How many times have you heard a sensational stock recommendation, only to be left in the dust? 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."

To hunt down a few top-recommended stocks that have been rewarding investors accordingly, I summoned our Motley Fool CAPS community to point out a few four- or five-star stocks that have gone gangbusters in recent weeks. Data we've compiled shows that these top-rated stocks easily outperform the market.

While these aren’t not necessarily formal buy recommendations, I did come across these four-week bloomers, among others:


4-Week Return

Current Share Price

2009 EPS Estimates

CAPS Rating  (out of 5)

Cemex (NYSE:CX)





Jacobs Engineering (NYSE:JEC)





Infinera Corp. (NASDAQ:INFN)





Graftech International (NYSE:GTI)





Perini Corp. (NYSE:PCR)





Data from Motley Fool CAPS and Yahoo! Finance, as of Dec. 10.

O! Ba! Ma!
No surprises here: The past month's big winners are predominately infrastructure plays poised to exploit President-elect Obama's pending stimulus package. Nothing's official yet, but all signs point toward a stimulus package that could exceed $500 billion, with a sizable chunk allotted to infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, and schools. If you're in the heavy construction business, this is about as good as it gets: What better way to stave off one of the worst economic downturns in decades than to have the government throw wads of cash at you?

One of the biggest winners of all of this has been Global Gains and Stock Advisor recommendation Cemex. Sure, this cement king as been absolutely slaughtered this year, falling from more than $30 a pop in May to a measly $4 just a few weeks ago, but our CAPS community still seems pretty bullish. As omt68 mentioned a couple of weeks ago:

With all the money being pumped into the world economy by the US and other nations, the current slump is going to be sharp, but short lived. When the economy picks up, this industry will be ahead of the curve and the company will be able to take advantage of the inflationary prices that are a certain consequence of the excess money.

Cemex's one shortcoming -- and it could be a doozy -- is its bloated debt load. With around $15 billion in long-term debt, Cemex is going to need every last cent of stimulus cash it can get its hands on. And with $6.6 billion of that debt due by the end of 2009, investors are weighing the possibility of default against the possibility of a multibagger if Cemex can finagle its debt load. As akilahkt wrote back in October, "Mexican government will keep Cemex alive until its primary markets recover. Cemex will almost certainly be among the first stocks to rise sharply when recovery does occur."

I guess that could happen, but I keep thinking about companies like General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Ford (NYSE:F), where government "saving" the companies still leaves shareholders in the toilet.

Investors looking for a less leveraged play might want to take a look at Jacobs Engineering. With a trivial amount of long-term debt and loads of experience working on government projects, Jacobs seems poised to exploit the upcoming infrastructure bonanza and let investors sleep at night without worrying about credit-market jitters. As mjdhcs80 pointed out last month:

Jacobs, with their conservative management style and emphasis on expense control, along with a tremendous focus on execution and client satisfaction can capitalize on their current backlog which is bigger than ever. They have an innate ability to acquire companies and make 2 + 2 equal greater than FOUR. Their management is seasoned and believes in the culture of Jacobs.

Well put. The one caveat here is that Jacobs might not exactly be a bargain stock: At around 14 times next year's earnings estimates, the market isn't exactly handing you a no-brainer with this one.

Any of these ideas catch your attention? Feel free to share your thoughts with 120,000-plus other investors over at Motley Fool CAPS. Click here to check it out. It won't cost you a dime.

Further Foolishness:

Fool contributor Morgan Housel doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. Perini is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems Pay Dirt selection. Cemex is both a Global Gains pick and a Stock Advisor selection. Infinera is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. The Fool owns shares of Infinera and Cemex and has a disclosure policy.