5 growth stocks you need to know

If you think the Australian stock market has performed brilliantly over the past 12 months, think again. The next five stocks have absolutely smashed the yearly return of the broader S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO).

Best of all, I think all of these companies could still have a way to go. So now could be a better time than ever to get acquainted with some of the market’s best growth stocks.

1. G8 Education Ltd (ASX: GEM) is up a whopping 64% over the past 12 months, as the childcare centre owner and operator continued to aggressively build up its portfolio of assets. As a result, analysts are expecting earnings to jump considerably in coming years.

2. Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (ASX: LNG) has already proven to be the ‘Story Stock’ of 2014, rising over 1,500% in the past 12 months alone. Although I still consider it a high-risk investment, its $2 billion market capitalisation and recent inclusion in the S&P/ASX 200 gives it significant credibility moving forward.

3. Nearmap Ltd (ASX: NEA) is a technology minnow which is competing against global giants, however it has added 50% to its market cap in the past year. Despite boasting ample growth potential in the local market, if Nearmap’s test flights in the U.S. can make an impact on consumers then the rewards could be huge.

4. Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) is already a renowned Australian investment bank but its near 30% total shareholder return in the past year, could be just the beginning. Although I’m not a buyer today, its exposure to global equities markets will benefit current shareholders in the short and long term.

5. Slater & Gordon Limited (ASX: SGH) has significantly outperformed the market over the past one, three and five years. With ongoing growth both domestically and in UK, I see a brighter future ahead for Australia’s premier listed law firm.

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I already own shares in Liquefied Natural Gas and Slater & Gordon but I've got my eye firmly set on Nearmap and G8 Education. However, our top analyst, Scott Phillips, recently identified one cheap but growing small-cap ASX stock with a 6.3% grossed-up dividend yield which I think is a STANDOUT buy today. If you're interested in knowing its name, just click on the link below, enter your email address and we'll send you the FREE report on his top dividend stock idea for 2014 - 2015!

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Motley Fool Contributor Owen Raszkiewicz owns shares in Liquefied Natural Gas Limited and Slater & Gordon Limited. 

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