Penny stocks are one way to double your money, though investing in them is fraught with risk. There are equally shiny opportunities trading at the other end of the price spectrum, too, and 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

Clean Harbors (NYSE: CLH)








Open Table (Nasdaq: OPEN)




Sources: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's; Motley Fool CAPS.

But just because these stocks are purring, that's 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 that you use this list as a launchpad for your own research and analysis.

Highfalutin' honeys
Radioactive iodine-131 levels are more than 1,100 times normal around Japan's damaged TEPCO Fukushima reactor, and contamination in the ocean is spreading outward, now being found further away than it was previously. Officials now believe radioactive water is leaking from the nuclear facility directly into the ocean, and readings of radioactivity close to the plant are 1,850 times above normal levels.

The fact is, the responsibility for the cleanup of the contamination is going to fall into just a few hands -- specialists in taking on the most hazardous duties. EnergySolutions (NYSE: ES) is likely to be one to get the nod, as it's one of only a few companies with the technology to decontaminate a damaged reactor -- though investors might be wary nonetheless, considering the heavy debt burden it carries and its delay in filing its annual report. Other potential companies to take part in the cleanup are AEA Technology and privately held Environmental Energy Resources, both of which were called in after the Chernobyl meltdown.

For investors, a better bet is Clean Harbors, which is cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico from BP's oil spill there last year. The Fool's Alyce Lomax likes it for her "Rising Stars" portfolio, though with the nature of its business, there are risks aplenty here as well. Still, the potential to capitalize on the disaster is attracting investors, and 95% of CAPS members rating the remediation specialist believe that it will clean up on the market, too.

Add your own opinion to the Clean Harbors CAPS page and tell us whether you believe there's a chance for some good to come out of this disaster.

In exchange for what?
While there are some who still expect Nasdaq OMX (Nasdaq: NDAQ) to try to outbid Deutsche Bourse for New York Stock Exchange owner NYSE Euronext, differences apparently exist between it and partner IntercontinentalExchange. Besides, futures exchange operator CME Group is a closer competitor and would make a more sensible suitor for the exchange.

Yet CME holds no illusions that it could make a wedge in the bid for the NYSE's overseas derivative's exchange. Its CEO said the breakup fee that would be imposed is a hurdle simply too high to scale.

Fully 96% of the All-Star CAPS members who rate the futures exchange operator believe that it will outperform the broader market averages, whether it's a standalone company or not. Add CME to the Fool's free portfolio tracker to keep an eye on all the dealmaking that ultimately goes down.

Triple-digit titans
Critics maintain that it's getting harder to justify OpenTable's lofty valuation, since in addition to competitors such as IAC/InterActiveCorp (Nasdaq: IACI), coupon distributor Groupon may grow into a more attractive option for getting diners to the table. OpenTable recognizes the threat, of course, and started offering its own coupons last year, but its focused attention on the dining industry should give it an edge.

CAPS member circaclown, however, thinks Open Table's reservation system is vulnerable.

Seriously? No, really. Seriously? I know the basics about this company and what it does and they are valuing it almost as much as LinkedIn? This thing could be collapsed by an innovative I-Phone app!

Apparently, OpenTable sees that threat, too, because it offers just such an app. Add the restaurant-reservation specialist to your watchlist, and let us know on the Open Table CAPS page whether it still has a seat at the growth table.

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.

Berkshire Hathaway is a recommendation of Motley Fool Inside Value and Motley Fool Stock Advisor. OpenTable is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. The Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, EnergySolutions, and Nasdaq OMX Group. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey has no financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.