Top Five Fast-Growth Stocks

Precision Castparts and Manitowoc head up this week's list.
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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 March 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 strong cash flow that has enabled it to repay debt while maintaining its dividend payout.

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 of concern.

Rated a buy since May 2005,


(MTW) - Get Report

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

S&P 500


Given the company's other strengths, its weak operating cash flow is not a threat to its buy rating at this time.

West Pharmaceutical Services

(WST) - Get Report

makes components and systems for injectable drug delivery and plastic packaging. It has been rated a buy since May 2005. The company's revenue growth has outpaced the industry average, leading to sharp stock price appreciation. It also has net income growth that has significantly exceeded the S&P 500 and a pattern of EPS growth over the past two years.

These strengths outweigh the company's low profit margins.

Telephone titan


(T) - Get Report

has rung up a buy rating since March 2006. This is based on positive investment measures, such as robust revenue growth, net income growth and good cash flow from operations.

The company's growth has been driven by acquisitions. The completion of the BellSouth acquisition will generate higher cash flow, and AT&T has seen its wireless segment, which now includes all Cingular and BellSouth businesses, help in recovering losses suffered in the wireline segment.

Risks to the buy rating include stiff competition from wireline and cable operators, merger-related challenges and a decline in return on equity, all of which could restrict the company's growth prospects.

Rated a buy since March 2005,

Range Resources Corporation

(RRC) - Get Report

engages in the exploration, development and acquisition of oil and gas properties primarily in the southwestern, Appalachian and Gulf Coast regions of the U.S.

The company enjoys favorable industry outlook with crude oil prices significantly above their historical averages; this has encouraged oil exploration and production companies to increase oil production. Range Resources has shown impressive revenue growth and a rise in crude oil and natural gas production from drilling successes as well as acquisitions.

The company is not risk-free. The high price of oil in the past two years could lead to a decline in demand that would negatively affect the company's earnings. It is also aggressively pursuing its drilling and acquisition programs at the cost of raising more debt, and oil exploration remains a matter of chance, so its current success rate is hardly guaranteed.