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. But 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 aid Fools in finding tomorrow's leaders. Our 165,000-member community is full of investors helping each other beat the market.

We'll enlist CAPS to screen for firms in the financial sector, 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 15%
  • 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 fail to tell the true story.

Opinions with the numbers
Below is a sample of stocks our screen returned.


Revenue Growth Rate, Past 3 Years

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Universal Insurance (NYSE: UVE)



CME Group (Nasdaq: CME)



Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC)



Data and star rankings from CAPS as of June 4.

Universal Insurance
While big insurers such as Hartford Financial (NYSE: HIG) have been more upbeat lately -- Hartford swung to a first-quarter profit and raised its 2010 outlook -- small-cap property insurer Universal Insurance expects good things as well, as its recent premium rate increases are expected to add to its bottom line as the year progresses. Expansion efforts in states like North and South Carolina and Hawaii have also been helping to boost its policy count. Some CAPS members like the plans for further expansion at this point, and many gush about the big dividend payout that the company maintains. All in all, 96% of the 578 CAPS members rating Universal Insurance expect it to outperform the market.

CME Group
Europe's debt troubles and the May 6 "flash crash" has added to the jitters many investors were already feeling, but the recent market volatility has sent trading in CME Group's futures contracts soaring. The company is building on strong first-quarter trading volume and Goldman Sachs' analysts see more potential as CME looks to get into the interest rate swaps clearinghouse business. It'll face competitor Nasdaq OMX Group (NasdaqGS: NDAQ) in the market, which is aggressively gearing up to offer the service in the coming months, but still it has a good opportunity to capture a piece of the market and generate additional revenue, similar to IntercontinentalExchange's (NYSE: ICE) new credit derivatives clearinghouses which helped it book a solid first quarter. CAPS members have taken CME's rating down a star, but many still like its position in the sector, despite a panicky market, as 94% of the 751 members rating CME Group give it the thumbs up to beat the broader market.

Wells Fargo
Not all CAPS members that have rated Wells Fargo are convinced that the stock will be a market-beating investment, and many are still wary of bank stocks in general, but some still think it's the safer bet among banks. While rival Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) is leaning on Merrill Lynch's commercial and investment banking business to help boost profits, Wells Fargo is strengthening its wealth management business to boost revenue and sees loan loss provisions on the decline going forward. As it gains more business from its Wachovia customers, it also sees potential to increase market share. Some members are following Warren Buffet's lead in making their bullish call, with 87% of the 4,134 CAPS members rating Wells Fargo expecting it to outperform the broader market averages.

Let 165,000 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 Inside Value team looks for stocks that are selling at bargain prices well below their intrinsic value. To see the full list of cheap companies the service is recommending today, 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. Nasdaq OMX Group is an Inside Value recommendation. Motley Fool Options has recommended writing covered calls on Nasdaq OMX Group. The Fool's disclosure policy screens the good, the bad and the ugly.