Top 5 Fast-Growth Stocks: Quality Systems

Shares of Quality Systems have risen 23% this year on the development of health care information systems.
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The following fast-growth companies are projected by analysts to increase revenue and profit by at least 12% in the coming year and receive "buy" ratings from TheStreet.com Ratings' proprietary quantitative model, which considers more than 60 factors. They are ordered by their potential to appreciate.

Strayer Education

(STRA) - Get Report

is a for-profit post-secondary education company that offers a variety of academic programs through Strayer University.

The numbers:

Fiscal first-quarter revenue increased 28% to $125 million as net income jumped 24% to $29 million and earnings per share improved 26% to $2.07. Operating margin improved 162 basis points to 38% as net margin fell 89 basis points to 23%. Strayer has no debt and a quick ratio of 1.5, indicating an ideal financial position.

The stock:

Strayer has fallen 5% in 2009, outperforming the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

and underperforming the

S&P 500

. The stock is trading at a price-to-earnings ratio of 33. A 1% dividend yield sweetens the stock, but is below the S&P 500 average.

National Presto Industries

(NPK) - Get Report

makes small appliances, and defense and absorbent products.

The numbers:

Fiscal first-quarter revenue increased 40% to $108 million as net income and earnings per share ascended 74% to $11 million and $1.58, respectively. Operating margin improved 307 basis points to 14% and net margin climbed 195 basis points to 10%. The company has no debt or interest expenses and abundant cash reserves, as reflected by a quick ratio of 3.6.

The stock:

National Presto is down 2% in 2009, outperforming the Dow and the S&P 500. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio under 11 and offers a meager 1.3% dividend yield.

Teva Pharmaceuticals

(TEVA) - Get Report

is an Israeli company that develops and markets a range of generic and branded pharmaceuticals, biogenerics and active pharmaceutical ingredients.

The numbers:

Fiscal first-quarter revenue increased 22% to $3.14 billion as net income surged 225% to $451 million and earnings per share climbed 183% to 51 cents. Operating margin declined 886 basis points to 18% and net margin increased 893 basis points to 14%. The company has conservative leverage, as reflected by a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52. But a quick ratio of 0.76 indicates a less-than-ideal liquidity position.

The stock:

Teva is up 16% in 2009, outperforming all major U.S. indexes. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio around 48, indicating a significant premium to its peers, and offers a modest 1.22% dividend yield.

Quality Systems

(QSII)

develops and markets health care information systems that automate medical and dental practices and networks of practices.

The numbers:

Fiscal fourth-quarter revenue ascended 28% to $66 million as net income inched up 1% to $11.4 million and earnings per share fell 2% to 40 cents. Operating margin fell 521 basis points to 28% and net margin declined 470 basis points to 17%. The company has no debt or interest expenses and a strong cash balance, as indicated by a quick ratio of 2.1.

The stock:

Quality Systems has climbed 23% in 2009, outperforming all major U.S. indexes. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 33 and offers a dividend yield of 2.3%.

NCI

(NCIT)

provides IT engineering and professional services to federal agencies. With mounting budget deficits and a growing national deficit, Washington is looking to cut costs and streamline. NCI offers an attractive play on this trend.

The numbers:

Fiscal first-quarter revenue increased 15% to $105 million as net income ascended 29% to $4.7 million and earnings per share climbed 26% to 34 cents. Operating margin improved 38 basis points to 7.6% and net margin climbed 49 basis points to 4.5%. The company has a high quick ratio of 1.6, but just $1.4 million of cash, compared to $31 million of debt.

The stock:

NCI is down 3% in 2009, in line with the S&P 500. The stock trades at a high price-to-earnings ratio of 22 and doesn't pay dividends.

TSC Ratings was recently given an award for "Best Stock Selection" amongst independent research providers by BNY ConvergEx Group. A rating can be viewed for any stock through our screener

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. Each rating is derived from a variety of fundamental and pricing figures and represents our opinion of risk-adjusted performance relative to a 5,000+ stock coverage universe. However, the rating does not incorporate all factors that can alter a stock's performance, such as corporate or industry events, technology innovations and shifts in competitive dynamics.