Each weekday, TheStreet.com Ratings compiles a list of the top 10 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.
Today we look at fast-growth stocks. 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 among all stocks rated by our proprietary quantitative model, which looks at over 60 factors.
In addition, the stocks must be followed by at least one financial analyst who posts estimates on the Institutional Brokers' Estimate System. Please note that definitions of revenue vary by industry, and this screen does not make adjustments for acquisitions, which can materially affect posted results. Likewise, earnings-per-share growth may be affected by accounting charges, share repurchases and other one-time items.
We begin with
, which provides diversified investment management to a broad range of clients, and which has been rated a buy since December 2004. The company shows a number of positive financial measures, including a striking record of EPS growth, no significant debt and expanding profit margins.
These impressive financial strengths justify the high price of the stock, which is trading at a premium valuation on the basis of its current price when compared with earnings and book value, as of late December.
develops, manufactures and markets specialty chemicals around the world. It has been rated a buy since December 2004. The company's strengths include robust revenue growth, impressive increases in net cash flow from operations and a primarily solid financial position.
These strengths outweigh the company's subpar growth in net income.
( VOLV) sold its automobile business to Ford in 1999, but it still makes trucks, buses, construction equipment and aircraft engine parts. It has been rated a buy since January 2005. Volvo's strengths include its solid stock performance and growth in earnings per share and net income.
TheStreet.com Ratings feels that the company's weak operating cash flow isn't enough to threaten the company's buy rating, given its other strengths.
Real estate and money management service company
Jones Lang LaSalle
has had a buy rating since December 2004. The company shows impressive strengths, including a noteworthy return on equity (a sign of internal strength), stellar revenue growth and a pattern of EPS growth reflected in the impressive appreciation of its share price.
With positive investment measures across the board, the company's low profit margins are nothing to fret about.
A buy since December 2004,
provides outsourced business services to manage wealth for the financial services industry. It shows impressive revenue growth, a debt-to-equity ratio well below the industry average, expanding profit margins and an attractive record of EPS growth.
Even though its stock price, which increased 58% in 2006, is at a premium according to TheStreet.com's Ratings review of earnings and book value, the company's financial strengths position it for continued growth.
Life and health insurer
has warranted a buy rating since January 2005. Its strengths are widespread, and they include superb revenue growth, a net operating cash flow-growth rate more than triple the industry average, and attractive valuation levels.
With pluses like these, Lincoln National's somewhat disappointing return on equity is not a major concern.
TheStreet.com Ratings has diagnosed
, which develops, manufactures and sells diagnostic test kits, with a buy rating since December 2004. The company has shown improved return on equity, EPS growth, a microscopic debt-to-equity ratio and revenue growth that has outpaced the industry average.
Showing no weaknesses of consequence, Meridian is well positioned to continue its stock-price appreciation.
Russian-based dairy products and beverages manufacturer
Wimm Bill Dann
( WBD) has earned a buy rating since December 2005. The company's revenue growth has outpaced the industry average, and it has demonstrated a positive pattern of EPS growth for the past two years.
These results outweigh the stock's premium valuation at its current price when compared with measures such as earnings and book value as of early January.
Designer and clothing manufacturer
Polo Ralph Lauren
has fashioned a buy rating since January 2005. The company shows revenue growth that outpaces the industry average, and has compelling growth in net income and widening profit margins. Polo Ralph Lauren has had consistent EPS growth over the past 24 months.
The company may show a few minor weaknesses, but they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.
Factset Research Systems
supplies financial intelligence to investment companies worldwide, and it has garnered a buy rating since December 2004. The company shows robust revenue growth, steady cash flow from operations and a notable record of EPS growth. It also sports a minuscule debt-to-equity ratio, demonstrating very successful management of debt levels.
Though Factset is not without its minor blemishes, TheStreet.com Ratings does not currently see any weaknesses that are likely to trip up its continued success.