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Top Five Small-Caps

Axsys Technologies (AXYS), which makes optical system components, has been rated a buy since August 2005. With the threat of terrorism across the world, the need for advanced technology to secure borders is growing. However, only a fraction of more than 150,000 miles of international borders are equipped with the latest surveillance technology. This provides the company with huge business potential. Axsys' consistent focus on the core business combined with increasing global border security concerns should benefit the company, going forward.

The buy rating is not risk-free. Axsys' success is largely dependent on its ability to anticipate and respond rapidly to changing technological developments in the industry. Moreover, a reduction or delay in the purchase of precision optical solutions by the U.S. government could have an impact on financial performance.

Neogen (NEOG), which makes test kits for food and animal safety, has been rated a buy since September 2005. The company recently reported that first-quarter revenue increased 13% over a year ago to $22.9 million, while EPS improved by 19.3%. Neogen has demonstrated a pattern of EPS growth over the past two years, and this trend is expected to continue.

Net income increased by 25.1% to $3.01 million in the fiscal first quarter compared with the same period last year. The company has no debt to speak of, and it maintains a quick ratio of 2.64, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs. Investors have apparently begun to recognize these positive factors, which has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 100.14% over the past year.

Although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, Neogen should continue to move higher even though it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year. And though no company is perfect, currently Ratings does not see any significant weaknesses that are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.
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