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Boston Beer Co Inc (SAM), Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (CMG), Stratasys, Ltd. (SSYS): Crafting Long-Term Gains

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Boston Beer Co Inc (NYSE:SAM)Few investors would argue it’s not a fantastic feeling to watch the value of their portfolios rise. However, as your percentage gains increase, all too often your blood pressure follows suit. As a result, it can be incredibly tempting to sell your top stocks to lock in those gains before something goes awry.

As the saying goes, “You can’t go broke by taking a profit,” right?

Unfortunately, my fellow Fool Matt Koppenheffer reminded us last year that adage often hurts returns more than it helps, and you should never sell a stock simply because its price has gone up.

With that in mind, here are three top stocks that I’m convinced have room to run even higher:

Company 6-Month Return % Below 52-Week High Recent Price CAPS Rating
(out of five)
Boston Beer Co Inc (NYSE:SAM) 32.9% 12.4% $150.65 ***
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) 29.1% 13.9% $361.15 ***
Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) 28.9% 10% $83.10 ****

Source: Motley Fool CAPS.

Profits with integrity
Chipotle Mexican Grill stock, top stocks

Image source: Chipotle.

First up, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) has proven a strong performer of late, with shares up more than 29% over the past six months. Zoom out a little further, however, and you’ll see this top stock still sits almost 14% below its 52-week high set last June.

So why shouldn’t you sell Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) now, especially after it popped more than 10% in a single day following its strong first-quarter results last month?

Luckily for long-term investors, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG)’s margins are improving as the company focuses on streamlining operations to offset increasing food costs. In addition, management reiterated they’re confident they can deliver at the high end of their existing guidance for new restaurant openings of between 165 and 180 in 2013.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) is also focusing on opening smaller restaurants for the time being, which offer lower development occupancy and operating costs and should serve to improve margins that much more. Combine that with strong returns on capital of 22% and $700 million in cash on their balance sheet with no debt, and it’s safe to say Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) has positioned itself for success going forward.

A world-changing industry
Stratasys stock, top stocks

Image source: Stratasys.

Next, I think Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) is another top stock with room to run as it sits around 10% below its 52-week high. Like Chipotle, Stratasys is currently riding a wave of optimism after the company turned in strong results with its most recent quarterly earnings report.

However, those most recent numbers were reported in March, and Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) has yet to report its first quarter of 2013. Keep in mind, however, that other competitors in the space have posted strong results so far, including 3D Systems and newcomer ExOne, so we know the additive manufacturing industry as a whole continues to grow like a weed.

In addition to perennial concerns for how organic growth is holding up, then, Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) investors will also be eager to see how the company is benefiting from its recent merger with fellow 3-D printing behemoth Objet.

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