Ah, the joys of skepticism.

We rebel investors at Motley Fool Rule Breakers believe the multibaggers in the making, while not often cheap by the numbers, are always misunderstood. The extraordinary skepticism they face makes them excellent value stocks.

Hitting just one of these home runs can make all the difference to your portfolio. Just ask David Gardner, who bought Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) at a split-adjusted price of $3.24 a share in 1997. He's up more than 2,100% since.

It's stocks like Amazon that helped David produce nine years of better-than-20% average annual returns in the real-money Rule Breaker portfolio, even while suffering stinging losses from Guitar Center and 3Dfx, among others.

Let the haters be your friends
David continues this home run investing tradition today at Rule Breakers. You can follow the moves of his rebel alliance with a free trial to the service. Or, if you prefer to pick your own stocks, there's Motley Fool CAPS, a 100% free stock-picking community whose 89,000 participating investors rate stocks on a scale of one to five stars. More than 5,500 rated companies are in the database right now.

How can this help you? Each week, using CAPS, we'll search for one- and two-star stocks that have at least 5% of their available shares sold short but are expected to grow their earnings by no less than 15% over each of the next five years.

Let's have the list
Here are today's unloved growth stocks:


CAPS Rating

Short Interest

5-Year Growth Estimate

ACI Worldwide (Nasdaq: ACIW)




Mentor Graphics (Nasdaq: MENT)




Pacific Sunwear (Nasdaq: PSUN)








VeriSign (Nasdaq: VRSN)




Sources: Motley Fool CAPS, Yahoo! Finance.

Bear in mind that this isn't a list of recommendations. Instead, I offer these stocks as candidates for further research.

A stock to take you through the jungle
Of all of them, the one that most interests me is Amazon. It's the one stock with competitive advantages that are easy to identify:

  • Time to market. Competitors have come and gone -- anyone else remember eToys? -- but by being the top dog and first mover, Amazon established what appears to be an irrevocable lead in online retail.
  • Distribution. Early on, Amazon decided to build an infrastructure that stressed convenience. But building its unique network of near-airport distribution centers --- 15 in North America alone -- would require taking on billions in debt. Critics were never sure the gamble would pay off, and yet it has. Debt is down nearly $1 billion since 2002, nearly 43%. Cash and short-term investments are up $1.8 billion over the same period.
  • Leadership. CEO Jeff Bezos and his team take a visionary approach to running Amazon. Witness the wildly popular Kindle eBook reader, an in-house invention that should juice sales in other areas. Rival CEO Patrick Byrne of Overstock (Nasdaq: OSTK), while undeniably smart, has shown no such vision for the company he founded.

Still not convinced? Consider the numbers. eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) boasts a price-to-sales ratio more than twice that of Amazon. And yet, recently, it's Amazon that has been the faster grower. That hardly seems fair.

But that's my take. What's yours? Would you buy Amazon at today's prices? Let us know by signing up for CAPS today. It's 100% free to participate.

See you back here next week for five more unloved growth stocks.

Amazon, eBay, and Pacific Sunwear are all Stock Advisor selections. Get a closer look at all the picks in this market-beating portfolio with a 30-day free pass to the service. There's no obligation to subscribe.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers, who is ranked 17,551 out of more than 89,000 participants in CAPS, is a regular contributor to Fool.com and Rule Breakers. Tim didn't own shares in any companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Click to see Tim's portfolio and read his latest blog commentary. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy is your portfolio's competitive advantage.