"The bigger they are, the harder they fall." This old saying sums up the worst nightmare of every homeowner, every gold buyer, and every investor in today's market. Dare ye buy at the top?

Every day, Nasdaq.com publishes a list of the market's top stocks -- the companies whose shares have just hit their highest intraday price of any time in the past 52 weeks. Every day, investors read this list and tremble -- some with greed (big mo', baby!), and others in pure, unmitigated, acrophobic terror (whatever you do, don't look down).

Over on Motley Fool CAPS, thousands of investors just like you are watching these same companies and voting their gut on whether they'll keep rising or stumble and fall. Usually, the ratings wax optimistic as stocks hit new highs -- because everyone loves a winner. But what do you make of it when some of the smartest investors out there are panning a hot stock?

You could heed them. You could ignore them. You could take the stock tickers and construct anagrams from 'em. For my money, though, the best course of action is to use the "52-week high" list as just a starting point for further research. After all, stocks can go up for many reasons, and it's up to you to decide how worthy those reasons are. But thanks to Motley Fool CAPS, now you don't have to make the decision alone.

With that said, let's meet today's list of contenders, drawn from the latest "52-week high" list at Nasdaq.com. What does our panel of more than 50,000 stock gurus (and counting) have to say about them?

One Year Ago Today

Currently Fetching

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Synaptics (NASDAQ:SYNA)




BorgWarner  (NYSE:BWA)




CHC Helicopter  (NYSE:FLI)




Baidu.com (NASDAQ:BIDU)








Companies are selected from the "Nasdaq 52 Week High" list published on Nasdaq.com on the Saturday following close of trading last week. One year ago and current pricing provided by Yahoo! Finance. CAPS ratings from Motley Fool CAPS.
*First Solar deputed on the Nasdaq on Nov. 16, 2006.

Everybody loves a winner
When stocks soar on the wings of success, you'd expect bears to become rare. But it seems investors are developing a real case of acrophobia -- the majority of the firms making our list this week are actually expected to underperform. Our CAPS booby-prize winner this week may inspire feelings of nostalgia in Motley Fool Hidden Gems members, because it's none other than pager specialist (you remember pagers, right? The things we used before cell phones?) USA Mobility, a former recommendation of the service.

Chosen for the portfolio in May 2004, USA Mobility departed in May 2006 after costing us a 23% loss. While it remains 13% below our buy-in price of three years ago, though, the stock has gained 33% in the year since we sold it. So did we sell too soon? Is there still hope for the stock? Our CAPS players think not.

The bear case on USA Mobility
CAPS All-Star NetscribeTech reacquaints us with the business:

The company provides both one-way and two-way messaging services mostly through paging devices to customers in the U.S. with the former contributing 90%. ... The service segment has been contributing 95% for the last two fiscal periods, however has declined 20% for the nine-month period ended September 2006. Net revenue for the same period declined 20%. ... USA Mobility represents a company that has not evolved with technology. Most of its competitors like Verizon (NYSE:VZ) wireless and [AT&T's (NYSE:T)] Cingular wireless has moved on and incorporated the new developments. Thus the future for USA Mobility looks bleak and the share price, which is an indicator of this, will bear the brunt.

The Fool's own TMFBreakerBrian agrees:

USMO operates in dying field. Although the company generates globs of cash the party has to end sometime. Maybe I've called the end to the party prematurely and this is a one of those famous "cigar butt" stocks but my bet is that the party ends sooner rather than later. Thumbs down!

In closing, let's revisit the Hidden Gems recommendation to sell USA Mobility:

This company is not a Hidden Gem, it's an unknown stream of declining cash flows. And it's taking a dramatic turn to attempt to build the business in a different way, using more of that cash in the process. So without passing judgment, it's time we say farewell to USA Mobility.

Time to chime in
Did I really say "in closing?" The discussion's just beginning! Clearly, with the stock leaping 33% since we sold it, there's more to the story here than what you read above. Log on to CAPS now, and tell us the rest.

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. 790 out of more than 50,000 players. The Fool has a disclosure policy.