If I asked you to cook up the ideal company, what would you say? No, no, I'm not asking you to tick off your favorite members of the Fortune 500 or some up-and-comer small cap that you've just found. I want you to think about the ingredients you'd give a company if you could dream it right into existence.

Would it be in a particular industry? Would it be services- or product-based? Would it have fat profit margins or would it make its money by doing a huge volume?

We could spend all day going over the details of this magnifique stock market dish, but I would guess that there is at least one ingredient that we'd all add liberally to our creation -- growth. All those other details are great, but how interesting can a business be if it's stagnating and lacks avenues for expansion?

Turning back to reality, I have dug up a handful of companies that actually exist and are expected to post significant growth in the years to come. These companies may not all be the picture of perfection, but I've also consulted the 140,000 members of the Motley Fool's CAPS community to get an idea of which are our best bets in the group.


Long-Term Growth

Price-to-Earnings Ratio (TTM)

CAPS rating
(out of 5)

TASER International (NASDAQ:TASR)




Omniture (NASDAQ:OMTR)








Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX)




Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFMI)




Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO)




Medtronic (NYSE:MDT)




Source: Capital IQ (a division of Standard & Poor's), Yahoo! Finance, and CAPS.
TTM = trailing 12 months. N/M = not meaningful.

While these aren't meant to be formal recommendations, they could be a great place to kick off further research. In fact, let's dig in a bit further on Medtronic.

Fueling the growth
As an innovator and giant in the biomedical device industry, Medtronic dominates key medical device markets such as the all-important $11 billion market for cardiac rhythm management, which includes pacemakers. The company controls nearly half of that market, and expects to see that market as a whole grow 4% to 6%.

While market share gains could push the growth in that segment to something more interesting, Medtronic also holds the top position in higher-growth markets for devices to treat the spine, the brain, and diabetes. The company estimates that each of these markets should see annual growth of 9% or better.

And bear in mind that if the company is able to carry through with its plans to reduce the cost of its products and cut administrative spending, future revenue growth could be even more profitable for shareholders.

Of course, we can't talk about any health-care company without considering the impact that U.S. health-care reform would have. In Medtronic's case, the company could see some benefits as more people get access to proper care. However, the company also could face pricing pressures and restrictions on when and where its products can be used.

Perfection or poser?
While I would shy away from calling any stock perfect, Medtronic gets as close to perfect as the CAPS community allows. With nearly 1,100 outperform ratings against just 67 underperforms, the stock has garnered a perfect five-star rating.

CAPS member KnightofShadows, who is ranked in the top 1% of CAPS members, weighed in on the stock with a thumbs-up back in July. This All-Star likes the baby boomer investment angle:

The population is aging, and Medtronic is focused on segments that will benefit from an aging populations. It's trading at 1998 levels and is probably good for a double over the next couple of years.

I've already given Medtronic's stock a thumbs-up in my CAPS portfolio; now I want to know what you think. Share your thoughts in the comments section below or, better still, head over to CAPS and share your opinion with the entire community.

Further Foolishness:

GigaMedia is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Omniture, Starbucks, Marvel, and Whole Foods Market are Stock Advisor selections. Starbucks is also an Inside Value selection. The Fool owns shares of Medtronic and Starbucks. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool. The Fool's disclosure policy just can't get over the concept of extreme pogo.