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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.

Leading the list today is


(GRMN) - Get Garmin Ltd. (Switzerland) Report

, which makes navigation, communications and information devices based on GPS technology. It has been rated a buy since August 2005. The company has shown outstanding revenue growth, notable return on equity and a two-year pattern of steady increases in EPS, and it is carrying no debt. These strengths outweigh the fact that Garmin is trading at a premium valuation according to Ratings' review of its current price compared with factors such as earnings and book value.

Valmont Industries

(VMI) - Get Valmont Industries Inc. Report

produces fabricated metal products. It has been rated a buy since August 2005. The company's revenue grew 18.7% in the second quarter of 2007 over the year-earlier period, exceeding the industry average of 4.6%. Its debt-to-equity ratio of 0.55 is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels.

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Valmont has demonstrated a pattern of positive EPS growth over the past two years, a trend that should continue. Powered by strong earnings and other factors, the company's stock increased 49.37% in the 12 months prior to Aug. 3, and while the stock is now somewhat expensive compared with its industry peers, the company's strengths justify the higher price level. Valmont's low profit margins are no threat to the company's buy rating at this time.

Smith International

( SII), which provides products and services for oil and gas exploration and production, has been rated a buy since May 2006. The company reported a strong financial performance in the recently concluded quarter, benefiting from the favorable industry environment. Smith International's second-quarter revenue increased 21.6% to $2.11 billion from a year ago. Net income increased at a higher rate of 28.8% to $153.05 million because of lower production and general and administrative costs, which were partially offset by higher net interest expense.

Smith's performance depends on the level of oil and natural gas exploration and development activities, which are cyclical. 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, and that may ultimately result in the lowering of demand for oil.


(HSC) - Get Harsco Corporation Report

provides industrial services and engineered products to the steel, construction, railways and energy industries. It has been rated a buy since August 2005. The company demonstrates robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, net income growth that has outperformed its industry average and a pattern of positive EPS growth over the past two years.

Powered by these strong financial results, Harsco's stock has appreciated by 38.07% in the 12-month period prior to Aug. 3. The growth has put it at a price level that is relatively expensive compared with the rest of its industry, but given the Harsco's strengths, the higher price level is justified. Harsco's strengths outweigh the company's low profit margins.

Precision Castparts


, which makes complex metal components and products for the aerospace and industrial gas turbine industries, has been rated buy since August 2005. The company has recently made acquisitions expanding its casting, forging and fastener product offerings, and these should fuel revenue growth. Precision's net income has also been increasing as a result of margin expansion and higher income from continued operations (which were partially offset by higher interest expenses and taxes).

Because Precision depends on the aerospace industry for its top-line growth, any slowdown in that industry could lead to reduced demand for its products. Other possible concerns include fluctuations in the prices of basic materials and any unseen difficulty in integrating recent acquisitions.