Publish date: Ratings: Top Five Large-Cap Stocks

Precision Castparts and Nordstrom head up this week's list of top-rated companies.

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, large-cap stocks are in the spotlight. These are stocks of companies with market capitalizations of over $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.

Today begins 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, 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 concerns.

Upscale department store retailer


(JWN) - Get Nordstrom, Inc. (JWN) Report

has had a buy rating since March 2005. Positives include a notable return on equity, a very low debt-to-equity ratio, increased net operating cash flow and expanding profit margins. Its revenue growth has outpaced the industry average.

Though no company is flawless, there are currently no major weaknesses likely to detract from its largely positive outlook.

TheStreet Recommends

Southern Copper


, which mines, smelts and refines copper in southern Peru, has earned a buy rating since March 2005. The company has shown strong EPS growth, impressive stock price appreciation and net income growth that has significantly outperformed the

S&P 500

and exceeded the metals and mining industry average.

While the company may harbor a few minor weaknesses, they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.


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

, which makes navigation, communications and information devices based on GPS technology, has been rated a buy since March 2005. The company has shown stellar revenue growth, notable return on equity and a two-year pattern of steady EPS growth, and it is carrying no debt.

Though no company is perfect, we do not currently see any weaknesses that are likely to detract from the generally rosy outlook.

Steel manufacturer and retailer


(NUE) - Get Nucor Corporation Report

has been rated a buy since April 2005. The company has shown strong financial performance driven by higher volume resulting from improved steel prices and higher steel shipments.

Nucor has shown exceptional shareholder returns due to improved return on equity, steady EPS growth and the recent acquisition of Harris Steel Group, which enhanced its market presence in reinforced steel bars, wire mesh and heavy industrial steel grating.

The principal risk to the rating is presented by any continued steel imports into the U.S. market, which could result in an inventory glut and hurt prices. Any unexpected increase in steel scrap costs could also hurt Nucor's operating margin.