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Top Five Large-Cap Stocks

Precision Castparts and Franklin Resources top this week's list of the highest-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.

Rated a buy since July 2005,

Franklin Resources

(BEN) - Get Franklin Resources, Inc. (BEN) Report

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offers investment advice and management to open-end investment companies. The company displays robust revenue growth, significantly increased net income and notable return on equity.

These strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium on the basis of our review of its current price when considering factors such as earnings and book value.


(CSX) - Get CSX Corporation Report

is the owner of one of the largest rail networks in the U.S., and it has been rated a buy since April 2005. It has displayed strong revenue growth, increased return on equity -- despite margin pressure -- and significantly improved net operating cash flow. These strengths outweigh the company's low profit margins.

As a result of its business model, the company is at risk to a number of factors outside its control, such as rising fuel costs, network flow, price competition and safety. Additionally, weakness in the housing and automotive sectors remains a concern.


(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.

Rated a buy since May 2005,

Baxter International

(BAX) - Get Baxter International Inc. Report

develops, manufactures and distributes products and services used mainly by the health care industry. The company has shown strong revenue growth (particularly in its bioscience product line), strong bottom-line growth with improved profit margins, and a promising outlook for EPS growth going forward.

Risks to the buy rating include any delays in the regulatory approval process, ambivalent market acceptance of its products or pricing pressure from generic competitors.