NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- During those times when I'm wandering around, kicking over rocks on Wall Street, one of my occasional stock screens is what I call "undiscovered growth stocks."
When you talk to the average growth-stock investor these days, they are usually all talking about the same names. They own such stocks as Salesforce.com (CRM), Netflix (NFLX) and gun stocks. I've never figured out how anyone can believe they've gained an advantage by being in a stock that's covered by every firm on the Street and traded by everyone and their brother. In addition, the herd mentality and high levels of institutional ownership makes these stocks subject to gut-wrenching declines when something happens that the consensus doesn't expect.
Over the years, we have uncovered some very good stocks -- but we've looked for growing names that are off the Street's radar screen. This is a simple screen that looks for companies whose sales and earnings have risen more than 15% in the past year, and which are expected to keep growing at a reasonable rate. We then screen that list to find those under-owned by the large institutions with limited analyst coverage.
This article originally appeared on March 21, 2013, on RealMoney. To read more content like this + see inside Jim Cramer's $3 million portfolio for FREE, Click Here NOW.The uncovered stocks often aren't cheap enough for me to dive into them, as I am very disciplined in my buying habits. However, they do often fit my son's more aggressive criteria, and some of my growth-oriented associates have done very well with these picks. I personally keep these on a watch list -- and, from time to time, I've had the opportunity to buy them on my terms. Of course, as when I'm running any screen, through this process I also seek out information and trends that may be useful in making general investment decisions and choices regarding my current portfolio. One stock on the list this week is a repeat from an earlier run of this stock screen: Craft Brew Alliance (BREW - Get Report) remains undiscovered by most of Wall Street in spite of excellent operating performance. The company has grown sales by more than 30% over the past five years, while compounded earnings have risen at a better than 50% annually, on average. The company is expected to grow earnings by 44% over the next year and around 20% annually going forward. In spite of this excellent performance, the large institutions own just 16% of the shares, and only a handful of analysts cover the stock -- though the latest report from Citi Investment Research upgraded it to "buy."