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. Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) may still be off from the peak it hit during the dot-com bubble, but investors that have been with the stock for the past 10 years are sitting on some really impressive gains.

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 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 115,000 investors, and is a great resource for separating the Jessica Albas from the Frodo Bagginses. 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.

Freeport-McMoRan
If metals are your thing, then Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) is right up your alley. The company is a massive metals mining company that focuses on high-value metals like copper, gold, and molybdenum, and owns the single largest gold and copper mine in the world. The company has been growing like a weed, thanks to increased production, higher prices for the metals it mines, and hefty acquisitions like the Phelps Dodge buy last year.

Google
What can I say about Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) that hasn't been said before? The company is synonymous with Internet search itself and has been feasting off the growing demand for search marketing. In the process, it's beaten off tough competitors like Yahoo! and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). And if there's one thing that Google isn't hurting for, it's new ideas -- and its newest is getting ready to make a landfall.

Alexandria Real Estate Equities
Real estate may not whet too many investors' appetites right now, but don't count out Alexandria Real Estate Equities too quickly. This real estate investment trust (REIT) focuses on acquiring and renovating properties for the life science industry and boasts tenants like Novartis, Genentech (NYSE:DNA), and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Growth has come through acquiring or developing new properties and renting them out.

DeVry
Tens of thousands of students get their learn on with DeVry (NYSE:DV), with programs ranging from accounting and financial management in the company's Keller Graduate School of Management to a doctor of medicine degree through the Ross University School of Medicine. DeVry has benefitted from the growing importance of post-secondary education and advanced degrees, and has made a number of acquisitions -- including Ross University -- that have broadened the company's offerings.

CSX Corp.
I have some good news for you -- you don't have to be a kid to get excited about trains. Just as they always have, rail lines like those operated by CSX (NYSE:CSX) are used for getting stuff like autos and grains from one place to another. The difference today, though, is that high gas prices are making it increasingly expensive to ship anything on trucks, making rail lines -- even as rail prices rise -- more economical for shippers.

The envelope please ...
Turning to the CAPS community for a verdict, it's clear that Alexandria Real Estate, with its one-star rating, just doesn't cut the proverbial cheese. Though CAPS members don't seem overly bearish about the business, it seems that the stock's yield is just too low to make it an attractive REIT. DeVry and Google were rated somewhat better with three stars each, but neither will take home this week's crown. Which leaves us with CSX and Freeport-McMoRan.

Though CSX's four-star rating definitely makes it a stock worth your consideration, Freeport-McMoRan and its 4,000-plus bullish supporters will go home with the growth stock title for this week.

But will the growth continue? CAPS All-Star and Freeport bull saunafool thinks so. Last month he rated the stock an outperformer, saying that the "commodity boom is not over" and that Freeport is "trading at 12X earnings, 1.6% dividend yield, 20% earnings growth, and on sale in the current market turmoil."

Place your votes!
Do you think Freeport-McMoRan 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.

More CAPS Foolishness:

Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. 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. The Fool's disclosure policy would surely win America's Next Top Disclosure Policy, but for some reason there's no such contest.