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Top 5 Small-Caps for Dec. 5

Each business day, TheStreet.com Ratings compiles a list of the top five stocks in one of five categories -- fast-growth, all-around value, large-cap, mid-cap and small-cap based on data from the close of the previous trading session. Today, small-cap stocks are in the spotlight.

These are stocks of companies that have market capitalizations of between $50 million and $500 million that rank near the top of all stocks rated by our proprietary quantitative model, which looks at more than 60 factors.

The stocks must also be followed by at least one financial analyst who posts estimates on the Institutional Brokers' Estimate System. They are ordered by their potential to appreciate.

Note that no provision is made for off-balance-sheet assets such as unrealized appreciation/depreciation of investments, market value of real estate or contingent liabilities that might affect book value. This could be material for some companies with large underfunded pension plans.

Tompkins Financial (TMP - Get Report) is the corporate parent of three community banks: Tompkins Trust Company, The Bank of Castile and Mahopac National Bank. We have rated it a buy since October 2007 on the basis of its notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, increased in net income and revenue and solid stock price performance.

For the third quarter of fiscal 2008, the company reported revenue growth of 6.3% year over year. This appears to have helped boost earnings per share, which rose 15.7% to a record level for the company. EPS were reported as 81 cents for the third quarter, compared with 70 cents in the prior year's quarter. Net income also increased, rising 16.6% from $6.8 million to $7.9 million. Return on equity improved slightly over where it was a year ago, which can be construed as a modest strength for the company. Tompkins' return on equity of 14.1% exceeded the average for the commercial banking industry. The company's stock price has risen over the past year, reflecting earnings growth and other positive factors.

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SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
ACET $22.05 0.23%
NCIT $9.86 -4.55%
PETS $16.25 -1.63%
TMP $54.39 1.00%
AMPH $15.02 0.40%

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