No one has perfect foresight, but let's be honest: The market is full of people who, as Oscar Wilde would say, know "the price of everything and the value of nothing." Far too often -- over the past year especially -- investors have been pitched sensational stock recommendations, only to be left high and dry as shares crumble.  

To hunt down top-recommended stocks that have rewarded investors accordingly, I called upon our Motley Fool CAPS community. While they're not formal buy recommendations, these four- or five-star stocks posted three-month gains that caught my attention: 


13-Week Return

Recent Share Price

2009 EPS Estimates

CAPS Rating  
(5 max)

Corning (NYSE:GLW)









Hansen Natural (NASDAQ:HANS)





Mosaic (NYSE:MOS)





Western Refining (NYSE:WNR)





Data from Motley Fool CAPS and Yahoo! Finance. Return from 12/12/08 through 3/13/09.  
*Fiscal year ends May 31.

You can rerun the CAPS screen I used by clicking here

Monster success?
Hansen Natural went from the best stock to own over the past decade to one of the worst stocks to own in 2008. That's how bubbles work. The higher they fly, the harder they fall.

But unlike Jones Soda and other beverage makers, Hansen's growth story has some teeth to it. OK, so maybe it's not the next Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), but as someone whose daily Monster Energy drink is quickly becoming as important as his daily cup of coffee, I'm a firm believer that Hanson runs an entirely sustainable business, even in this economy.

Especially in this economy, I should say, because Hansen's rock-solid balance sheet leaves it more than able to handle anything the market can throw at it. Hansen has more than $250 million in cash and not a lick of long-term debt -- an enviable, even remarkable, position for a such a high-growth company these days.

Heck, even the bears seem to like Hansen's long-term prospects. As CAPS member A6EIntruder recently wrote:

Trends indicate consumer discretionary spending is going ppffffhhhtbbbt, as Bill the Cat would say. There's no reason to think that this totally unnecessary (albeit wonderful) product line should flourish in the near term. By all means, pick it up if you want a good long term investment tho.

Discretionary spending it may be, but I'd look at Monster Energy drinks as something more akin to Altria Group (NYSE:MO) (all health concerns aside) -- a product that's only discretionary if you're not a devoted customer. Recession or no recession, Hansen has a customer base that would get its hands on a Monster if it took the last penny in their pockets. That's the stuff of strong moats.

It's also apparently the kind of stuff that CAPS member FoolSolo seems to like about this company. As FoolSolo wrote back in January:

This company has a great story and a great following, it is one of the few companies that is diverging from the S&P and keeps gaining. ... Fundamentally and financially, the company has very low risk. Nice cash position, good cashflow, very manageable liabilities. The PE is somewhat high for the current market conditions, but overall the company is quite healthy and growing fast, which warrants the PE multiple.

Sure, a forward P/E of about 14.6 might be high in comparison to the other incredible bargains today, but it's hardly excessive for a company still expected to grow at more than 13% per year for at least the next five years. Between the bulletproof balance sheet, customer loyalty, and continued future prospects, there's still plenty to love about this company, even after its recent rally.

Your turn to chime in
What do you think about Hansen Natural? More than 130,000 investors use CAPS to share ideas and swap opinions. Click here to check it out and speak your mind. It's 100% free to participate.

For further Foolishness:

Fool contributor Morgan Housel owns shares of Altria. Ctrip is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems selection. Coca-Cola is an Inside Value pick. Hansen Natural is a Rule Breakers recommendation. The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.