The clock's ticking down, your team's down one, you're being double-teamed, and you wouldn't have enough time to get off a good shot even if you were allowed to drop-kick both defenders. So who do you dish the rock to?

Your first thought might be the resident superstar -- the Kobe Bryant or LeBron James. But what if Kobe, as good as Kobe is, is playing colder than an Alaskan snowdrift? That's right, you dish to the guy with the hot hand, the guy who will be deemed en fuego tomorrow on ESPN.

Momentum investors are looking for stocks in a similar state of sizzle when they make investments. They want to give the nod to the stocks that are hot to the touch.

But momentum by itself will only get you so far. What sounds more interesting to me than simply looking for stocks that have momentum is finding high-quality stocks that also have some positive inertia on their side. It's like kicking the ball out to Michael Jordan or Larry Bird when they do have a hot hand.

To find these high-quality winners, I cross-referenced a pretty simple momentum screen with data from The Motley Fool's new investing community, CAPS. The result is a starting lineup of all-star stocks that all currently have a fiery shooting hand. Each of the companies below is up 30% or more over the past year, is within 5% of its 52-week high, and has been rated highly by CAPS players.


12-Month Change

Percent Below 52-Week High

CAPS Rating (out of 5) (NASDAQ:CTRP)




Transocean (NYSE:RIG)







Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD)




Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ)




Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Capital IQ, and CAPS as of Nov. 5.

At first glance, this sure looks like a high-quality group. But, as always, I highly advise taking a close look before you throw a bounce pass in the direction of any of these stocks.

A searing Ctrip
Motley Fool Hidden Gems pick Ctrip is certainly on fire -- the stock has more than doubled in a single year. For those not familiar with the company, it may not come as a surprise that this highflier has China as part of its story. Similar to American counterparts like Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) and (NASDAQ:PCLN), Ctrip helps customers arrange and book travel services such as hotel stays and airplane tickets. The fact that Ctrip focuses on China gives it the benefit of being smack in the middle of one of the world's fastest-growing economies.

The major move in Ctrip's stock over the past year, though, has been thanks to a combination of high growth and investors' high hopes for the company's future. The company's growth has been nothing short of phenomenal -- between 2002 and 2006, it grew revenue at a compounded annual rate of more than 65%, and revenue is up 50% for the first six months of this year. Over the next five years, analysts expect that Ctrip will be able to grow earnings at an annual rate of more than 33%.

Expectations, though, have sped right along with actual growth. For the 12 months ended in September of last year, Ctrip earned $0.45 per share, giving it a trailing P/E of roughly 55 this time last year. Assuming that the company is able to hit third-quarter earnings estimates of $0.17 per share, it would have a current trailing P/E of nearly 100. So although the 31% growth in EPS has helped Ctrip's stock price, the big jump in trading multiple has helped even more.

While many players on CAPS are wary of Ctrip's high price, there are even more who think the stock isn't done running yet. One such player is CAPS All-Star ZachGruver, who noted early last month that "China is hot, and so is this company. [Ctrip] has me thinking about the explosive returns of Travelocity, and with that notion I can only think that it will outperform the market."

So does Ctrip deserve a place on your All-Star team? You can share your thoughts -- or check out more of what your fellow Fools had to say about it, or any of the other stocks above -- by stopping by CAPS. And while you're there, you can also take a peek at a few more of the 5,000-plus rated stocks.

I think I heard a "booyah" somewhere out there - thanks, Stuart Scott!

More CAPS Foolishness:

NetEase is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Priceline was chosen by Stock Advisor.

When it comes to basketball, Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer might be the guy Ron Shelton was thinking of when he came up with the title White Men Can't Jump. He does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool's disclosure policy has a 55'' vertical jump and can dunk from half court. Or so I hear.