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Top 10 'Buy'-Rated Stocks Under $5

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6. Force Protection (FRPT)

Company Profile: Force Protection designs and manufactures blast- and ballistic-protected vehicles to the U.S. and foreign militaries. The company's specialty vehicles protect their occupants from landmines, hostile fire and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Share Price: $4.90 (March 29)

Stock Performance This Year: -11%

Analyst Consensus: Seven research firms, including Capstone Investments and Morgan Keegan, rate Force Protection a "buy." The only other firm covering the stock has a "hold" rating. The average price target of $6.90 implies a 41% rise in shares from current levels.

Bullish Case: Imperial Capital analyst Jonathan Richton upgraded Force Protection to "buy" on March 11 after the company reported fourth-quarter results. Richton notes that while the company's management expects the first half of the year to be weak, he says asset value remains strong and that improved results on increased vehicle deliveries and modernization sales will benefit the company in the second half. With a valuation range of $5.50 to $6.50, Richton says the stock has about 23% upside potential based on the midpoint.

TheStreet Ratings recommends that investors hold on to shares of Force Protection, as the company's largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels are countered by "feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity."

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