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TheStreet Open House

10 Small-Cap Stocks Safe for Skittish Investors (Udate1)

5. Ulta Salon Cosmetics & Fragrances (ULTA)

Company profile: Ulta Salon Cosmetics, with a market value of $6 billion, is a beauty-care retailer that sells items ranging from mass-channel brands to high-end prestige labels. It operates more than 400 of its own stores and sells in others boutiques as well.

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 41% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 100%. Analysts give its shares three "buy" ratings, three "buy/holds," and four "holds," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. It's the third-largest holding in the Loomis fund.

4. First Cash Financial (FCFS)

Company profile: First Cash Financial Services with a market value of $1.3 billion, owns and operates more than 250 pawnshops. The company lends money against pledged tangible personal property.

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 22% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 47%. Analysts give its shares five "buy" ratings, three "buy/holds," and two "holds," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. For fiscal year 2012, analysts estimate it will earn $2.69 per share and that that will grow by 18% next year, to $3.18 per share. It's a top 20 holding of the Wasatch fund.

3. Sourcefire (FIRE)

Company profile: Sourcefire, with a market value of $1.4 billion, sells computer network security products that are based on the open-source Snort software. Its customers include corporate clients and even government agencies.

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 46% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 88%. Analysts give its shares six "buy" ratings, three "buy/holds," and nine "holds," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. It's the Loomis Sales fund second-best performer this year.

2. Idex (IEX)

Company profile: Idex, with a market value of $3.4 billion, makes and sells products in the following areas: fluid and metering technologies (48% of revenue); health and science technologies; dispensing equipment; and fire and safety products.

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 13% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 28%. Analysts give its shares seven "buy" ratings, one "buy/hold," and five "holds," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. It's expected to earn $2.79 per share this year and 3.13% next year. Net income has grown at an average rate of 16% over the past three years. It's the Wasatch fund's third-largest holding.

1. Herbalife (HLF)

Company profile: Herbalife, with a market value of $8.2 billion, sells weight-management, nutrition, energy and fitness, and personal-care products through its direct sales network of distributors in more than 70 countries. It has been criticized for the claims of some of its distributors in what is a network marketing business that relies on new recruits.

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 38% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 121%. Analysts give its shares nine "buy" ratings, one "buy/hold," and two "holds," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. It's the Wasatch fund's second-best performer.

>>To see these stocks in action, visit the 10 Small-Cap Stocks Safe for Skittish Investors portfolio on Stockpickr.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.
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