"The bigger they are, the harder they fall. It's the worst nightmare of every investor in today's market -- buying a hot stock just before it takes a nosedive."

So goes the thesis of my weekly Fool.com column "Get Ready for the Fall." Therein, I run the 52-week highs compiled on Nasdaq.com through the "wisdom of crowds" meter that we call Motley Fool CAPS. And out the other end comes a list of stocks that have flown so high, investors are starting to get nervous about this "gravity thing."

But it's an undeniable -- and often glorious -- fact of investing life that some stocks seem immune to gravity. Rising for one year, they fail to fall back to earth. Instead, they soar for a second year, and then a third. By year four, you're beginning to wonder whether you've stumbled upon a megatrend, and by year five, you're certain of it.

And so it is that today we're going to take our next logical step. Moving on from stocks that have hit 52-week highs, we'll identify for you the companies that are entering their second half-decade of outperformance. Which of these will go on to thrash the market averages for another five years? Here are this week's leading contenders:


Recent Price

CAPS Rating

(5 Max):

Bull Factor





Hasbro (NYSE:HAS)








Sybase (NYSE:SY)




VisionChina Media  (NASDAQ:VISN)




Companies are selected from the "New 5-Year Lows" list published on MSN Money on Thursday. CAPS ratings from Motley Fool CAPS.

"Everybody loves a winner"
Hey, don't look at me. I didn't write the truism, and I can't help it if this week, investors refused to follow the "rules." I have nothing against board games, cell phones, RFID chips, or Chinese advertising. But if out of these five stocks, each of which is hitting a five-year high, investors think only one company will continue to outperform in the future -- well, blame the message, not the messenger.

At least we have one stock on the list that CAPS players still feel happy about, even after it reported what the Associated Press described as "virtually flat 2Q profit" last week. So without further ado, here's what Fools have to say about chemicals and ammunition maker Olin:

The bull case for Olin
Let's start off with a couple comments from last year, posted by two of CAPS' best-performing investors, All-Star members AJL203PSU and efficiencygrade. AJL203PSU opines:

Shotguns are cool. 4.98% dividend yield is really cool. Low p/e. Small-cap plus value = perfect combo!!!

Hard to argue with any of that -- although I should point out that the dividend now yields only 3%. But how about a little more detail? Here's what efficiencygrade says:

I liked this company before Pioneer buy, and ... I believe it'll still go thru.. [Indeed it did, and last week, the company cited "the contributions and synergies of the Pioneer acquisition" as one factor in improving Chlor Alkali earnings by 27%.] I'll like this company even more after it spins off Winchester. ... [T]he ammunition is at best a peripheral to Olin's core business (chemicals and metals, of course). If they do [spin off] Winchester, I will keep those shares, even though they [aren't] making rifles anymore. ... The name is an icon in America ... that can earn more on its own, IMHO.

Indeed, unlike Sturm, Ruger (NYSE:RGR) and Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ:SWHC), Olin's "Winchester" no longer makes the firearms with which its name goes. That duty has fallen to the U.S. Repeating Arms Company -- and its Belgian masters, the Herstal Group.

Although he isn't (yet) an All-Star CAPS member, I can't possibly fail to include this top-rated gem from April, penned by longtime Fool efmagowan:

Chemicals, metals, ammunition. These are a few of my favorite things. And they never go out of style.


Now, you might rightly wonder whether a stock selling for a price-to-earnings ratio of 425 is perhaps just a little too richly priced to keep going up. But the GAAP earnings don't tell the whole tale at Olin. Fact is, this company does generate profits where it counts -- on the cash flow statement. Last fiscal year, Olin generated some $128 million in free cash flow. It's burning through cash so far this year, but its trailing price-to-free cash flow ratio is within the realm of double digits.

I still don't think that matches up particularly well with what analysts predict will be a single-digit, 3% growth rate over the next five years -- and I can tell you right out that I won't be buying shares at this price. But at least it seems that the stock is not quite as overpriced as it seems.

Time to chime in
Of course, the aim of this column isn't just to tell you what I think about Olin, or what other CAPS players are saying. We want to hear your thoughts. Head on over to Motley Fool CAPS, and tell us what you think.

Motley Fool CAPS: It's fun, it's free, and it just might make you famous.

Fool contributor Rich Smith owns no shares of any company named above. Hasbro is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. You can find him on CAPS, pontificating under the handle TMFDitty, where he's ranked No. 667 out of more than 110,000 players. The Fool has a disclosure policy.