NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- If you're looking for something to buy during times of market turbulence, we have you covered.

Here are 20 mid-cap growth stocks with an A+ rating from TheStreet Quant RatingsTheStreet's proprietary quant-based stock-rating tool.

The Street Quant Ratings rates every one of these stocks an A+, as well as a five-star rating on growth of both the company's income statement and cash flow. These stocks were chosen from 4,300 different types of equities we rate.

TheStreet Ratings projects a stock's total return potential over a 12-month period including both price appreciation and dividends. Based on 32 major data points, TheStreet Ratings uses a quantitative approach to rating over 4,300 stocks to predict return potential for the next year. The model is both objective, using elements such as volatility of past operating revenues, financial strength, and company cash flows, and subjective, including expected equities market returns, future interest rates, implied industry outlook and forecasted company earnings.

Buying an S&P 500 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a buy yielded a 16.56% return in 2014, beating the S&P 500 Total Return Index by 304 basis points. Buying a Russell 2000 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a buy yielded a 9.5% return in 2014, beating the Russell 2000 index, including dividends reinvested, by 460 basis points last year.

Check out which stocks made the list. And when you're done, be sure to read about which safe, A+ rated stocks you should buy now. Year-to-date returns are based on September 1, 2015 prices as of 1:17pm.

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SLP

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20. Simulations Plus, Inc.

(SLP) - Get Report


Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $113 million
Year-to-date return: 0.45%

Simulations Plus, Inc. designs and develops pharmaceutical simulation software for use in pharmaceutical research, and in the education of pharmacy and medical students.

TheStreet Ratings team rates SIMULATIONS PLUS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate SIMULATIONS PLUS INC (SLP) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. "

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • SLP's very impressive revenue growth exceeded the industry average of 35.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 58.8%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • SLP has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 6.61, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The gross profit margin for SIMULATIONS PLUS INC is currently very high, coming in at 88.34%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 31.18% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $2.14 million or 26.78% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -22.77%.
  • SIMULATIONS PLUS INC has improved earnings per share by 37.5% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Stable earnings per share over the past two years indicate the company has sound management over its earnings and share float. We anticipate the company beginning to experience more growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, SIMULATIONS PLUS INC's EPS of $0.18 remained unchanged from the prior years' EPS of $0.18. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.22 versus $0.18).
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HFWA

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19. Heritage Financial Corporation

(HFWA) - Get Report


Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $519 million
Year-to-date return: -1.5%

Heritage Financial Corporation operates as the bank holding company for Heritage Bank that provides various financial services to small businesses and general public.

TheStreet Ratings team rates HERITAGE FINANCIAL CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate HERITAGE FINANCIAL CORP (HFWA) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, solid stock price performance and good cash flow from operations. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. "

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 1.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 17.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • HERITAGE FINANCIAL CORP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, HERITAGE FINANCIAL CORP increased its bottom line by earning $0.79 versus $0.61 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.22 versus $0.79).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Banks industry. The net income increased by 110.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $4.15 million to $8.73 million.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that the other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 1264.31% to $18.20 million when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow of 1264.31%, HERITAGE FINANCIAL CORP is still growing at a significantly lower rate than the industry average of 1371.99%.
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TCBK

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18. TriCo Bancshares

(TCBK) - Get Report


Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $529 million
Year-to-date return: -6%

TriCo Bancshares operates as a bank holding company for Tri Counties Bank that provides commercial banking services to retail customers and small to medium-sized businesses in Northern and Central California.

TheStreet Ratings team rates TRICO BANCSHARES as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate TRICO BANCSHARES (TCBK) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, compelling growth in net income and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 1.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 43.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for TRICO BANCSHARES is currently very high, coming in at 98.63%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 21.87% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 1524.40% to $12.61 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, TRICO BANCSHARES has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 1371.99%.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Banks industry. The net income increased by 133.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $4.86 million to $11.37 million.
  • Compared to where it was trading a year ago, TCBK's share price has not changed very much due to (a) the relatively weak year-over-year performance of the overall market, (b) the company's stagnant earnings, and (c) other mixed results. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.

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17. Stewart Information Services Corporation

(STC) - Get Report


Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $885.1 million
Year-to-date return: 2.6%

Stewart Information Services Corporation provides title insurance and real estate services worldwide.

TheStreet Ratings team rates STEWART INFORMATION SERVICES as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate STEWART INFORMATION SERVICES (STC) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 14.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 18.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • STC's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.13 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Insurance industry. The net income increased by 172.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $6.28 million to $17.11 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 77.44% to $32.44 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, STEWART INFORMATION SERVICES has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -46.54%.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that the other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
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16. Independent Bank Corp.

