No one has perfect foresight, but let's be honest: The market is full of people who, as Oscar Wilde would say, know "the price of everything and the value of nothing." Far too often -- over the past year especially -- investors have been pitched sensational stock recommendations only to be left high and dry as shares crumble.

To hunt down top-recommended stocks that have been rewarding investors accordingly, I summoned our Motley Fool CAPS community to point out a few four- or five-star stocks that have gone gangbusters in recent months.

While not formal buy recommendations, these three-month bloomers caught my attention:


Price Change

Share Price

2009 EPS

CAPS Rating  
(5 stars max.)











Chesapeake Energy










Marvell Technology





Data from Motley Fool CAPS and Yahoo! Finance, as of March 9. EPS = earnings per share.

You can rerun the CAPS screen I used by clicking here

Searching for a bottom in energy
Natural gas is down some 70% since peaking last summer. For comparison's sake, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) is off about 80% over the same time frame. When the capitulation of a finite and sought-after commodity isn't far behind an overleveraged and unscrupulous bank, you have to think there's value to be had in the former.

And there is. After a terrible, terrible fall from grace, stocks like Chesapeake Energy are stabilizing, well off the lows hit last year.

Despite energy migraines smashing profits and hacking capital spending budgets to pieces, the long-term prospects of energy companies like Chesapeake -- or larger, integrated players like ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) -- are still alive and well.

A two-headed fear crushed Chesapeake late last year: that crumbling energy prices matched up with a debt-heavy balance sheet would send this company to the graveyard. While perhaps legitimate at the time, that fear has largely been allayed by (1) having 80% of 2009 production hedged at prices nearly double today's rate, and (2) cutting back capital expenditures to keep cash flow in check, alleviating its debt load.

Combine the two catalysts, and some still think Chesapeake is a pretty serious value. As CAPS member Namirius recently wrote:

Short term production cuts should not distract you from the fact that this is a nicely growing, good reserve, high know-how resource company. They might profit from Obama's approach to energy politics. The high hedge ratio should allow them to operate profitable despite low prices.

As far as the future of energy prices, CAPS member imajerbear described how someday -- maybe someday soon -- energy prices will rebound:

Oil and gas may be deep in to it right now, but long term as the world economy pulls itself up by it's bootstraps, oil will make a comeback. Alt energy is wonderful, but it will take many years for it to make a significant dent in the use of oil. The days of easy extraction of oil are gone and some of the petroleum resources ie oil shale will require prices above $80 long term to exploit them economically. Oil fields around the world are showing decreases, some major, in their output. I am also convinced that OPEC is actually seriious this time about toeing the line on production reductions to try to drive the price of oil to the $70 mark or better. 

Your turn to chime in
What do you think about Chesapeake? More than 130,000 investors use CAPS to share ideas and swap opinions on some 5,400 stocks. Click here to check it out. It's 100% free to participate.

Further Foolishness:

Fool contributor Morgan Housel doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. Chesapeake Energy is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Akamai Technologies is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. The Motley Fool is inventors writing for investors.