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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, mid-cap stocks are in the spotlight. These are stocks of companies that have market capitalizations of between $500 million and $10 billion that 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.

Circor International

(CIR) - Get CIRCOR International Inc. Report

engages in the design, manufacture and distribution of valves and fluid control products. It has been rated a buy since September 2005. The company's third-quarter income increased 42% to $10.4 million, or 62 cents a share, continuing Circor's pattern of EPS growth. This is expected to continue.

Excluding items the company earned 59 cents for the quarter. Revenue increased 9% to $164 million, outpacing the average of 5.1%. The challenges facing the machinery industry include the recent surge in commodity costs, which has lowered margins on many goods.


( GR), which supplies aerospace and defense security products, has been rated a buy since August 2005, based on the company's strong revenue growth, expanding net income and margins, increase in cash flow and liquidity and lower debt-to-equity ratio. Goodrich's third-quarter earnings grew 25.9%, driven by commercial aircraft equipment sales. Net income increased to $126.80 million, or 99 cents a share.

Excluding items, earnings for the quarter were $1.10 a share, which beat the consensus estimate of 91 cents a share. Sales shot up 14.8% to $1.60 billion. A decline in government spending and the weakened condition of the airline industry are some of the downside risks to the company.

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(ATR) - Get AptarGroup Inc. Report

, a package and dispenser maker, has been rated a buy since October 2005. The company has shown encouraging signs, such as its strong financial performance and its initiatives to increase shareholder returns. AptarGroup also possesses a strong balance sheet. The company's third-quarter revenue increased 20% to $485.69 million, while profit increased 40% to $39.4 million, or 56 cents a share. AptarGroup has low financial leverage with a total debt-to-equity ratio of 0.33 as of the third quarter's end, far below the industry average of 0.98.

The company has been generating strong cash flow from operations over the past five years and its cash balance increased 60.5% from a year ago to $270.07 million. All the markets in which AptarGroup operates are highly competitive, especially in regard to price. This, together with increasing raw material costs over the past few years, could impact the company's operating results.

Barnes Group

(B) - Get Barnes Group Inc. Report

, a metals maker and industrial supplies distributor, has been rated a buy since September 2005. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of EPS growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. Second-quarter profit increased 58% to $28.4 million, or 49 cents a share, while revenue climbed 16% to $359.5 million. Net operating cash flow increased to $43.83 million or 40.73% from a year ago and exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 21.60%.

Although no company is perfect, currently Ratings does not see any significant weaknesses that are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

FactSet Research Systems

(FDS) - Get FactSet Research Systems Inc. Report

, which provides financial intelligence to the global investment community, has been rated a buy since September 2005. The company shows robust revenue growth and has no debt to speak of. Its fiscal year fourth-quarter earnings rose 31% on the year to $30.7 million, or 60 cents a share. Revenue rose 23% to $129.5 million. Subscriptions advanced $92.5 million over the year, up 21.9% and were $516.9 million as of August 31.

FactSet has no debt to speak of, resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.