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Three Growth Stocks for a Bear Market

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Investors who fear that U.S. equities could decline further should consider the following stocks. These fast-growing companies are likely to outperform if the European debt crisis continues to roil markets.

ITC Holdings (ITC - Get Report) is an electricity provider in the Midwest. During the past three years, it has increased revenue 30% annually, on average, and boosted net income 42% a year. Its stock has returned 2.7% a year during the same period.

Quarter: First-quarter profit increased 19% to $34 million, or 67 cents a share, as revenue grew 3.4%. The operating margin extended from 48% to 53%. ITC has $67 million of cash and $2.5 billion of debt, equal to a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.4.

Stock: ITC has advanced 19% during the past year, trailing U.S. stock-market indices. It trades at a price-to-projected-earnings ratio of 15, a 23% premium to the industry average. It's also expensive based on book value, sales and cash flow.

Consensus: Of analysts covering ITC, five, or 56%, advise purchasing its shares and four recommend holding them. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) offers a price target of $64, leaving a potential 30% return. Credit Suisse (CS) predicts the stock will hit $62.

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SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
ASEI $39.43 5.09%
BRLI $32.71 -0.85%
ITC $35.79 -1.57%
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FB $77.56 -1.59%

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