10. Teradata (TDC)
Company profile: Teradata, with a market value of $11 billion, is a developer of data warehousing services for large organizations worldwide. Its business includes hardware, software and support services.
Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 35% this year and have a three-year average annual return of 60%. Analysts give them four "buy" ratings, four "buy/holds," eight "holds," and one "weak hold," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. S&P has it rated "hold" on valuation concerns.
9. LSI (LSI )Company profile: LSI, with a market value of $5 billion, produces standard and customized integrated circuit chips that support applications in enterprise storage and networking. It also provides external storage systems and software applications for storage area networks. Investor takeaway: LSI's shares are up 40% this year and have a three-year average annual return of 47%. Analysts give its shares six "buy" ratings, two "buy/holds," five "holds," and one "weak hold," per S&P. 8. Parametric Technology (PMTC) Company profile: Parametric Technology, with a $3 billion market value, licenses computer-aided design, product life-cycle management, and enterprise content management software that allows manufacturers to design and build products faster. Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 42% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 52%. Analysts give its shares five "buy" ratings, four "buy/holds," and four "holds," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. 7. Weight Watchers International (WTW) Company profile: Weight Watchers, with a $6 billion market value, is a weight-management company with operations in more than 25 countries. Consumers buy more than $4 billion of Weight Watchers-branded products each year, and every week about 1.8 million people attend Weight Watchers meetings worldwide. The company encourages healthy weight loss through exercise, nutrition, and portion control. Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 42% this year and have a three-year average annual return of 63%. Analysts give them nine "hold" ratings, according to S&P. For fiscal 2012, analysts estimate that the company will earn $4.67 per share and that that will grow by 15% to $5.38 in 2013. Barclays Capital initiated coverage of Weight Watchers with an "overweight" rating today, citing demographic trends that would support future growth. That means the firm's analysts expect the shares to outperform the market. Barclays noted that about 70% of the U.S. population is overweight, which means more are likely to avail themselves of Weight Watchers services. 6. VeriFone Systems (PAY) Company profile: VeriFone Systems, with a market value of $5.5 billion, makes electronic point-of-sale payment terminals used by retailers, petroleum companies, government organizations, and payment processing companies. Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 45% this year and have a three-year average annual return of 134%. Analysts give them five "buy" ratings, three "buy/holds," and five "holds," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. For fiscal 2012, analysts estimate it will earn $2.59 per share and that that will grow 24% to $3.22 per share next year. VeriFone reported Monday that during its fiscal quarter ended Jan. 31, it had a net loss of 3 cents per share, compared to net income of 35 cents per share last year. Revenue rose 2% to $420 million. The company said it expects its 2012 net income to be higher than analysts expect, at $2.60 per share to $2.66 per share, versus the consensus analysts forecast of $2.59 per share.