When looking for companies to invest in, it is important to consider their growth prospects. Getting even one extreme growth stock into your portfolio can enhance your returns. This type of growth is common in the fast-moving field of technology.

The five companies below fit those criteria; all have provided stellar earnings growth -- and the stock returns have followed suit.

Company

1-year EPS Growth

1-year Stock Return

CAPS Rating (5 max)

Activision (Nasdaq: ATVI)

290%

94%

*****

Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM)

104%

158%

***

Baidu.com (Nasdaq: BIDU)

95%

170%

***

Dolby Laboratories (NYSE: DLB)

55%

38%

*****

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL)

53%

46%

****

Sources: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's, Yahoo! Finance, and Motley Fool CAPS.

Let me elaborate on a few of these companies.

Video game designer Activision is rocking strong with hit titles like Guitar Hero 3 and Call of Duty 4, as well as a bevy of licensed movie tie-ins like the video game versions of Kung Fu Panda and the Spider-Man series. Shareholders will vote on a merger with French entertainment giant Vivendi in a couple of weeks, and both companies have performed above expectations since the pact was originally announced. The next Guitar Hero game looks like a game-changer for the booming music-game sector, and indeed the music industry at large. Maybe we should buy this stock before the revolution strikes ...

Investing in Research In Motion takes nerves of steel, thanks to a nosebleed-inducing P/E ratio of 64 and intense competition from serious contenders like Apple, Nokia (NYSE: NOK), and soon even Google (Nasdaq: GOOG). The BlackBerry fans are still soldiering on, but there are some extremely high expectations baked into this stock price. Tread carefully if you want to ride this momentum train -- the final stop may be sudden and violent.

Apple hardly needs any introduction, but is noteworthy in this context because it is the slowest earnings grower of the bunch and ranks second-to-last in share price returns, too. One of the industry's elite players looks piddly in comparison with the other bottle-rocket growth stocks.

Wall Street today; tomorrow, the world
As always, this is not a "Buy me now!" list -- just a starting point for your own research. Four of these stocks have the backing of a Foolish newsletter, so a free 30-day trial subscription or two could help you on your way.

Further Foolishness:

Google and Baidu.com are Rule Breakers recommendations. Dolby Laboratories, Activision, and Apple are Stock Advisor recommendations.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund is a Google shareholder and avid Guitar Hero player, but holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like, and Foolish disclosure can't lick that long solo in Cult of Personality on Expert. Help!