Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) are already making conscious efforts to court affiliates who've been cut off by the e-commerce leader.

CAPS member ramondaddy isn't concerned and sees Amazon only getting bigger after the Borders bankruptcy, while Erysipelothrix suggests customer loyalty will keep it moving forward:

Because you can buy most anything there and the popularity of their Amazon prime service shows that they have loyal customers that will continue to feed the company's growth.

Let us know in the comment section below or on the CAPS page if the competitive advantage it enjoys is unfair or not.

A mirror image
For a company whose motto was "don't be evil," Google seems to go out of its way to ooze creepiness. It was complicit in censoring Chinese search queries, collected personal data from unencrypted Wi-Fi networks for three years, and has been sued for invading privacy with its Street View cams. Now it's putting its all-seeing eyes on a tricycle and taking pictures in parks and off-road areas.

Because of its ubiquity, it's difficult to avoid coming into contact with Google in your online adventures -- I use its simple Gmail program and find it too sticky to separate from -- but where I can, I purposely avoid using its services. I do searches now using Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) Bing, I've migrated away from Blogger to record my private musings, and I use services other than Google Analytics to track website visits. Small victories against the pervasiveness of the search giant, I know, but I find Google's "ick factor" growing too big to ignore.

Despite my quixotic war on Google, CAPS member MedicoBoomstick says it's just too diverse to not continue being a powerhouse:

While it is true Apple will continue to dominate the tablet and high-end smart-phone markets for the near future, Google and Android are poised to stay dominate. However, Google, unlike Apple, so itself much more diverse and readily investing cash into new projects, any of which could be the next big thing.

You can add Google to the Fool's free portfolio tracker and can tilt at windmills like I do on the Google CAPS page.

Triple-digit titans
Oil additives specialist NewMarket continues to benefit from the recovering auto industry as sales jumped 13% over the year-ago period. Yet, competition with Lubrizol and Ashland (NYSE: ASH) remains tight, and operating margins contracted in the latest quarter.

The CAPS community remains bullish about its prospects, though, with 97% of those rating NewMarket expecting it to outperform the broad market averages. Even the All-Stars weighing in have a similarly bright outlook for its future. You can add the additives maker to your watchlist and see if this remains a slick opportunity.

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.

Best Buy, Google, and Microsoft are Motley Fool Inside Value selections. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. and Best Buy are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool owns shares of Best Buy, Google, 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 owns shares of Best Buy but 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.