Stocks climbing to 10 times their original price are rare breeds -- but they're not impossible to find. Especially when you have Fools for friends.

The market's best stocks include companies that have risen dozens of times in value over the past decade. These aren't penny stocks; they're viable companies with sound business prospects, achieving phenomenal returns every year. Finding just one or two of these monstrously successful firms can help you establish a winning portfolio.

Stalking the monster
To find tomorrow's winners, we'll enlist the more than 130,000 monster trackers at Motley Fool CAPS. We've compiled a list of the most successful CAPS members, dubbed All-Stars, whose picks have doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled in price. Then we've plucked out some of their recent picks for stocks they find likely to score big on CAPS.


CAPS Member Rating

Monster Stock

CAPS Score

Recent Stock Pick


CAPS Rating (out of 5)



Morgan Stanley


Smith & Wesson Holding (NASDAQ:SWHC)





Bear Stearns


AutoZone (NYSE:AZO)





NOVA Chemicals (NYSE:NCX)


Genworth Financial (NYSE:GNW)












American Italian Pasta


WellPoint (NYSE:WLP)



Of course, this is not a list of stocks to buy -- or, for those monster stocks that our CAPS All-Stars have already found, sell. Just consider them starting points for your own further research of extreme buying opportunities.

In search of Bigfoot
It would seem intuitive that retail auto parts suppliers would do well in a recession as consumers opt to fix their own cars instead of going to the mechanic or buying a new vehicle. And since their November lows, top parts retailers AutoZone, O'Reilly Automotive, and Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP) have advanced 30% or more. But troubled retailer Pep Boys has not been able to jump-start its engines, tootling along at about where it was back in the fall.

Last year's high gas prices undoubtedly played a part in putting the parts suppliers up on blocks, as people just stopped driving or put off repairs as long as possible. With the reprieve we've been temporarily given at the pump, those repairs now need to be undertaken. Accordingly, in the latest quarter Advance Auto saw strong adjusted earnings on a 14% rise in revenue, although the company had to take charges on slow-moving inventory, which reduced its net income. Meanwhile, AutoZone's quarterly profit and revenue both grew in excess of 8%. Many investors, however, don't think AutoZone can repeat that performance too many more times because of its heavy debt load.

Top-rated CAPS All-Star BigFatBEAR thinks the story won't be pretty for the auto parts retailer as its debt burden causes it to ride on four flat tires:

Great capital gains since 2000, I believe the story for [AutoZone] won't be as pretty going forward. This is based mostly on their balance sheet - current ratio is under 1, total liabilities are almost as high as total assets (which equals tiny equity), and over 2 billion in long-term debt.... Lastly, the Board of Directors recently authorized $500 million worth of stock repurchase, but as of November 2008 they only had $85 million cash on hand. Are they going into further debt to fund a stock repurchase during a recession? I smell trouble.

AutoZone's most recent quarterly report also showed that while cash on hand expanded to $107 million, debt also jumped to $2.7 billion. Those numbers have CAPS member smartdanny worried that the credit markets still might not be sufficiently liquid when AutoZone needs to refinance its debt:

Debt/Equity Ratio of 37.81 says it all. This company is priced for a fully functioning credit market that allows for cheap refinancing of debt. The world of cheap credit for companies not deemed to big to fail is gone though. So as Autozone has to refinance their long term debt, the increase in financing costs will seriously impact their earnings.

A chance for scary growth
It takes more than a few All-Star picks and a quick paragraph to make buy or sell decisions, so start your own research on these stocks on Motley Fool CAPS. You can read a company's financial reports, scrutinize key data and charts, and examine the comments your fellow investors have made, all from a stock's CAPS page. And while you're there, weigh in with your own thoughts on whether you think these are tomorrow's monster stocks.