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 see what the 10 best stocks of the past decade were. 

But I'm more interested in the tools that can help me find new stock ideas, as well as provide the resources necessary to evaluate tomorrow's greatest companies -- just like Motley Fool CAPS.

We've enlisted CAPS to screen for top growth stocks and get the story behind them. CAPS' nifty screener will help us find stocks with:

  • A market cap of at least $500 million.
  • A trailing three-year average earnings-per-share growth rate of at least 25%.
  • A trailing three-year average revenue growth rate of at least 30%.
  • A price-to-earnings ratio of less than 25.

Then we'll tap the collective intelligence of our 115,000-plus CAPS members to see whether these companies present real opportunities -- or whether the numbers fail to tell the true story.

Opinions with the numbers
Here's a sampling from the list of stocks our screen pulled up today.

Company

Revenue Growth Rate, Past 3 Years

CAPS Rating (Out of 5)

Sterlite Industries (NYSE:SLT)

63.1%

*****

Cemex (NYSE:CX)

41%

*****

Infosys Technologies (NASDAQ:INFY)

38.5%

*****

Atwood Oceanics (NYSE:ATW)

38.1%

*****

Data and star rankings from CAPS. All data as of Sept. 12.

Sterlite Industries
Highly rated Indian metal stock Sterlite Industries has been burning a path of high growth, as a result of surging demand from emerging markets. India's local economy grew nearly 10% from 2006 and 2007, and with much of the nation's population having no access to electricity, Sterlite's recent push in the power-generation business is risky but looks to be a wise investment.

In a move to increase efficiency among the diverse companies that make up Sterlite's parent company, Vedanta Resources, the company will restructure Sterlite to help focus management teams' efforts into three vertical organizations, each targeting specific metals markets. With optimism in commodities continuing, more than 98% of the 972 CAPS members rating Sterlite see the investment outperforming the market going forward.

Cemex
With the U.S. housing market accounting for about 20% of the cement demand, no one is surprised that Mexico's Cemex is reporting less than spectacular results in its most recent quarter. But the huge international cement player is well positioned to ride out the housing downturn and is using its cash flow to reduce debt and increase productive capacity in preparation for a recovery.

Unlike ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) and ConocoPhilips (NYSE:COP) -- which chose to abandon investments in Venezuela upon Hugo Chavez's nationalization -- Cemex is challenging Chavez on what the company sees as a low-ball offer for the company's assets. The prospects for future growth, despite the near-term contraction, give more than 97% of the 3,957 CAPS members rating Cemex reason to be bullish on the company.

Infosys Technologies
One of the leading Indian outsourcing companies, Infosys is highly profitable and has been growing quickly. The company recently reported revenue growth of 25% and an earnings jump of 17%, only to see the stock decline by 13%. The company still projects strong results for the full year, but the acknowledgment that a slowdown in the U.S. may affect results did not get a warm reception.

Still, Infosys is estimated to grow its earnings by 21.5% over the next five years. With outsourcing companies becoming more attractive to corporations during tight times, more than 97% of the 1,067 CAPS members rating Infosys see it beating the market.

Atwood Oceanics
The energy industry has seen oil prices in retreat, but offshore driller Atwood still shows strong performance. It reported 44% higher revenue from the year before and an 88% rise in earnings per share. With 99% of its available rig days already committed for its fiscal 2008 and 50% for fiscal 2009, investors see the company being well positioned to continue solid growth.

Investors have lowered share prices of drillers such as Atwood and Nabors Industries (NYSE:NBR) as demand is expected to wane, but rig orders keep coming in, and contract awards keep running longer as dayrates get higher. Certainly, a sustained decline in oil demand will eventually hit drillers, but in the meantime, more than 99% of the 1,535 CAPS members rating Atwood expect the driller to outperform the market.

Let 115,000 members be the judge
The collective wisdom of a huge pool of investors can help give context to a page of numbers developed through a stock screen. But even with an entire community of qualified opinions acting as the judge, individual investors are still the jury and should perform their own due diligence.

Run your favorite factors through the Motley Fool CAPS screener. It's totally free, and even fun!

Motley Fool Global Gains is yet another Foolish resource to help you find promising investment opportunities beyond our borders. Check out what stocks have the international investing service beating the market by eight points. A trial subscription is yours, free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Dave Mock dreams of stocks and sugarplum fairies, but not together. He owns shares of ExxonMobil and is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. Sterlite Industries and Cemex are Global Gains recommendations. Cemex and Atwood Oceanics are Stock Advisor picks. The Fool owns shares of Cemex. The Fool's disclosure policy screens the good, the bad, and the ugly.