TL;DR: It is important to note that society possesses criteria for praiseworthy character and praiseworthy outcomes. I would think that there are people who achieve praiseworthy outcomes but do not have praiseworthy intentions. These cases are hard to find because they are hard to find/prove, and different societies have different notions of what is praiseworthy.
Two examples came to mind when I thought about this. One, an anecdote of mine and the other, a hypothetical. It might also help to know that I don't have a philosophical background either, so take these examples for what you wish.
In high school, I remember learning first aid during PE class, and being taught the abbreviation DRSABCD, short for Dangers, Response, Send for help, Airways, Breathing, Circulation, Defib. Revising the abbreviation with peers or for a test, I always found it hard to remember the -ABCD part of first aid, yet what intrigued me and I remember to this day is the Dangers step, which specifies that you should always identify and mitigate dangers to persons in the following priority 1) Yourself 2) Bystanders 3) The receiver of first aid. From a utilitarian standpoint, this "ranking" presupposes that the mitigation of dangers to yourself first and foremost would facilitate a greater chance of survival for the receiver of first aid than if dangers to others were dealt with first. Should society value a greater chance of survival rate as a praiseworthy pursuit, then I would think that endeavours towards self-preservation, then towards preservation of others would be worthy of praise. In most contexts, I would think that this is the case, and it would be hard to label first-aid responders as "selfish" for pursuing actions that mitigate dangers to themselves before others. Saying this, think an answer to your question would also consider the use of word selfish itself - whether one associates negative connotations to its use, or whether it is used purely to describe one's actions as opposed to their intentions. Used descriptively, perhaps one could describe someone as "selfish with good intentions" or "selfish with bad intentions?"
In thinking about man and his actions, something else to consider would also be to distinguish between praiseworthy character and praiseworthy outcomes. On top of pursuing praiseworthy outcomes (saving someone via first aid), society also has criteria for praiseworthy character (in other words values/morals/intentions e.g. caring for others, being actively involved in and aware of society and politics). Perhaps what makes your question difficult to answer (and what others in this thread have alluded to) is that it is hard to find and/or hard to prove scenarios where character and outcome are separated. As a consequence, there is little precedent and hence many opinions.
My final thoughts are from an example that I'm pretty sure has been used elsewhere, but I forget where (if anyone knows, feel free to comment. I'd be highly appreciative!). Let's say that there exists a man devoid of all good character, and has caused society nothing but undesirable outcomes. To every person he has been known, he has caused pain, suffering, despair and shows no remorse, because he intends these things. He is not praiseworthy in the eyes of society in any respect. Yet, it is still possible for this person to be praiseworthy, if he praises himself, if, at the end of the day, he pats himself on the back for a job well done. Perhaps this is stretching your words a bit, but I found and continue to find this an interesting question. Let us also consider if this man is captured, studied, and provides valuable insight into abnormal psychology - doesn't he now become praiseworthy on account of the knowledge he, by existing, has provided to society? Anyhow, I'll stop ranting and I hope you find an answer which you are satisfied with :)