Some stocks are one-hit wonders, making a big splash when they first appear, then quickly fizzling into obscurity or oblivion. But for other stocks, that initial big move is only a preview for even bigger and better gains to come.

Today, we've compiled 10 stocks that made some of the biggest upward moves over the past month. We'll then pair that list with the ratings issued by our Motley Fool CAPS community. The higher each stock's rating, the greater CAPS members' faith in that company's ability to keep on beating the market.


30-Day % Change

CAPS Rating

Pacific Ethanol (NASDAQ:PEIX)









McMoRan Exploration (NYSE:MMR)



Cheniere Energy



Crosstex Energy (NASDAQ:XTXI)






New York Times (NYSE:NYT)



Intellicheck Mobilisa



Patriot Coal (NYSE:PCX)



30-Day % change from Dec. 11 to Jan. 11.

As the markets whipsaw to changes in consumer sentiment, there will be weeks like this one, where gains exceptionally outpace the movers and shakers of prior weeks. Before we get shaken out again, let's see why the CAPS community thinks some of these companies might continue to outperform the market.

A mighty temblor
A number of low-quality companies sparked to life -- not over the past month, really, but within the last week. Ethanol producer Pacific Ethanol, for example, has several subsidiaries operating under bankruptcy protection, and most of its facilities were closed for reorganization. With the parent company still trading for just pennies, an announcement last week that it was restarting one of its plants and hiring 35 employees unleashed a frenzy of share-buying. Volumes on Monday were 20 times their normal level, and the stock rocketed higher.

I don't expect this one to last very long, though, and neither do some of the CAPS community's All-Stars. FleaBagger, for one, believes that corn-based ethanol is a flawed concept. Others, such as TSIF, think that federal ethanol mandates will boost producers like Pacific Ethanol, but that shares don't merit their current stratospheric heights:

That lenders allowed the restart indicates a belief in profitability at today's ethanol prices. Margins, however, will remain razer thin. That Pacific Ethanol is getting its plants back on line is good overall, but not 50% good. California seems to have an appetite for ethanol, but capacity appears to me to still be in a surplus and profitability and debt service out of balance for Pacific Ethanol.

Drill, baby, drill!
On the other hand, oil and gas exploration concern Energy XXI enjoyed a similar surge in investor enthusiasm yesterday, based on the news that it had made a major oil discovery in the Gulf of Mexico.

Along with one of its partners, McMoRan Exploration, the E&P play announced that its Davy Jones well found hydrocarbon-bearing sands, which may contain one of the largest discoveries of crude oil and natural gas found in the area in decades.

The potential for such discoveries led CAPS member tpbruce to rate Energy XXI, which owns a 15% interest in the Davy Jones well, for outperformance at the end of December:

I find deep value EXXI attractive on both the equity side with existing reserves and exploration catalysts, and on the bond side with excellent support from existing developed reserves and ongoing drilling projects supporting stable and growing EBITDA and free cash flow.

Drill deep on the Energy XXI CAPS page to let us know whether this E&P player will keep itself from sinking to Davy Jones' locker. Some 91% of the CAPS members rating Energy XXI have marked it to outperform the market; why not weigh in with your opinion?

Shake, rattle, and roll
It pays to start your own research on these market-shaking stocks at Motley Fool CAPS. Read a company's financial reports, scrutinize key data and charts, and examine the comments your fellow investors have made, all from a stock's CAPS page.

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Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. You can shake, rattle, and roll The Motley Fool's disclosure policy, but it still won't break.