9. Canon (CAJ)
Company profile: Canon, with a $54 billion market value, makes a range of consumer and electronic products including copiers (18% of sales), cameras (23%), and printers (35%) around the globe. Canon's headquarters and 26 of the firm's 45 manufacturing plants are in Japan, but nearly 80% of revenue is derived from international markets.
Investor takeaway: Canon's shares are up 2.6% this year and have a three-year average annual return of 23% and carry a 3.15% dividend yield. Analysts give its shares one "buy" rating, one "buy/hold," and one "weak/hold," according to an S&P survey. Those same analysts project earnings will grow 14% this year to $2.79 per share. S&P has it rated "buy," with a $50 price target, an 11% premium to the current price.
8. Plantronics (PLT)Company profile: Plantronics, with a $1.6 billion market value, makes lightweight headsets for mobile and cordless headsets designed for long-time telephone conversations in office settings such as for customer service workers, or in mobile applications. Investor takeaway: Plantronics' shares are up 6.3% this year and have a three-year average annual return of 63%. Analysts give its shares four "buy" ratings, one "buy/hold," and four "holds," according to an S&P survey. S&P has its shares rated "buy," on an outlook for steady earnings growth, with a $46 price target, which is a 21% premium to the current price. 7. Earthlink (ELNK) Company profile: Earthlink, with an $800 million market value, is one of the nation's largest Internet services providers, and also offers value-added services such as Web hosting, advertising, voice over Internet protocol telephone services, and managed data networks. Investor takeaway: Earthlink's shares are up 16% this year and have a three-year average annual return of 12%. Analysts give its shares five "buy" ratings and one "buy/hold," according to an S&P survey. S&P has its shares rated "strong buy" with a $10 price target, which is a 33% premium to the current price. The company says recent acquisitions have significantly boosted business services capabilities which will boost sales. 6. Yahoo (YHOO - Get Report) Company profile: Yahoo with a $19 billion market value, is one of the most heavily visited collection of Web sites on the Internet. Some of its more trafficked sites include Yahoo Search, Yahoo Mail, and Yahoo News. Advertising represents 84% of revenue. Yahoo also owns 35% of Yahoo Japan (YAHOY) and 43% of Hong Kong-based Alibaba.com. Investor takeaway: Its shares are down 7.7% this year, and have a three-year average annual return of 5.3%. S&P gives its shares a "strong buy" rating with a $20 price target, a 35% premium to the current price. Analysts give its shares five "buy" ratings, four "buy/holds," 20 "holds," and two "weak holds," according to an S&P survey. Although it's losing market share in advertising areas it once dominated, Yahoo has a solid balance sheet with just over $2 billion in cash at year-end and cash flow of $1.33 per share. Its real value may be unlocked as an acquisition target or in the sale of some of its business units. Its new CEO is said to be pursuing all alternatives, and "we think there is significant interest in some/all of the company," says S&P. Yahoo is demanding licensing fees from Facebook for use of its patented technologies and threatening to sue the social media networking giant. Reuters reported Tuesday that representatives of the companies met on Monday to discuss the issues and that Yahoo has indicated it would go to court if necessary to defend its patents.