Some stocks are one-hit wonders, making a big splash when they first appear and 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, and we'll pair them with the ratings from our Motley Fool CAPS community. The higher each stock's rating, the greater our CAPS members' faith in that company's ability to keep on beating the market.


1-Month   % Change

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Conn's (Nasdaq: CONN)



Yongye International (Nasdaq: YONG)



Timberland (NYSE: TBL)



Source:; one-month % change from April 1 to May 3.

While you were out, the market plunged below the 12,000 level. Though it's since bounced back, it's struggling to stay above that psychological level, 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
I hope investors in Conn's aren't using the earnings results from Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) as a proxy for their own company. I like Best Buy a lot, and I even own its stock, but the earnings, although good, weren't great and were helped along by a share repurchase.

It's possible the shorts are being squeezed a bit here because, although Conn's days to cover fell from a recent spike, at 19 days it's still pretty high (shorting Fools like to see the metric below seven days to prevent just such a run on the stock). CAPS member SharePlanner expected a short squeeze at the end of April: "Pay close attention to Conn's Inc. (CONN), which is posting a very nice bullish flag of late, and has 58 days to cover. If the shorts are forced to cover this one, it will be a blood bath for them."

Conn's stock is up 55% during this rally (ouch!). The stock began to move higher before Best Buy reported, but it really picked up steam after the financials were released. Interestingly, hhgregg (NYSE: HGG) hasn't had a similar run-up of its own, though it has a relatively high short interest ratio as well (16 days to cover). Its shares remain essentially unchanged, while Best Buy's stock is nearly 13% higher.

Conn's own quarterly results were even less impressive than Best Buy's, with revenues falling, profits narrowing, and guidance for the second quarter disappointing. Best Buy was able to at least reiterate a bullish outlook for the year.

Let us know on the Conn's CAPS page what you think is driving the stock higher and whether it can turn its business around.

A surprise reversal
Long the target of hedge funds and short sellers who accuse it of fraudulent activity, Chinese fertilizer maker Yongye International was catapulted higher by the vote of confidence Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) bestowed on it. A $50 million shot in the arm, along with a seat on the board of directors to watch over the money, encouraged investors to believe there wasn't going to be any (more) funny business going on with the financials.

There's a certain sense to it, too. When it's come to allegations with Yongye, there's been more smoke than fire, and whatever I might think about the science of fulvic and humic acid as a component of its product, there's at least anecdotal support for it. And Yongye itself has said it can increase overall yields of crops by as much as 20% while also improving product quality.

A bigger hurdle for Yongye will be overcoming is the growing lack of trust of Chinese small caps, particularly those that went public through a reverse merger. The laundry list of those accused of fraud is cautionary, and for CAPS member Diagoras, the fertilizer maker still has to prove that its business is above-board.

Nothing changes the fact that this company is likely a fraud. If anything, now is a good time to short, given that investor sentiment has become more bullish. A low single digit P/E is meaningless if the E part of that ratio is not to be trusted.

Tell us in the comments section below or on the Yongye International CAPS page whether Morgan Stanley's cash vote is enough for you.

Should I stay or go?
After a disappointing quarterly earnings report that sent its stock plunging, boot maker Timberland was kicked higher by VF's (NYSE: VFC) $2 billion buyout offer. The retailer that includes such premium denim names like 7 for All Mankind in its product portfolio will be adding Timberland to its outdoors and sports segment, which will now account for more than half of all revenues.

Getting the company for $43 a share was apparently a shrewd move by VF, since the market rewarded VF by pumping up its stock price. And, why not? It's getting a quality brand name that will add some $700 million in revenue to its income statement, one that was mercilessly kicked in the head after rising costs for leather sank profits by 30% and inventories jumped higher. But sales are still growing -- up 10%. There was still value here, to be sure.

More than 81% of the CAPS members rating Timberland saw it being able beat the market in the months ahead, but 94% of those rating VF saw it gaining. Tell us on the CAPS pages of either Timberland or VF whether you think these boots were made for walking higher.

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.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.