A stock's price follows its earnings, which in turn follow its sales. A company needs only to take care of its business for investors to profit in the long run. Therefore, examining companies that have rising profits and inspire analysts' confidence in future growth should give us a fertile field of candidates for long-term outperformance.

The roaring 20s
Below are a handful of companies that have enjoyed 20% or more annual growth in sales and earnings over the past three years, and for which analysts forecast total growth of 20% or more over the next two years. We'll then pair up those predictions with the community stock research at Motley Fool CAPS, to get an idea of which companies the 135,000-plus members think have the best chances of beating the market over the long haul.

Company

3-Year Past Revenue Annual Growth %

3-Year Past EPS Annual Growth%

Estimated 2-Year Future EPS Growth

Estimated 2-Year Future Revenue Growth

CAPS Rating (Out of 5)

Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG)

55%

95%

68%

40%

****

Ctrip.com (NASDAQ:CTRP)

37%

27%

68%

64%

****

Mindray Medical (NYSE:MR)

51%

35%

50%

40%

*****

Netease.com (NASDAQ:NTES)

21%

22%

51%

79%

****

Teva Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:TEVA)

23%

134%

53%

44%

****

Sources: Capital IQ (a division of Standard & Poor's) and Motley Fool CAPS.

Just because an analyst predicts that a company will feature fantastic growth opportunities, that doesn't mean those predictions will become reality. But their preferred picks do offer an excellent starting place for your own research into extreme buying opportunities, so let's see why the operations of some of these companies may or may not be held in high esteem by investors, considering they appear to be sales and profits machines.

Tippling at the speakeasy
The frat boys in Animal House just might have been on to something. Undergrad students at Rice University are busy genetically engineering a beer that contains resveratrol, the same cancer-preventing compound found in wine. Until they're successful, though, we'll still have to turn to the traditional -- and much more unpleasant -- cancer treatments.

For people stricken with multiple myeloma, that means high-dosage chemotherapy coupled with stem-cell transplants. Unfortunately, not every patient is eligible for the latter, but for them, there may be help on the horizon. Celgene recently announced that its cancer treatment Revlimid holds promise for patients that are newly diagnosed with multiple myeloma but are ineligible for stem-cell transplants. Revlimid is already approved as a second line of treatment for certain cancers, and it has steadily gained market share in those areas, but late-stage studies suggest that it may also help patients with multiple myeloma. Celgene expects Revlimid to generate $1.6 billion in revenues this year.

CAPS member InvestorDeb sang the praises of Revlimid:

Celgene's long-term appeal has not changed: Revlimid is and will remain the drug of choice for multiple myeloma. …. Revlimid is the safest, strongest drug out there with no competition. Tolerability characteristics and increased response rates over time mean that the drug can be used for a longer duration. The company's Vidaza drug (acquired by Pharmion) remains strong and will be more accretive to earnings over time simply due to its superior survival benefits and its exclusivity to the market outside the U.S. Vidaza also will benefit as it takes share from its biggest competitor, Dacogen, because it's a better drug.

One analyst thinks Celgene might have a harder time meeting the market's expectations for growth, and Zack's Research has shown that while Revlimid's growth rates remain strong at 22% in the latest quarter, that's about half the rate it was at just at the end of last year.

For all that, Celgene's stock is expensive. Shares trade hands at more than 83 times trailing earnings, much higher than other biotechs, such as Genzyme (NASDAQ:GENZ) and Emergent BioSolutions (NYSE:EBS). With a solid balance sheet and plenty of cash on hand, however, Celgene has a nice cushion, but investors may find that the stock ends up getting bedridden.

No Great Depression
It pays to start your own research on these stocks on Motley Fool CAPS. 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. Head over to the completely free CAPS service, and let us hear what you have to say about these or any other stocks that you think we should be on our dance card.

Mindray Medical International and Netease.com are Motley Fool Rule Breakers selections. Ctrip.com International is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendation. The Fool owns shares of Mindray Medical International. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey has no financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.