Investors are always hunting for the next big stock -- the dream stock whose price increases several times over when the market finally discovers it. It's easy to look back and see what the 10 best stocks of the past decade were. But for my part, I'm more interested in the tools that can not only help me find new stock ideas, but also have the resources necessary to evaluate tomorrow's greatest companies.

Enter Motley Fool CAPS, a 125,000-member community of investors helping each other beat the market. We'll enlist CAPS to screen the financial sector and get the story behind some of its more highly rated stocks. CAPS' nifty screener will help us find stocks with:

  • A market cap of at least $100 million.
  • A three year revenue growth rate of at least 20%.
  • A price-to-earnings ratio of less than 25.
  • At least 200 people making a call on the company.

Then we'll tap the collective intelligence of our CAPS members to see whether these companies present real opportunities -- or whether the numbers fail to tell the true story.

Opinions with the numbers
Below is a sample of stocks our screen returned. You can run this screen yourself -- remember, though, that your results may differ from ours as the market changes.

Company

Revenue Growth Rate, Past 3 Years

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX)

39.9%

*****

Morningstar (NASDAQ:MORN)

30.3%

*****

Brookfield Asset Management (NYSE:BAM)

32.7%

****

Data and star rankings from CAPS as of Feb. 20.

NYSE Euronext
As with electronic marketplace IntercontinentalExchange (NYSE:ICE), fourth-quarter earnings at NYSE Euronext took a hit, owing mostly to a goodwill and intangibles writedown. While ICE booked an impairment charge related to the company's investment in the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange of India, the former NYSE Group is smarting from charges related to its acquisition of Euronext.

But operationally, NYSE Euronext is ticking right along. The company is angling to increase market share against new entrants in Europe, including moving all its stocks and funds onto a new platform that executes trades in a fraction of the time of its legacy network. It has also made fee adjustments, a move followed by competitor Nasdaq OMX Group (NASDAQ:NDAQ), and partnered with BNP Paribas and HSBC Holdings (NYSE:HBC) for large block trades.

Overall, management expects increased revenue in 2009, and it aims to cut $250 million in annual costs by 2010. Shares of NYSE Euronext fell significantly in the past year, leading many investors -- including a Goldman Sachs analyst, who recently upgraded the stock -- to believe that any risks are already priced into the stock. Nearly 97% of the 2,501 CAPS members rating NYSE Euronext expect it to outperform the market.

Morningstar
Even though revenue remained essentially flat in the fourth quarter, Morningstar reported a full-year revenue increase of 15.5%, to $502.5 million. Its report also touted higher net income and $104 million in free cash flow.  Given the rough economic environment, the company plans to reduce employment-related costs while continuing to invest in the business. Some CAPS members believe Morningstar offers lots to be happy about: a low stock price, 60% insider ownership, no bank debt, and $300 million in cash and equivalents. More than 97% of the 1,019 CAPS members rating Morningstar believe it will beat the market.

Brookfield Asset Management
Occasionally compared to Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A), Brookfield Asset Management manages various asset classes worldwide through multiple subsidiaries. Thanks to healthy liquidity that fueled opportunistic asset purchases, Brookfield reported a 48% increase in cash flow from operations in the fourth quarter, and strong cash flow for the full year.

Many CAPS members like Brookfield's solid track record of managing long-term assets, growing cash flow, and maximizing returns through cheap financing. Another plus: It maintains a 40% stake in Brookfield Infrastructure Partners. The spinoff reported a 141% increase in fourth-quarter adjusted net operating income, and global governments' increasing focus on infrastructure should bode well for its future opportunities. Overall, 97% of the 1,245 CAPS members rating Brookfield Asset Management are bullish.

Let 125,000 members be the judge
The collective wisdom of a huge pool of investors can help give context to a stock screen's page of numbers. But even with an entire community acting as the judge, individual investors are still the jury. Perform your own due diligence, Fools!

You can start by running your favorite factors through the Motley Fool CAPS screener. It's totally free, and we think you'll like the results.

The Motley Fool Inside Value service looks for solid stocks beaten down to dirt cheap levels. Discover the best of Wall Street's bargain bin with a free 30-day trial.

Fool contributor Dave Mock dreams of stocks and sugarplum fairies, but not together. He owns no shares of companies mentioned here. Brookfield Infrastructure Partners is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendation. Brookfield Asset Management is a Global Gains selection. Nasdaq OMX Group and Brookfield Infrastructure Partners are Inside Value picks. NYSE Euronext is a Rule Breakers recommendation. Morningstar is a Stock Advisor selection. The Fool owns shares of Morningstar and Nasdaq OMX Group. The Fool's disclosure policyscreens the good, the bad, and the ugly.