Our Motley Fool Rule Breakers service recently created an ambitious watch list of more than 250 attractively positioned growth companies. All carry the promise of extraordinary growth -- both for the company itself and for your portfolio. (You can view the list with a free trial to the service.)
Who's watching the watch list?
Some companies in our Universe have passed all our screens and are now official recommendations. Others are still private entities not yet available for investment. But the majority of the companies are trying to position themselves to achieve the astounding growth and success that has enriched owners of Amazon.com, AOL, and eBay.
With experts in biotech, nanotech, and early adopters, our team adds promising companies and boots duds from the Universe every month. And we're not alone in the venture; thousands of Rule Breakers community members are building out the watch list with companies they are watching, following, or, in some cases, already own.
We're watching bears ...
Several of our watch list companies have been suggested by our vibrant online community. Rule Breakers member Dewksee nominated Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW ) , a company that was founded in 1997 by Chief Executive Bear Maxine Clark. Yes, you read that correctly -- members of Build-A-Bear's executive team are known as Bears, not officers. Naturally, as Fools we like this sense of fun, particularly when accompanied by Foolish achievements on the commercial front.
Unfortunately, Build-A-Bear is a mixed bag when it comes to performance. The company reports earnings growth north of 50%, gross margins of more than 45%, and net margins just below 10%. However, falling profits partly explain the substantial 30% short interest in Build-A-Bear stock.
But finding Rule Breaking companies is about being contrarian; we'll go against the trends to find companies ahead of the curve. Who would have thought that a stuff-it-yourself toy service could be a $450 million company with much more promise to come? Build-A-Bear is not yet up to snuff, but it's worth keeping on the list.
And phones ...
Another firm we like for its Foolish name is offered by RB member tarheelborn100. Hurray! (Nasdaq: HRAY ) is a wireless service provider in China, joining together two of the hottest investment terms around. Of course, we're not interested simply because the company is in high-growth sectors. We're interested in the firm's trailing 12 months 131% sales growth and 279% income growth. Also, out of the top 100 publicly listed companies in China, Hurray! was listed as the most profitable.
With mobile phone sales growth of more than 20% per annum and current mobile phone penetration in China at less than 26% (compared with about 75% in Europe), Hurray! is certainly heading down a promising path.
And biotech ...
Our ethos of discovering groundbreaking technologies ahead of the curve inevitably means we see our fair share of biotech companies. Rule Breakers member Poolabool suggested Advanced Medical Optics (NYSE: EYE ) , a company that specializes in innovative vision technologies including intraocular lenses, laser vision correction systems, phacoemulsification systems, viscoelastics, microkeratomes, and related products used in cataract and refractive surgery. AMO recently completed its acquisition of VISX, transforming the new entity into the world's leading refractive surgical company. AMO has successfully combined ambition and innovation with pioneering technologies.
Molecular Devices (Nasdaq: MDCC ) was highlighted by Pharonicfool. Molecular Devices produces bioanalytical systems designed to accelerate the discovery of drugs. Focusing on important classes of drug targets known as ion channels and G-protein coupled receptors, it reported strong revenue and earnings growth in the past 12 months. Drug discovery is still a lengthy and costly process, and any novel or revolutionary process introduced to save time and money is worthy for Rule Breakers consideration. And so Molecular Devices is a worthy member of our Universe.
And Rule Breakers member Debydete brought LCA-Vision (Nasdaq: LCAV ) to our attention. LCA-Vision is the first mover in offering specialized retail eye correction centers. It recently opened its 43rd LasikPlus laser vision eye treatment center, and it has plans for further expansion. If the company can grow and maintain operating margins north of 20%, it is a candidate to graduate from the watch list.
Foolish final thoughts
So there you have it: five companies thousands of informed eyes are now watching. Next month, the Universe will expand and evolve. If you want to keep tabs on these minnows as some grow into monsters, we're offering a free 30-day trial to Rule Breakers. You'll have access to all back issues and official picks, special reports, the Rule Breaker Universe, and our dedicated discussion boards, where thousands of investors share ideas and analysis. Click here to learn more.
Carl Wherrettis the resident Rule Breakers nanotechnology guru. He does not own any shares of any company mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.