I am always looking for new stock ideas.

Admittedly, Business Week's "100 Fastest-Growing Companies" list is not the first place a value guy like me turns. It's full of fast-growing companies whose stock prices are near their 52-week highs. But that's because "if it's in the news, it's in the price."

But that doesn't mean all of the companies fit that mold. Last year, I learned about an interesting little company called Multi-Color (NASDAQ:LABL), a provider of printed items and packaging services for consumer-products companies. This particular stock is up by more than 60% in just one year. So here are some companies that caught my eye this year.

Build-A-Bear Workshops (NYSE:BBW), whose stock is well off its 52-week high, came in at No. 25. The specialty retailer took another beating yesterday, dropping an additional 8%. While I think there is a great deal of potential for this company, it has disappointed the market as of late. And we all know that the market doesn't like disappointment. Bargain hunters might want to have a look at this one, however.

Synaptics (NASDAQ:SYNA) makes cool touch pads and controlling software for laptop computers and other portable devices. It has been through some scares with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). First, Apple said it wanted to develop its own touch-pad technology or find a second source. Translation: We're Apple and we're not going to pay a lot for a touch pad. Next, the company said it expects to see sales of digital music players slow down. As a result, its stock price is off more than 40% from its 52-week high.

Ceradyne (NASDAQ:CRDN) is a leading ceramics technology company. Ceramics have some interesting material properties. Ceradyne develops body and vehicle armor made of ceramics to absorb energy from bullets and such. It also develops ceramics components for chemical manufacturers, who use ceramics for their corrosion resistance, and the automotive industry, because of ceramics' wear resistance. The stock has struggled in 2005 and has recently lowered its earnings guidance. But slip-ups can lead to opportunities.

Have you noticed a pattern? Not all glamorous growth companies meet their lofty expectations -- some get pummeled along the way to greatness. As I have said before, these lists are not an end-all-be-all. Fools should not make purchasing decisions based on historical growth information or just because a stock is well off its 52-week high. But it does make for some interesting reading and might allow you to uncover a Hidden Gem or two.

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Fool contributor David Meier does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.