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 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 to look for  tomorrow's leaders. Its 130,000 members help one another beat the market.

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

  • A market cap of at least $1 billion.
  • A long term debt-to-equity ratio of less than 0.5.
  • A current ratio of at least 1.
  • A price-to-earnings ratio of less than 15.

Then we'll tap the collective intelligence of our CAPS members to see whether these companies present real opportunities -- or whether the numbers fail to 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.


P/E Ratio

LT Debt-to-Equity Ratio

CAPS Rating (5 stars max.)

Foster Wheeler (NASDAQ:FWLT)








Jacobs Engineering (NYSE:JEC)




CVS Caremark (NYSE:CVS)




Data and star rankings from CAPS as of March 20.

Foster Wheeler and Jacobs Engineering
Engineering and construction company Foster Wheeler posted better than expected fourth-quarter earnings, even though the 11.9% increase in revenue wasn't up to the level analysts had been hoping for. The company believes global market conditions could hamper its power business in 2009, and delays in engineering and construction projects may drag on its performance as well.

But Foster Wheeler recently dispelled some fears when it landed its largest project ever, for a new refinery in India. BP also recently gave the company a vote of confidence with an increased role in a refinery project. Like peer Jacobs Engineering, Foster Wheeler sits on piles of cash, and each one is starting the year with a healthy backlog.

Jacobs Engineering's backlog is up by more than $1 billion from last year. And the latest report was stellar, including first-quarter earnings jumping by 18%. The company has been filling its backlog with contracts in the U.S. and abroad, looking to benefit from expansion in the Middle East. The strong cash flow and President Obama's commitment to infrastructure gives nearly 97% of the 992 CAPS members rating Jacobs Engineering confidence that it will outperform the market; a similarly strong 98% of the 1,707 rating Foster Wheeler are bullish on that stock.

ABB sells power equipment and technology to utilities and industrial companies, so it operates in a more stable industry where demand can only wane for so long. But U.S. and European Union regulators are investigating charges of price-fixing and bribery, and the $870 million ABB has set aside hit fourth-quarter earnings hard, giving investors a reason to pause. Still, many investors feel that the long-term drivers of the business will overcome the issues, and many CAPS members like the company's ability to generate cash efficiently. Today, 97% of the 1,616 members rating ABB expect it to outperform the market.

CVS Caremark
In a slow economy, companies like CVS Caremark are not only making customers happy by providing cheaper "private label" items, but also pleasing shareholders with these more profitable items. And like Medco Health Solutions (NYSE:MHS) and Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX), the company has benefitted from increased generic drug sales.

In addition to being the largest drugstore chain, ahead of peers like Walgreen (NYSE:WAG), CVS has become the largest purchaser and dispenser of prescription drugs in the country since its  acquisition of pharmacy benefits manager Caremark two years ago. Its scale brings comfort to shaken investors and helped the company report record revenue and earnings for the fourth quarter and full-year 2008. Today, 96% of the 1,429 CAPS members rating CVS Caremark have given the stock a thumbs-up.

Let 130,000 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 judge. Fools should always perform their own due diligence.

Run your favorite factors through the Motley Fool CAPS screener. It's totally free, and we think you'll like the results.

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 33 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. ABB is a Global Gains pick. MedcoHealth Solutions is a Stock Advisor recommendation. The Fool's disclosure policy screens the good, the bad and the ugly.