(INDB) - Get Report


Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $1.2 billion
Year-to-date return: 2.3%

Independent Bank Corp. operates as the holding company for Rockland Trust Company that provides banking products and services primarily to small-to-medium sized businesses and individuals in Massachusetts.

TheStreet Ratings team rates INDEPENDENT BANK CORP/MA as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate INDEPENDENT BANK CORP/MA (INDB) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 1.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 10.4%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for INDEPENDENT BANK CORP/MA is currently very high, coming in at 92.36%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 22.32% is above that of the industry average.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Commercial Banks industry average. The net income increased by 18.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $14.75 million to $17.45 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 92.03% to $30.45 million when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow of 92.03%, INDEPENDENT BANK CORP/MA is still growing at a significantly lower rate than the industry average of 1371.99%.
  • The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that the other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.

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15. AZZ incorporated

(AZZ) - Get Report


Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $1.3 billion
Year-to-date return: 6.6%

AZZ incorporated provides galvanizing services, welding solutions, specialty electrical equipment, and engineered services to the power generation, transmission, distribution, and industrial markets. The company operates through two segments, Energy and Galvanizing Services.

TheStreet Ratings team rates AZZ INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate AZZ INC (AZZ) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, reasonable valuation levels and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 14.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • AZZ INC has improved earnings per share by 32.8% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, AZZ INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.51 versus $2.33 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.06 versus $2.51).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Electrical Equipment industry. The net income increased by 33.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $14.93 million to $19.92 million.
  • After a year of stock price fluctuations, the net result is that AZZ's price has not changed very much. Although its weak earnings growth may have played a role in this flat result, don't lose sight of the fact that the performance of the overall market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, was essentially similar. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
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14. Maiden Holdings, Ltd.

(MHLD) - Get Report


Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $1 billion
Year-to-date return: 8.1%

Maiden Holdings, Ltd., together with its subsidiaries, provides reinsurance solutions to regional and specialty insurers in the United States, Europe, and internationally. The company operates in two segments, Diversified Reinsurance and AmTrust Reinsurance.

TheStreet Ratings team rates MAIDEN HOLDINGS LTD as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate MAIDEN HOLDINGS LTD (MHLD) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 14.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 14.8%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • Although MHLD's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 126.52% to $208.03 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, MAIDEN HOLDINGS LTD has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -46.54%.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period, despite the company's weak earnings results. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.

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SSD

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13. Simpson Manufacturing Co., Inc.

(SSD) - Get Report


Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $1.7 billion
Year-to-date return: -0.50%

Simpson Manufacturing Co., Inc., through its subsidiaries, designs, engineers, manufactures, and sells building construction products.

TheStreet Ratings team rates SIMPSON MANUFACTURING INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate SIMPSON MANUFACTURING INC (SSD) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. "

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • SSD's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • SSD has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 3.62, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 79.90% to $35.01 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, SIMPSON MANUFACTURING INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 0.96%.
  • SIMPSON MANUFACTURING INC's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, SIMPSON MANUFACTURING INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.30 versus $1.05 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.31 versus $1.30).
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12. Korn/Ferry International

(KFY) - Get Report


Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $1.7 billion
Year-to-date return: 28%

Korn/Ferry International, together with its subsidiaries, provides talent management solutions that help clients to design strategies and in the execution of building and attracting their talent worldwide.

TheStreet Ratings team rates KORN/FERRY INTERNATIONAL as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate KORN/FERRY INTERNATIONAL (KFY) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 4.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • KFY has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. To add to this, KFY has a quick ratio of 1.98, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • KORN/FERRY INTERNATIONAL has improved earnings per share by 18.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, KORN/FERRY INTERNATIONAL increased its bottom line by earning $1.77 versus $1.48 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.05 versus $1.77).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Professional Services industry average. The net income increased by 20.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $21.21 million to $25.48 million.

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11. Pinnacle Financial Partners, Inc.

(PNFP) - Get Report


Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $1.6 billion
Year-to-date return: 15%

Pinnacle Financial Partners, Inc. operates as the holding company for Pinnacle Bank that provides various banking services to individuals, small-to medium-sized businesses, and professional entities in the United States.

