Precision Leads Fast-Growth Stocks

Manitowoc and Smith also reach this week's list of top-rated companies.
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Each weekday, Ratings compiles a list of the top five stocks in five categories -- fast-growth, all-around value, large-cap, mid-cap and small-cap -- and publishes these lists in the Ratings section of our Web site.

This list, updated daily, is based on data from the close of the previous trading session. Today, fast-growth stocks are in the spotlight. These are stocks of companies that are projected to increase revenue and profit by at least 12% in the coming year and rank near the top of all stocks rated by our proprietary quantitative model, which looks at more than 60 factors.

The stocks must also be followed by at least one financial analyst who posts estimates on the Institutional Brokers' Estimate System. They are ordered by their potential to appreciate.

Note that no provision is made for off-balance-sheet assets such as unrealized appreciation/depreciation of investments, market value of real estate or contingent liabilities that might affect book value. This could be material for some companies with large underfunded pension plans.

Today leads off with

Precision Castparts


, a manufacturer of complex metal components and products for the aerospace and industrial gas turbine industries. It has been rated a buy since June 2005.

The company has completed recent acquisitions to expand its casting, forging and fastener product offerings, and that should fuel revenue growth. Precision also shows net income increases resulting from margin expansion and higher income from continued operations (which were partially offset by higher interest expense and taxes).

Since Precision depends on the aerospace industry for its top-line growth, any slowdown in that industry could lead to reduced demand for its products. Any fluctuations in the prices of basic materials or any unseen difficulty in integrating recent acquisitions could also be concerns.

Rated a buy since May 2005,


(MTW) - Get Report

manufactures and markets cranes and related products, food service equipment and marine products. The company demonstrates notable revenue growth, significant EPS improvement, impressive stock price appreciation and net income growth that has significantly outpaced that of the

S&P 500

and its industry. Its price level is now somewhat expensive compared with the rest of its industry; given its strengths, the higher price is justified.

Manitowoc's low profit margins are not a threat to its buy rating at this time.

Smith International


, which provides products and services to oil and gas exploration and production, has been rated a buy since May 2006. The company reported impressive financial results for the first quarter of the year: Revenue increased 25.3%, and net income shot up almost 50% compared with the same period the previous year.

Smith's performance depends on the level of oil and natural gas exploration and development activities, which are cyclical in nature. There has been a rise in oil price in the past two years, which might lead to either a decline in demand or increased use of alternatives, which may ultimately result in the lowering of demand for oil.

Rated a buy since April 2005,


(PCAR) - Get Report

designs, manufactures and distributes light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks and parts.

The company's expansion plans, superior product lines and international focus should preserve its track record of delivering strong financial performance and returns to the shareholders. In April, Paccar opened a new office in Shanghai to focus on sourcing parts for worldwide manufacturing and aftermarket sales. It demonstrates revenue growth and record net profit due to margin expansion.

Paccar has a few potential risks. It is reducing production at its facilities in North America because of lower industry demand, which it believes has been hurt by higher-cost 2007 emission engines.

Russian dairy product and beverage manufacturer

Wimm Bill Dann


has earned a buy rating since December 2005. The company has recently completed strategic acquisitions of several companies with strong brand portfolios and leading market positions in their respective regions. It has also shown impressive revenue growth, net income increases and significant growth in return on equity.

The buy rating is not without risk. Prices for Wimm Bill Dann's major inputs -- such as raw milk, juice concentrate, sugar and packaging materials -- are facing major inflation. Should the trend continue, the company's future profits might be hurt.