Each business day, TheStreet.com Ratings TheStreet.com Ratings compiles a list of the top five stocks in one of five categories -- fast-growth, all-around value, large-cap, mid-cap and small-cap -- based on data from the close of the previous trading session. Today we focus on mid-caps.

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.



is an international higher education company that operates DeVry University, Ross University, Chamberlin College of Nursing, and Becker Professional Review. The company has been

rated a buy

since January 2007. DeVry's strengths can be seen in a variety of areas, such as its impressive record of earnings-per-share growth, robust revenue growth, return on equity, and largely solid financial position. Soild stock price performance also contributes to the buy rating.

The company announced on Jan. 27 that its revenues rose 35% year over year in the second quarter of fiscal 2009, helped by increased revenue across segments and the acquisition of U.S. Education, which is the parent company of Apollo College and Western Career College. Revenue growth appears to have trickled down to the bottom line, as DeVry reported EPS improvement of 20.4%. Higher enrollment numbers also helped boost earnings. Net income also increased, rising to $42.9 million from $35.8 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2008. Return on equity, which improved slightly when compared to the same quarter a year ago, can be seen as a modest strength for the organization. In addition, a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.18 indicates that DeVry has successfully managed its debt levels.

Management was pleased not only with DeVry's financial results in the second quarter, but also with the employment rate of its graduates. Management stated that it was remarkable in the current job market to see 92% of recent graduates employed within six months of graduation. The company continues with a conservative capital structure that it feels is appropriate to the current economic climate, although it does continue to invest in growth opportunities. Looking ahead, DeVry expects its full year 2009 capital expenditure to be in the range of $65.00 million to $70 million. Although the company shows low profit margins, we feel that the strengths detailed above outweigh any weaknesses at this time.

Strayer Education

(STRA) - Get Report

is a for-profit post-secondary education services corporation, offering a variety of academic programs through wholly-owned Strayer University. Our

buy rating

for Strayer has not changed since March 2003, and is based on a variety of strengths that include the company's revenue and EPS growth and its largely solid financial position.

For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008, Strayer's revenue rose 28.2% year over year due to increased enrollment and a 5% tuition increase that went into effect in January 2008. As a result, earnings per share improved 27.6%, while net income increased 24.1% from $19.5 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007 to $24.2 million. Another favorable sign for the company is that it is debt free, resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero. In addition, a quick ratio of 1.8 demonstrates the ability to cover short-term liquidity needs.

Management stated that it was pleased with both the fourth quarter and full-year results for fiscal 2008. The company anticipates strong enrollment growth for the 2009 winter term, along with the opening of new campuses. Based on these factors, Strayer announced first quarter fiscal 2009 EPS guidance at a range of $1.96 to $1.98 per share. Although the company shows weak operating cash flow, we feel that its strengths justify any potential weakness at this time.

Shenandoah Telecommunications

(SHEN) - Get Report

provides regulated and unregulated telecommunications services, including local exchange telephone services, wireless personal communications services, cable television, video, and Internet and data services, long distance, and other services through its wholly owned subsidiaries. The company has

been rated a buy

since April 2008 on the basis of its revenue growth, largely solid financial position, expanding profit margins, and other strengths.

For the third quarter of fiscal 2008, Shenandoah Telecommunications reported revenue growth of 14.6% year over year, which was higher than the industry average of 4%. This growth appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, as earnings per share rose 23.1% when compared to the same quarter last year. Net income also increased, rising 33.3% from $5.1 million to $6.8 million. The company has a very low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.1, indicating that debt levels have been successfully managed, along with a quick ratio of 1, which illustrates Shenandoah Telecommunications' ability to avoid short-term cash problem.

Management stated that the company made solid performance improvements in the third quarter, along with progress in expanding its PCS network and offering further data and push-to-talk services. Although we consider the company's stock to be trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to factors like earnings and book value, we feel that the strengths detailed above outweigh any weaknesses and justify the high price level at this time.

Gentiva Health Services


and its subsidiaries provide home health and related services throughout the U.S. Our

buy rating

for Gentiva has not changed since November 2005. This rating is supported by the company's revenue growth, largely solid financial position, and expanding profit margins. Other strengths include a notable return on equity and good cash flow from operations.

Gentiva announced results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 on Feb. 18. Those results will be updated in our model shortly, but the current rating is based on the company's third quarter results. For the third quarter, the company reported that its revenues rose 12.4% year-over-year. This growth appears to have helped boost EPS, which rose from 28 cents a year ago to $4.07 in the most recent quarter. Gentiva's return on equity improved greatly, rising from 9.46% to 31.1%. The company also has a gross profit margin of 45.1%, which we consider to be strong. In addition, the company's low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.5 implies that it has successfully managed debt levels, while a quick ratio of 1.6 indicates that Gentiva is able to cover its short-term liquidity needs.

Looking ahead, Gentiva adjusted its revenue outlook and raised its earnings outlook for full year fiscal 2008 based on the performance to date of its Home Health segment. The company now expects net revenues ranging between $1.28 billion to $1.30 billion, and anticipates diluted earnings per share to be between $1.47 and $1.51, up from the $1.36 to $1.43 range previously provided. Although no company is perfect, we do not currently see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from Gentiva's generally positive outlook.

ManTech International

(MANT) - Get Report

provides technologies and solutions for mission-critical national security programs for the intelligence community, the space community, and various departments and agencies of the U.S. federal government. ManTech has been

rated a buy

since March 2005. Our rating is based on strengths such as the company's robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position, and record of EPS growth.

For the third quarter of fiscal 2008, revenue rose by 26.8% year over year. This increase was primarily the result of a business strategy focused on high-end defense and intelligence markets supporting U.S. national security. Revenue growth appears to have helped boost earnings per share, which improved 31.4% when compared to the same quarter a year ago. The EPS increase from 51 cents to 67 cents represents the continuation of a pattern of positive EPS growth demonstrated by ManTech over the past two years, a trend which we feel should continue. Net income also increased in the third quarter, rising from $17.5 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2007 to $23.9 million in the most recent quarter. ManTech's very low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.007 and quick ratio of 1.4 illustrate the company's successful management of debt levels and ability to avoid short-term cash problems.

Management announced it was pleased with the third quarter results, as strong performance and excellent cash flow helped provide necessary flexibility in a challenging economic environment. Based on strong business momentum in its national security and defense business, the company set EPS guidance at 67 cents to 70 cents for the fourth quarter and $2.53 to $2.56 for full-year fiscal 2008. These ranges represent 10% to 15% growth over the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007 and 30% to 31% growth over full-year fiscal 2007. The company currently shows low profit margins, but we feel that the strengths detailed above outweigh any potential weakness.

Our quantitative rating, which can be viewed for any stock through our stock screener stock rating screener, is based on a variety of historical fundamental and pricing data and represents our opinion of a stock's risk-adjusted performance relative to other stocks. However, the rating does not incorporate all of the factors that can alter a stock's performance. For example, it doesn't always factor in recent corporate or industry events that could affect the stock price, nor does it include recent technology developments and competitive dynamics that may affect the company. For those reasons, we believe a rating alone cannot tell the whole story and should be part of an investor's overall research.