Growth stocks are the beauties of the stock world, plain and simple. They're exciting, they have good stories, and they can make you a lot of money. Apple's
But for all their beauty, growth stocks are also the prima donnas of the market. They can be erratic, they don't always live up to their billing, and they tend to attract a shareholder base that's ready and willing to run at the first signs of a slowdown. For those reasons, caution is certainly in order when you enter the world of growth investing.
Fortunately, The Motley Fool's CAPS service brings us the collective intelligence of a community of more than 120,000 investors, and it’s a great resource for separating the Jessica Albas from the Jabba the Hutts. Each of the stocks competing for this week's top spot has a market cap of at least $100 million and grew its net profit by at least 20% over the past year. So let's go ahead and meet our contestants.
There are a lot of choices for consumers and businesses when it comes to data security, but with its Norton suite of products, Symantec
With a focus on oil and gas exploration -- especially gas -- Range Resources
Sticking with the oil and gas theme, Occidental
Software giant CA
The envelope, please ...
Symantec and CA may be showing rising results, but CAPS members are far from won over on either stock. Both stocks are rated just two stars out of five, and the opinions of many CAPS players range from lukewarm to downright hostile. Range Resources hasn't been the subject of quite so much ire on CAPS, but its three-star rating does keep it off the top of our list.
Steel Dynamics, on the other hand, makes our short list with its four-star rating. Though the global demand for steel is cooling, CAPS members think that the company's scrap operations, the stock's low valuation, and the healthy dividend make the stock a worthwhile choice.
But the four stars for Steel Dynamics couldn't top the perfect five stars that CAPS members have given Occidental Petroleum. Of the nearly 1,200 CAPS members that have rated Occidental, 1,150 of them have rated it an outperformer. CAPS members have been drawn to Occidental's valuation and dividend, as well as the longer-term prospects for oil. Back at the end of September, DemonDoug, one of CAPS' top players, chimed in with:
[Occidental is a] solid oil company, beaten up by the rest of the market (16%!!!), didn't actually get to it's 52 week low but got close, will continue to be making money in the near and long term future.
Now go vote!
Do you think Occidental has what it takes to be America's next top growth stock? Head over to CAPS and let the rest of the community know what you think.
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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool’s disclosure policy would surely win America's Next Top Disclosure Policy, but for some reason there's no such contest.