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 165,000-member community is full of investors helping each other beat the market.

We'll enlist CAPS to screen for Internet companies and 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 $100 million.
  • A long term debt-to-equity ratio of less than 0.5.
  • A gross margin of at least 50%.

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.


Gross Margin

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Zix (Nasdaq: ZIXI)



Sina (Nasdaq: SINA)



Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)



Data and star rankings from CAPS as of May 21.

Zix made the choice late last year to wind down the e-Prescribing business, leaving the company focused now on email encryption solutions, where business has been good. In the first quarter, new orders nearly doubled and the segment posted its highest ever quarterly revenue. Zix expects the strength to continue and remains optimistic about its distribution partners, such as Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC), which recently launched the latest edition of its Brightmail Gateway platform. Despite facing larger competitors in the consumer space, such as Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), which has been beefing up its own IronPort security offerings, Zix believes it has the goods to compete. CAPS members have been lobbing plenty of bearish commentary at Zix in recent months, but enough top-performing members have remained bullish to keep it at a four-star rating, with 70% of the 708 members rating Zix expecting it to outperform the market.

As the leader in China's portal advertising market, some CAPS members like Sina as a way to play the growing Chinese Internet market. The company has been taking advantage of a recovering ad market there, which helped it blow past first-quarter expectations and forecast a strong second quarter as well. The recovering market has one Brean Murray analyst starting off with bullish coverage on the company, and the growth prospects in front of Sina were enough for CAPS members to bump up its rating to four stars. Overall, 93% of the 771 CAPS members weighing in on Sina believe it will be a market-beating investment.

Google's share of the search market continues to hold strong and fend off the threats coming from distant competitors such as Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO), which is now partnering with Bing to challenge Google's dominance. But for many investors, the good news doesn't stop there -- Google's progress on several other fronts is earning even more CAPS members as fans. Its Chrome browser has been gaining share while the Android platform has recently had the iPhone eating its dust. And Android will be the operating system behind Google TV, which is expected to launch in the fall, helped by key hardware partner Sony (NYSE: SNE) and several other companies. It's yet to be seen whether Google TV will be successful, but being closer to the massive TV advertising market could be a big plus for Google. At this point, about 84% of the 15,625 CAPS members rating Google are bullish. 

Let 160,000 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 judges of what to do with their own money. Fools should always perform their own due diligence.

Happily, it's easy to chime in with your own opinion. If you agree that these companies present dream opportunities -- or if you see more of a nightmare instead -- simply scroll down and add your thoughts in the comments box.

Always looking ahead, the Motley Fool Rule Breakers service is picking the next generations' big winners today. To see what rule-breaking stocks David Gardner is recommending now, 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. Google is a Rule Breakers recommendation. Sina is a Stock Advisor selection. The Fool's disclosure policy screens the good, the bad, and the ugly.