10. Whole Foods Market (WFM)
Company profile: Whole Foods, with a market value of $18 billion, is the largest U.S. retailer of natural and organic foods with about 300 stores in the U.S., Canada and England.
Investor takeaway: Its shares rose 16% in the second quarter and 39% this year. Last year, sales grew 12.2%, reflecting 8.5% comparable-store sales growth and additional stores. Whole Foods is trying to reach a wider range of customers by increasing its emphasis on less expensive private store brands.
9. Dollar Tree Stores (DLTR)Company profile: Dollar Tree, with a market value of $12.7 billion, operates more than 4,000 stores that sell a variety of consumable merchandise, including candy and food, general merchandise and seasonal goods -- all for $1. Investor takeaway: Its shares climbed 16% in the second quarter and 32% this year. The company is projected to post 5.2% same-store sales growth in its current fiscal year, benefitting from increased store traffic as it has added refrigerated foods and other consumable merchandise. 8. eBay (EBAY) Company profile: eBay, with a market value of $53 billion, is an Internet auction site and a growing e-commerce hub. Investor takeaway: Its shares increased 16% in the second quarter and 41% this year. Revenue is expected to increase 19% this year and 14% in 2013, according to S&P, aided by acquisitions, including the June deal for GSI Commerce. Its PayPal unit is also growing fast and increasing in value.
7. Cabot Oil & Gas (COG) Company profile: Cabot, with a market value of $8 billion, is an independent exploration and production company with operations in North American oil fields. Investor takeaway: Its shares advanced 17% in the second quarter but are down 4% this year. Cabot has outperformed its peers despite declining oil prices since May. Morningstar says Cabot has leveraged its early mover position in the Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale to transform itself into one of the lowest-cost natural gas producers in the industry, and it holds a huge untapped inventory of land. 6. Sherwin-Williams (SHW) Company profile: Sherwin-Williams, with a market value of $13 billion, makes paints, coatings and related products. Investor takeaway: Its shares increased 18% in the second quarter and 44% this year. Morningstar forecasts sales growth of 12% this year, "with better pricing and volume driving the majority of the growth." However, slower-than-expected new-home construction may hurt earnings. S&P says the shares are overvalued.
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