Tomorrow's Monster Stock

Stocks climbing to 10 times their original price are rare breeds -- but they're not impossible to find. Especially when you have Fools for friends.

The market's best stocks include companies that have risen dozens of times in value by taking advantage of the market's weaknesses. These aren't penny stocks; they're viable companies with sound business prospects and are achieving phenomenal returns. Finding just one or two of these monstrously successful companies can help you establish a winning portfolio.

Stalking the monster
To find tomorrow's winners, we've enlisted the help of more than 165,000 monster trackers at Motley Fool CAPS. We've compiled a list of the most successful CAPS members, dubbed All-Stars, whose picks have doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled in price. Then we've plucked out some of their recent picks for stocks they find equally promising.

Player

CAPS Member Rating

Monster Stock

CAPS Score

Recent Stock Pick

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

fmede

93.16

Mechel

503.61

Citizens Republic Bancorp (Nasdaq: CRBC  )

**

MostlyChina

93.82

NEC

128.05

Star Scientific (Nasdaq: CIGX  )

*

zzlangerhans

99.73

Human Genome Sciences

162.22

StemCells (Nasdaq: STEM  )

***

Score is how many percentage points by which that pick is beating the S&P 500.

Of course, this is not a list of stocks to buy -- or, for those monster stocks that our CAPS All-Stars have already found, sell. Just consider them starting points for your own further research of extreme buying opportunities.

In search of Bigfoot
The economy imploded and the auto market cratered, so it's probably no surprise that a bank serving Flint, Mich., suffered a meltdown, too. Like Synovus Financial (NYSE: SNV  ) , which was burned by the housing collapse in Florida, and Pacific Capital Bancorp (Nasdaq: PCBC  ) , which was hurt when California really struggled, Citizens Republic Bancorp nearly crashed and burned when Michigan was hit hardest.

Today, it's in better shape. While it wasn't required to do a "stress test," federal regulators have mapped out a plan for it that doesn't include having to raise any additional capital and formalizes a plan that Citizens Republic Bancorp had already initiated. Indeed, all of its capital ratios exceed the "well capitalized" designation, while loan-loss reserves were improving.

Citizens Republic Bancorp did report a small loss, but with the sale of its troubled F&M Bank division completed, it should begin to look like a better financial institution from here on out. It's better to have a long-term mind-set, though, says highly rated CAPS All-Star XMFGatsby1.

this is the mac daddy of long-term buy and hold...trends are headed in the right direction (although very low) and insiders are buying up like kids in a candy store

Although I'm seeing option grants as opposed to market purchases, I also don't see insiders cashing them in, either. With three-quarters of those CAPS members rating the regional bank saying it will outperform the market, why not add your view on the Citizens Republic Bancorp CAPS page.

A good reception
Can Star Scientific make smoking healthy? Now that the Food and Drug Administration is regulating the tobacco industry, the cigarette technology company has submitted its second "modified risk tobacco product" to the agency for approval. These products remove virtually all the measurable tobacco-specific chemicals that have been identified as causing cancer, and Star Scientific targets them to the 43 million Americans who smoke.

The problem is that Star Scientific continues to battle larger, better-financed competitors, like GlaxoSmithKline, which markets its Commit lozenge for smoking cessation, while Phillip Morris (NYSE: PM  ) and Reynolds American (NYSE: RAI  ) produce a rival product called snus, a moist powder tobacco.

Although the CAPS members who rate the company are tilted in its favor, some members have a lot of doubts about whether it will be able to successfully compete against its rivals. About 44% of those rating it believe it will underperform the market; you can add your opinion on the Star Scientific CAPS page.

Tune in to this
Shares of stem cell researcher StemCells, along with the rest of the industry, fell when a judge temporarily blocked President Obama's expansion of the number of stem cell lines created with private money that federally funded scientists could research. The judge ruled it might be against federal guidelines.

However, this should be a temporary setback for stem cell companies because it only affected federal funding, not their actual development. But StemCells should feel it even less because it focuses on adult stem cells, not the embryonic ones, which is what the federal law limits. It may be a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater here, though StemCells tends to rise and fall with the industry in general.

But with 91% of the nearly 500 CAPS members having their say picking StemCells to post market-beating returns, it may take time to dissect what really affects the biotech and what does not.

A chance for scary growth
It takes more than a few All-Star picks and a quick pitch to make buy or sell decisions, so start your own research on these stocks on Motley Fool CAPS and find other opportunities with monster potential.

GlaxoSmithKline and Philip Morris International are Motley Fool Global Gains picks. The Fool owns shares of GlaxoSmithKline. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services today, free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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