Investors are always hunting for the next big stock -- the dream one whose price increases several times over when the market finally discovers it. It's easy to look back and discover the 10 best stocks of the past decade. I'm more interested in the tools that can help me evaluate tomorrow's greatest companies.

Motley Fool CAPS offers a variety of resources. Our 140,000-member community is full of investors helping one another beat the market.

We'll enlist CAPS to screen for financial companies, then get the story behind some of its more highly rated stocks. CAPS' nifty screener will help us find stocks with:

  • A market cap of at least $100 million.
  • A three-year revenue growth rate of at least 20%.
  • A price-to-earnings ratio of less than 25.

Then we'll tap the collective intelligence of our CAPS members to see whether these companies present real opportunities -- or whether the numbers don't tell the true story.

Opinions with the numbers
Below is a sample of stocks our screen returned. You can run this screen yourself -- remember, though, that your results may differ from ours as the market changes.


Revenue Growth Rate, Past 3 Years

CAPS Rating
(out of 5)

Universal Insurance Holdings (AMEX:UVE)



Prospect Capital (NASDAQ:PSEC)



Allied Irish Banks (NYSE:AIB)



Data and star rankings from CAPS as of Oct. 16.

Universal Insurance
Universal Insurance continued to grow its number of policies in the second quarter, to 520,000, up from 498,000 in the first quarter. The company is pushing into more states in the U.S. and reported strong operating cash flow of $45 million in the second quarter, despite a hit to net income because of state-mandated rate reductions and discounts for wind mitigation. CAPS members like the company's potential for growth and the dividend yield that would make even Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE:BRK-A) Warren Buffett happy. Of the 414 CAPS members rating Universal Insurance, 97% are bullish.      

Prospect Capital
Investors have come to enjoy venture capital and private equity investment firm Prospect Capital's dividend payout, which has been bumped up for 20 consecutive quarters now. And a good amount of insider buying this year spurs confidence as well. The company likes to lend to and invest in privately held industrial and energy-related companies and is looking to grow with its recent agreement to acquire Patriot Capital. While other debt-laden companies like American Capital (NASDAQ:ACAS) have been able to work with creditors, Patriot Capital has been in default without a break from its lenders, leading its shares to trade at a significant discount to net asset value. Prospect Capital was able to get a huge discount on the deal, which the company sees as a great opportunity to generate large returns. In CAPS, 97% of the 493 members rating Prospect Capital believe it will outperform the broader market.

Allied Irish Banks
Some CAPS members are excited to see the Irish government's bank plan making its way through Irish parliament. Allied Irish Banks has been struggling with real estate loan losses, similar to U.S. banks like Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and Citigroup (NYSE:C), and some investors welcome the relief. Under the plan, the company would be able to transfer 24 billion euros in loans to the government's National Assets Management Agency; it believes the losses it records on those loans would be less than the 30% average estimated for the industry. The bank says it will need to pull together more money to cover the write-off of the loans, but hopes to raise the money on its own and already has some interested parties. In CAPS, 96% of the 2,392 members rating Allied Irish Banks expect it to continue its recent rally and beat the S&P.

Let 140,000 members be the jury
The collective wisdom of a huge pool of investors can help give context to a page of numbers from a stock screen. But individual investors are still the best judges of what to do with their own money. Fools should always perform their own due diligence.

Happily, it's easy to chime in with your own opinion. If you agree that these companies present dream opportunities -- or see more of a nightmare instead -- simply scroll down and add your thoughts in the comments box.

The Motley Fool Stock Advisor service looks for companies with strong management poised to beat the market over the long haul. To see all the stocks that have helped Tom and David Gardner beat the market by 49 points on average, take a free 30-day trial.

Fool contributor Dave Mock dreams of stocks and sugarplum fairies, but not together. He owns no shares of companies mentioned here. The Fool's disclosure policy screens the good, the bad, and the ugly.