Five Fast-Growing Stocks to Own in 2010 - TheStreet

BOSTON (

TheStreet

) -- Outlook is mixed for equities in the first-quarter. Here are five companies that are projected to boost revenue and profit by at least 12% in the coming year. They offer safer bets than momentum names.

5.Teva Pharmaceutical Industries

(TEVA) - Get Report

is an Israeli drugmaker.

The numbers

: Third-quarter net income rose 3% to $649 million, but earnings per share fell 6% to 72 cents. Revenue increased 25% to $3.6 billion. Teva's gross margin decreased from 57% to 54%, but its operating margin expanded from 23% to 24%. A quick ratio of 0.9 indicates less-than-ideal liquidity. A debt-to-equity ratio of 0.3 reflects modest leverage.

The stock

: Teva has risen 31% this year, beating the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

and

S&P 500 Index

. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 60, a premium to pharmaceutical peers, due to a loss in the fourth-quarter of 2008. The shares have a 1.1% dividend yield.

4. DeVry

(DV)

offers career training and degree programs.

The numbers

: Fiscal first-quarter profit increased 57% to $55 million, or 76 cents a share, as revenue grew 42% to $431 million. DeVry's gross margin remained steady at 57%, and its operating margin rose from 15% to 18%. A quick ratio of 0.9 indicates less-than-ideal liquidity. A debt-to-equity ratio of 0.1 demonstrates modest leverage.

The stock

: DeVry is flat this year, lagging behind major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 22, on par with education peers. The shares have a 0.4% dividend yield.

3. O'Reilly Automotive

(ORLY) - Get Report

sells auto parts.

The numbers

: Third-quarter profit more-than-doubled to $87 million, or 63 cents a share, as revenue grew 13% to $1.3 billion. O'Reilly's gross margin expanded from 48% to 51%, and its operating margin widened from 8% to 11%. The company has a weak liquidity position, evident in its quick ratio of 0.2. Its 0.3 debt-to-equity ratio indicates modest leverage.

The stock

: O'Reilly has advanced 25% this year, matching the S&P 500. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 19, a discount to auto retail peers. O'Reilly doesn't pay dividends.

2. Neogen

(NEOG) - Get Report

sells food safety tests.

The numbers

: Fiscal second-quarter profit increased 18% to $4.6 million, or 20 cents a share, as revenue grew 13% to $35 million. Neogen's gross margin fell from 55% to 53%, but its operating margin expanded from 19% to 21%. The company has an ideal financial position, with $32 million of cash and no debt.

The stock

: Neogen has fallen 3% this year, trailing major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 36, a premium to health care supply peers. Neogen doesn't pay dividends.

1. Lincoln Educational Services

(LINC) - Get Report

provides career education.

The numbers

: Third-quarter profit more than doubled to $14 million, or 50 cents a share, as revenue grew 48% to $148 million. Lincoln's gross margin rose from 63% to 65%, and its operating margin increased from 10% to 16%. The company has a liquid balance sheet, with $38 million of cash and $37 million of debt.

The stock

: Lincoln has soared 62% this year, more than major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 15, a discount to education peers. Lincoln doesn't pay dividends.

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