In my weekly Fool column "Get Ready for the Fall," I run's 52-week highs list through the "wisdom of crowds" meter we call Motley Fool CAPS. The result: a list of stocks that have flown so high, investors are starting to get nervous about that whole "gravity" thing. But while many stocks will indeed plunge back to Earth, some seem immune to gravity, steadily riding a rising megatrend to ever-greater heights.

Today, we'll move beyond stocks that have hit 52-week highs, and identify companies now surpassing five solid years of outperformance. Which of these will thrash the market averages for another half-decade? Here are this week's leading contenders:


Recent Price

CAPS Rating (5 max):

Bull Factor





William Wrigley  (NYSE:WWY)








Allos Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ALTH)




Fuel Systems Solutions (NASDAQ:FSYS)




Companies are selected from the "New 5-Year Highs" list published on MSN Money on Thursday. CAPS Ratings and Bull Factor from Motley Fool CAPS.

Do you like tech stocks?
Well, how about TECH, the stock? Ordinarily, when we compare a list of the companies hitting five-year highs against investors' opinions on them, the table above is filled with more stars than the Milky Way. But not today. Investors expect continued growth from just one five-star company on this week's list of supercharged stocks: Techne.

If you've never heard of Techne, don't feel bad -- neither have I. But that's the advantage of Motley Fool CAPS. With more than 110,000 investors pooling their brainpower, we collectively know all, see all, and tell you all you want to know about ...

The bull case for Techne
First and foremost, what does Techne do? According to its profile on Yahoo! Finance, "[Techne] develops and manufactures ... hematology calibrators... offers ... cytokines, which are extracted from natural sources or produced using recombinant DNA technology; enzymes and related factors, including enzyme substrates and inhibitors; antibodies ... assay kits that include human and animal quantikine ..." and assorted other products that I lack sufficient biology credits to understand.

Last summer, bboydg thankfully boiled all of the above down to a much simpler description: "Techne makes the products that biotech and pharmaceutical companies use for their research (also other medical research)." Oh. Well why didn't they just say that in the first place?

Now, bboydg also tells us that this "is an unique field." While that may be true, Techne is not a unique company, competing against rivals like Thermo Fisher (NYSE:TMO) and GE (NYSE:GE) Bio-Sciences in a decidedly lucrative line of business. As JjcampNR rhetorically asked back in May: "Why spend money inventing new drugs when you can make a pile of money supplying those who do?" (such as firms like Abbott Labs (NYSE:ABT)).

Perhaps for this reason, bscott0527 wrote (back in November 2006) about Techne, "Great company with less risk than most biotechs."

That may have been true two years ago, but Techne has already run more than 50% ahead of the market since bscott0527 picked it out of the biotech crowd. Today, the stock carries quite a lot of what you might call "valuation risk."

Analysts think Techne can grow its profits at 12.5% per year over the next half decade -- not bad at all in an industry that, as a whole, is expected to post just 8.5% growth. Still, the stock sells for 32 times trailing earnings, which seems a bit much to pay for low double-digit growth. Since Techne's free cash flow roughly approximates its net earnings as reported under GAAP, I'm sticking by my opinion: Don't avoid tech stocks. Do avoid TECH's stock.

Time to chime in
Of course, the aim of this column isn't just to tell you what I think about Techne, or what other CAPS players are saying. We want to hear your thoughts. Head on over to Motley Fool CAPS, and tell us what you think.

Motley Fool CAPS : It's fun, it's free, and it just might make you famous.

Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any company named above. You can find him on CAPS, publicly pontificating under the handle TMFDitty, where he's currently ranked No. 552 out of more than 110,000 players. The Fool has a disclosure policy.