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Top Five Small-Cap Stocks: Stepan

Key Technology has been rated a buy since February 2007. The company's strengths can be seen in a variety of areas, including its growth in revenue, net income, and earnings per share. For the second quarter of fiscal 2008, the company's revenue rose by 31.3% year-over-year. This appears to have helped boost earnings per share, which improved significantly from 11 cents per share in the second quarter of fiscal 2007 to 22 cents a share in the most recent quarter. The net income increased 96.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising to $1.19 million from $610,000. An additional sign of strength for the company is that its current return on equity improved from the same quarter of fiscal 2007.

The recent surge in commodity costs is a challenge to the machinery industry. This could affect Key Technology's results in the future. However, the company reported its best first half bookings, shipments, and earnings performance in its history in this fiscal year, and management expects that recently released new products, such as Manta and the Pulse Scrubber, will contribute to the company's orders and shipments for the second half of fiscal 2008.

Exponent (EXPO - Get Report) is a science and engineering consulting firm whose multidisciplinary team of scientists, physicians, engineers and business and regulatory consultants brings together more than 70 different technical disciplines to solve complicated issues facing industry and businesses. Its professional staff can perform in-depth scientific research and analysis or very rapid-response evaluations to provide clients with the critical information they need.

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