Each business day, TheStreet.com 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 is based on data from the close of the previous trading session. Today, fast-growth stocks are in the spotlight. 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 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.
Mobile TeleSystems OJSC
, a mobile-phone operator, has been rated buy since September 2005. The Russian company has experienced solid growth in revenue and net income, a strong cash level and attractive return on equity.
However, the company faces increased competition and declining revenue in the handset and accessories segment. Third-quarter profit increased 34.6% to $654.7 million or 33 cents a share. Revenue grew 23.3% to $2.22 billion. Total consolidated subscribers rose 15.4% to 77.97 million from 67.59 million.
In September, the company announced the acquisition of an 80% stake in International Cell Holding, which is a 100% indirect owner of K-Telecom CJSC, Armenia's largest mobile-phone operator. This should help open growth opportunities in the fast-growing Commonwealth of Independent States.
Designing, manufacturing and servicing electrical components and equipment for aircraft and industrial engines,
( WGOV) has had a buy rating since November 2005. It demonstrates solid revenue growth, a very low debt-to-equity ratio and a largely solid financial position with reasonable debt and valuation levels.
Fiscal-year fourth-quarter profit totaled $36 million, or $1.02 a share, up from $17.1 million, or 49 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue increased 25% to $290.8 million. Late last month, the company's board voted to recommend to shareholders at its Jan. 23 annual meeting a two-for-one stock and an increase in the authorized shares.
Woodward Governor's stock price has climbed over the last year and while almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, it should continue to move higher. These strengths outweigh the company's subpar net income growth.
, which has been rated a buy since October 2005, designs, manufactures and markets electrical, electronic and fiber-optic connectors. Third-quarter revenue increased 15.3% over a year ago to $733.85 million supported by healthy demand from the military, commercial aerospace and automotive markets across all geographic regions. Net income grew 37.2% to $91.5 million, benefiting from margin expansion and lower taxes.
Amphenol has undertaken initiatives to strengthen margins and reduce costs; it now makes about 67% of its products in low-cost countries. It also leases facilities instead of buying them and frequently employs temporary or part-time workers in place of full-timers. These strategies helped it achieve significant cost savings and attain some of the highest profit margins in the industry.
The company focuses on the needs of its original equipment maker customers to develop highly engineered products and systems that meet specific customer needs. It directs its R&D efforts mainly in those areas, which it believes have the potential for broad market applications and considerable sales within a one- to three-year time frame, fueling both its revenue and profit growth.
There are a few risks. The company has widespread global operations and as a result, any significant change in the political and economic conditions could have an adverse impact on its business performance. Also, intense competition and increasing raw material costs could harm its margin.
Air Products and Chemicals
, a chemical and gas producer, has been rated a buy since August 2005 on the basis of its strong revenue growth, expanding margins and increased net income, coupled with a notable return on equity.
Higher pricing and volumes across various business segments have supported the revenue growth. Fiscal-year fourth-quarter profit increased 128% over a year ago, led by higher net sales, to $292.80 million or $1.31 a share. Sales climbed by 10.3% to $2.60 billion.
The company plans to expand margins and continue to reduce costs across all its businesses, with the goal of achieving an improvement of 100 basis points in margins in fiscal 2008.
Risks to the company's performance include high competition from several large global competitors. Also, unfavorable effects of currency fluctuations may adversely affect the top line of the company.
Chicago Bridge & Iron
, an engineering and construction company, has been rated buy since August 2006. The company's strengths can be seen in several areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, impressive record of EPS growth and compelling increase in net income. These strengths are expected to outweigh the company's weak operating cash flow.
Third-quarter net income increased 81.1% over a year ago to $58.74 million, or 61 cents a share, while revenue climbed 36% to $1.17 billion. The company has demonstrated a pattern of EPS growth over the past two years and this trend is expected to continue. The firm raised its full-year earnings forecast to a range of $1.60 to $1.75 a share, up from previous guidance of $1.50 and $1.65 a share.
Chicago Bridge & Iron's stock has climbed over the last year and it is expected to move higher, even though it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year. Last month, the company said it had been awarded a contract worth $80 million to expand an oil refinery in Cartagena, Colombia.