Ask cheapskate value investors to buy a stock that's achieved a new 52-week high and you'll get one of two responses:

  1. Hysterical laughter.
  2. Sudden nausea.

Pity them, Fool.

How many times has Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR) touched a new 52-week high on its way to becoming one of the market's 10 best stocks of the past decade? Too many to count, of course. Never assume that "rocket stocks" -- high-growth stocks that are also realizing heavy price appreciation -- are too expensive. What looks like a cliff could really be base camp on a climb toward the summit of Everest.

Rocket stocks, not rocket science
Each weekday in this column, we'll enlist the more than 79,000 pro and amateur stock pickers in our Motley Fool CAPS community to find stocks that are still climbing. We'll start with The Wall Street Journal's 52-week high lists. But we'll focus our search on stocks expected to boost net income by at least 15% a year for the next five years, and with CAPS ratings of at least two stars (out of five).

Here's what we've turned up today:


Closing Price 12/27/2007

CAPS Rating

5-Year Growth Estimate

52-Week Range

Somanetics (NASDAQ:SMTS)





Chipotle (NYSE:CMG)





Peerless Manufacturing (NASDAQ:PMFG)





Rex Energy (NASDAQ:REXX)





Mobile TeleSystems (NYSE:MBT)





Sources: The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo! Finance, Motley Fool CAPS.

Our mostly small-cap list features some promising (though speculative) stocks. Yet these tiny titans can create astounding returns if they're bought before the market discovers them. Witness Green Mountain Coffee, which wasn't much more than an eco-friendly also-ran when compared to Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) last year. Too bad; the stock is up more than 154% over the past 52 weeks, easily trouncing the S&P 500, which returned just about 5% over the same period.

No worries, Kermit. We make it easier to be green.
As big a business as organics have become, I'm more interested in green living. That's where 70-year-old Peerless Manufacturing, which has more than tripled since last winter, comes in.

Peerless, to put it simply, makes filtration products that help strip pollutants from natural gas and other energy sources. Here's how good this business has been in recent years:


Trailing 12 Months

FY 2007

FY 2006

FY 2005

Return on Capital





Return on Equity





Gross Margin





Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's.

But it could get even better. Here's how CAPS All-Star andcheese pitched the stock in November:

This is a great pick as the world becomes more concerned with pollution and green solutions. I see them as a great candidate for a buyout. As legislation tightens on environmental measures, Peerless will have the upper hand and a head start. GREAT BUY!!!

I'll add that institutions own less than 50% of the outstanding shares, and many of those that do are outstanding investors. Superstar stock picker Chuck Royce's shop is among the top holders of Peerless, for example.

Color me convinced; I've added the stock to my CAPS portfolio. But that's me. What about you? Would you buy Peerless Manufacturing at today's prices? Let us know by signing up for CAPS now. It's 100% free to participate.

I'll be back soon with more rocket stocks.

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Starbucks is a Stock Advisor selection. Chipotle is a recommendation in both Rule Breakers and Hidden Gems newsletters. and Rule Breakers contributor Tim Beyers, who is ranked 10,708 out of more than 79,000 participants in CAPS, doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. Find Tim's portfolio here and his latest blog commentary here. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy is saving up for a ticket to the moon.