Each weekday, TheStreet.com 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
, 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,
manufactures and markets cranes and related products, foodservice 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
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.
Russian dairy product and beverage manufacturer
Wimm Bill Dann
( WBD) 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.
Rated a buy since May 2005,
West Pharmaceutical Services
manufactures components and systems for injectable drug delivery and related products for the healthcare, personal care and consumer products markets.
The company displays revenue growth that has outpaced the industry average, sharp stock price appreciation, improved EPS and net income growth that has exceeded that of the S&P 500. These strengths outweigh its low profit margins.
has been rated a buy since March 2006. The company's strong revenue growth resulted from the acquisition of BellSouth and record new subscribers during its first quarter of 2007. Growth in the wireless business helped offset the losses suffered in the traditional wireline segment. Once the BellSouth merger is completed, AT&T expects higher free cash flow and merger synergies.
Stiff competition from wireline and cable operators, merger-related challenges and decline in return on equity could restrict the company's growth prospects.