NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- With the health care-sector doing well, it could be a good time to invest in what has been over the past few years one of the most consistent growth sectors. Looking through TheStreet Quant Ratings, TheStreet's proprietary quant-based stock-rating tool, we picked the six best mid-cap health care companies, which are all A or A+ rated.

The Street Quant Ratings rates every one of these stocks an A or A+. These stocks were chosen from 4,300 different types of equities we rate.

TheStreet Ratings projects a stock's total return potential over a 12-month period including both price appreciation and dividends. Based on 32 major data points, TheStreet Ratings uses a quantitative approach to rating over 4,300 stocks to predict return potential for the next year. The model is both objective, using elements such as volatility of past operating revenues, financial strength, and company cash flows, and subjective, including expected equities market returns, future interest rates, implied industry outlook and forecasted company earnings.

Buying an S&P 500 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a buy yielded a 16.56% return in 2014, beating the S&P 500 Total Return Index by 304 basis points. Buying a Russell 2000 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a buy yielded a 9.5% return in 2014, beating the Russell 2000 index, including dividends reinvested, by 460 basis points last year.

Check out which stocks made the list. And when you're done, be sure to read about which financial services stocks you should buy now. Year-to-date returns are based on October 14, 2015 prices as of 11:43am.

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LHCG

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6. LHC Group, Inc.

(LHCG) - Get Report


Rating: Buy, A
Market Cap: $812.2 million
Year-to-date return: 44.36%

LHC Group, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides post-acute continuum of care primarily for Medicare beneficiaries in the United States. The company operates through three segments: Home-Based Services, Hospice Services, and Facility-Based Services.

TheStreet Ratings team rates LHC GROUP INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate LHC GROUP INC (LHCG) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Health Care Providers & Services industry. The net income increased by 47.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $6.06 million to $8.95 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 6.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • LHCG's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.12 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, LHCG has a quick ratio of 1.58, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 45.71% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 82.72% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, LHCG should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • 41.73% is the gross profit margin for LHC GROUP INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 4.47% is above that of the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: LHCG
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AHS

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5. AMN Healthcare Services, Inc.

(AHS)


Rating: Buy, A
Market Cap: $1.4 billion
Year-to-date return: 49.13%

AMN Healthcare Services, Inc. provides healthcare workforce solutions and staffing services to healthcare facilities in the United States. It operates through three segments: Nurse and Allied Healthcare Staffing, Locum Tenens Staffing, and Physician Permanent Placement Services.

TheStreet Ratings team rates AMN HEALTHCARE SERVICES INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate AMN HEALTHCARE SERVICES INC (AHS) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations and compelling growth in net income. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 6.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 39.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.79, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.21, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Health Care Providers & Services industry and the overall market, AMN HEALTHCARE SERVICES INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Health Care Providers & Services industry. The net income increased by 120.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $7.19 million to $15.87 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 305.91% to $25.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, AMN HEALTHCARE SERVICES INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 14.00%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: AHS
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CBM

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4. Cambrex Corporation

(CBM) - Get Report


Rating: Buy, A
Market Cap: $1.3 billion
Year-to-date return: 95.65%

Cambrex Corporation, a life sciences company, provides various products and services for the development and commercialization of new and generic therapeutics worldwide.

TheStreet Ratings team rates CAMBREX CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

TST Recommends

We rate CAMBREX CORP (CBM) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 5.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.9%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • CBM's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.22 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.08, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. When compared to other companies in the Life Sciences Tools & Services industry and the overall market, CAMBREX CORP's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • 48.14% is the gross profit margin for CAMBREX CORP which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 18.43% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 140.09% to $4.83 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, CAMBREX CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -17.22%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: CBM
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ICLR

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3. ICON Public Limited Company

(ICLR) - Get Report


Rating: Buy, A
Market Cap: $4.2 billion
Year-to-date return: 37.69%

ICON Public Limited Company, a contract research organization, provides outsourced development services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries in Ireland, rest of Europe, the United States, and internationally.

TheStreet Ratings team rates ICON PLC as a Buy with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate ICON PLC (ICLR) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels and expanding profit margins. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • ICLR's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 5.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • ICLR's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.06 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.34, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Life Sciences Tools & Services industry and the overall market, ICON PLC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • 42.12% is the gross profit margin for ICON PLC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 15.07% is above that of the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: ICLR
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WOOF

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2. VCA Inc.

(WOOF) - Get Report


Rating: Buy, A
Market Cap: $4.5 billion
Year-to-date return: 12.61%

VCA Inc. operates as an animal healthcare company in the United States and Canada. It operates through Animal Hospital and Laboratory segments.

TheStreet Ratings team rates VCA INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate VCA INC (WOOF) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, growth in earnings per share, solid stock price performance and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • WOOF's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 6.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Health Care Providers & Services industry average. The net income increased by 19.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $45.58 million to $54.30 million.
  • VCA INC has improved earnings per share by 27.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Stable earnings per share over the past year indicate the company has sound management over its earnings and share float. We anticipate these figures will begin to experience more growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, VCA INC's EPS of $1.53 remained unchanged from the prior years' EPS of $1.53. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.32 versus $1.53).
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 27.45% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 38.44% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.71, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.70 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: WOOF
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CHE

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1. Chemed Corporation

(CHE) - Get Report


Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $2.2 billion
Year-to-date return: 23.78%

Chemed Corporation provides hospice and palliative care services in the United States. It operates in two segments, VITAS and Roto-Rooter. The company offers its services to patients through a network of physicians, registered nurses, home health aides, social workers, clergy, and volunteers.

TheStreet Ratings team rates CHEMED CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate CHEMED CORP (CHE) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, revenue growth and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 28.03% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, CHE should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • CHEMED CORP has improved earnings per share by 14.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, CHEMED CORP increased its bottom line by earning $5.58 versus $4.16 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($6.73 versus $5.58).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Health Care Providers & Services industry average. The net income increased by 10.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $24.36 million to $26.98 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 6.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Health Care Providers & Services industry and the overall market, CHEMED CORP's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: CHE