Growth stock investing these days is a far more perilous pastime than it used to be. Just ask the investors in Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, which recently reported that its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings tripled, its revenues continued to climb and its margins have widened, and that the company's managers are planning for future growth in sales of its K-cup portion packs of coffee by building new offices and production facilities. By most standards, that would make Green Mountain a growth stock to cherish, even if its peak valuations of 70 times earnings appeared frothy to critics like widely followed hedge fund investor David Einhorn.

Normally, a hedge fund manager making disparaging remarks about a company whose stock he is short causes market participants to yawn. But in this new investment landscape, characterized by a lack of conviction and tremendous volatility, Einhorn's litany of bearish comments sent Green Mountain's stock into a tailspin - it lost more than 30% in a single day in November - and offset a host of upbeat projections by Wall Street analysts such as Jon Andersen of William Blair, who upgraded the stock to outperform. Analysts, at least, seem to be convinced that there's plenty of growth ahead, with all but one maintaining some form of buy rating and the consensus price target hovering around $96 a share, compared to its price of less than $60 a share in early December.

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