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 discover the 10 best stocks of the past decade. But I'm more interested in the tools that can help me evaluate tomorrow's greatest companies.

Motley Fool CAPS offers a variety of resources to aid Fools in finding tomorrow's leaders. Our 135,000-plus-member community is full of investors helping each other beat the market.

We'll enlist CAPS to screen for high-growth companies, then 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 $500 million.
  • A trailing-three-year earnings-per-share growth rate of at least 25%.
  • A trailing-three-year revenue growth rate of at least 30%.
  • A price-to-earnings ratio of less than 25.

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

EPS Growth Rate, Past 3 Years

Revenue Growth Rate,
Past 3 Years

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Navios Maritime Holdings (NYSE:NM)

207.3%

163.3%

*****

Agrium (NYSE:AGU)

94.9%

42.9%

*****

Diamond Offshore Drilling (NYSE:DO)

41.5%

31.0%

*****

Data and star rankings from CAPS as of May 29.

Navios Maritime
Navios Maritime slashed operating expenses in its most recent quarter to help offset the significant drop in demand that the dry bulk shipping industry has been experiencing, and managed to eke out a profitable quarter. But even though its dramatic growth has stalled for now, the company's liquidity remains in much better shape than competitors like DryShips (NASDAQ:DRYS), which is loaded with debt.

Also, with 96.6% of its available days contracted for this year, and more than 75% for next year, the company's near-term future is on solid footing. And organic growth may be back sooner than later -- like Excel Maritime Carriers, Navios expects delivery of seven new Capesize carriers this year, with each one committed to work and even covered by default insurance. At this point, more than 97% of the 1,302 CAPS members rating Navios Maritime expect it to outperform the market.

Agrium
All fertilizer companies -- from Agrium to PotashCorp (NYSE:POT) to CF Industries -- are being crushed by lower demand in recent quarters, but you wouldn't know it by Agrium's stock performance in 2009 (it's up more than 43% year to date). Helped by the recent acquisition of United Agri Products, Agrium managed to increase sales more than 54% to $1.8 billion in its most recent quarter. And it still sees opportunity in acquiring CF Industries, which recently rejected Agrium's higher bid in favor of continuing to pursue Terra Industries.

Putting some wind in its sail, Agrium -- along with peers PotashCorp and Mosaic (NYSE:MOS) -- earned an upgrade from Citigroup recently, which foresees strong grain prices and farm economics driving demand for the fertilizer companies' products. In CAPS, nearly 98% of the 1,681 members rating Agrium see it beating the broader market.

Diamond Offshore Drilling
Despite a concerted move to alternative energy sources, CAPS members still have a strong bullish sentiment toward offshore drillers like Diamond Offshore, Atwood Oceanics, and Transocean (NYSE:RIG), rating them all five stars. Investors like Diamond's consistent performance, strong utilization rate of more than 95%, and backlog of contracts, which stood at $10.4 billion at the beginning of the year. The company has 45 rigs, with many of them offshore in South America, mostly working for Petrobras, in areas expected to contain massive amounts of oil that may lead to even more demand for rigs. At this point, more than 98% of the 1,815 CAPS members rating Diamond Offshore Drilling are bullish.

Let 135,000 members be the jury
The collective wisdom of a huge pool of investors can help give context to a page of numbers from a stock screen -- but individual investors are still the best judge. Fools should always perform their own due diligence.

Run your favorite factors through the Motley Fool CAPS screener. It's totally free, and we think you'll like the results.

The Motley Fool Stock Advisor service scours the market for top stocks poised to beat the market over the long haul. To see all the stocks that have helped Tom and David Gardner beat the market by 40 points on average, take 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. Atwood Oceanics is a Stock Advisor selection. Petroleo Brasileiro is an Income Investor recommendation. The Fool's disclosure policy screens the good, the bad and the ugly.