Grab a margarita and that pinata stick -- we're back where this series began. It's time for a second look at Miami, F-L-A.

There are many good reasons for researching investment opportunities in a certain geographic area. If you happen to live in Coral Gables or Hialeah, you have access to local news sources and the word on the street, and a high probability of being a customer or employee of these companies. And if you're not a local resident, you might still want to know whether the weather matches the business climate -- a hot area could be chock-full of undiscovered treasures on their way to greatness.

Without further ado, here are some of the best and largest companies headquartered in the Party City and environs:


Market Cap (Billions)

CAPS Rating

Bull Ratio

Carnival (NYSE:CCL)




Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL)




Citrix Systems (NASDAQ:CTXS)




Republic Services (NYSE:RSG)




Lennar (NYSE:LEN)




Data taken from Motley Fool CAPS on Nov. 28, 2007.

The top of the heap looks a bit better this time, if only because I widened the ticker search to include Fort Lauderdale this time. Citrix and Income Investor pick Republic bumped out Burger King (NYSE:BKC) and Ryder from last year's list, and that twosome had one CAPS star between them a year ago. Today, they have two each.

Royal Caribbean's stature has improved, too -- David Gardner picked the cruise line for the Stock Advisor newsletter service a couple of months ago. He liked Royal's dominant stature in a market with very high barriers to entry, though you might want to pick up a free 30-day trial and check out the risks Dave sees in the stock, too.

Let's not poke too deep in Lennar's open wounds. Last year, before the housing crash really picked up speed, 60% of our CAPS pioneers actually liked the stock. Now, that single star looks as though it will be in place for the foreseeable future.

Some things change, some stay the same
Thirteen out of the 42 local stocks that have earned CAPS ratings carry four or more stars on their corporate lapels. PetMed Express (NASDAQ:PETS) is a five-star stock, for example. "Profitable and a great concept," says one player, while an All-Star CAPS player notes that America is getting older, which means fewer kids and more pets: "Buy this stock, so you can be old and rich too."

Despite the improvements, Miami is still a far cry from the healthy markets of Minnesota or Austin. The average grade is still an underwhelming 2.4 stars, and 48% of the companies in southeast Florida are still looking for their third star. But tread lightly around the Portuguese man o' wars that wash up on South Beach, and you may yet find some buried pirate treasure.

Do you agree? Disagree? Feel free to weigh in on the greater Miami market -- or on any stocks at all, really -- by joining Motley Fool CAPS and blasting away with your ratings and commentary pitches. If Pembroke Pines isn't your 'hood, maybe we'll come around where you live the next time ... even if we've been there before.

Further Foolishness:

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here, but he wouldn't mind going on a cruise right about now. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like, or follow him around the world on these Foolish local-business treks. Foolish disclosure is always red-hot.