TheStreet Ratings team rates PINNACLE FINL PARTNERS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate PINNACLE FINL PARTNERS INC (PNFP) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 1.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 19.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • PINNACLE FINL PARTNERS INC has improved earnings per share by 30.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, PINNACLE FINL PARTNERS INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.01 versus $1.67 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.54 versus $2.01).
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly outperformed against the S&P 500 and exceeded that of the Commercial Banks industry average. The net income increased by 32.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $17.17 million to $22.66 million.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Commercial Banks industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, PINNACLE FINL PARTNERS INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 30.61% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 32.10% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.
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10. Monro Muffler Brake, Inc.

(MNRO) - Get Report


Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $2 billion
Year-to-date return: 7.8%

Monro Muffler Brake, Inc. provides automotive undercar repair and tire services in the United States. The company offers a range of services on passenger cars, light trucks, and vans for brakes; mufflers and exhaust systems; and steering, drive train, suspension, and wheel alignment.

TheStreet Ratings team rates MONRO MUFFLER BRAKE INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate MONRO MUFFLER BRAKE INC (MNRO) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, revenue growth, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • MONRO MUFFLER BRAKE INC has improved earnings per share by 9.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, MONRO MUFFLER BRAKE INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.89 versus $1.67 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.15 versus $1.89).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Specialty Retail industry average. The net income increased by 11.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $16.93 million to $18.80 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 10.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • 46.23% is the gross profit margin for MONRO MUFFLER BRAKE INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 7.94% trails the industry average.
  • The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that the other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.

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9. J & J Snack Foods Corp.

(JJSF) - Get Report


Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $2.1 billion
Year-to-date return: 3.2%

J & J Snack Foods Corp., together with its subsidiaries, manufactures, markets, and distributes various nutritional snack foods and beverages for the food service and retail supermarket industries in the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

TheStreet Ratings team rates J & J SNACK FOODS CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate J & J SNACK FOODS CORP (JJSF) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 8.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.4%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • JJSF's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.00 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, JJSF has a quick ratio of 2.29, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Food Products industry average. The net income increased by 3.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $23.68 million to $24.46 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $37.38 million or 24.39% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 9.06%.
  • J & J SNACK FOODS CORP's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, J & J SNACK FOODS CORP increased its bottom line by earning $3.82 versus $3.41 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.89 versus $3.82).
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8. Home BancShares, Inc.

(HOMB) - Get Report


Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $2.5 billion
Year-to-date return: 14.5%

Home BancShares, Inc. operates as a bank holding company for Centennial Bank that provides commercial and retail banking, and related financial services to businesses, real estate developers and investors, individuals, and municipalities.

TheStreet Ratings team rates HOME BANCSHARES INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate HOME BANCSHARES INC (HOMB) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 1.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 14.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • HOME BANCSHARES INC has improved earnings per share by 16.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, HOME BANCSHARES INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.70 versus $1.14 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.03 versus $1.70).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Commercial Banks industry average. The net income increased by 19.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $28.43 million to $33.91 million.
  • The gross profit margin for HOME BANCSHARES INC is currently very high, coming in at 90.46%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 31.58% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 26.57% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.

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RBA

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7. Ritchie Bros.

(RBA) - Get Report


Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $2.9 billion
Year-to-date return: -0.50%

Ritchie Bros.

TheStreet Ratings team rates RITCHIE BROS AUCTIONEERS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate RITCHIE BROS AUCTIONEERS INC (RBA) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. "

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 5.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.6%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • RBA's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.17 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.17, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • The gross profit margin for RITCHIE BROS AUCTIONEERS INC is currently very high, coming in at 89.05%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 29.87% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 5744.03% to $48.04 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, RITCHIE BROS AUCTIONEERS INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 16.71%.
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6. j2 Global, Inc.

(JCOM) - Get Report


Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $3.3 billion
Year-to-date return: 8.2%

j2 Global, Inc. engages in the provision of Internet services worldwide. It operates through two segments, Business Cloud Services and Digital Media.

TheStreet Ratings team rates J2 GLOBAL INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate J2 GLOBAL INC (JCOM) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 6.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 21.6%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 30.31% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Turning to the future, naturally, any stock can fall in a major bear market. However, in almost any other environment, the stock should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed nice gains in the past year.
  • J2 GLOBAL INC has improved earnings per share by 9.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, J2 GLOBAL INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.59 versus $2.29 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.92 versus $2.59).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Internet Software & Services industry average. The net income increased by 11.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $35.05 million to $38.92 million.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Internet Software & Services industry and the overall market, J2 GLOBAL INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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OZRK

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5. Bank of the Ozarks, Inc.

(OZRK)


Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $3.5 billion
Year-to-date return: 5.6%

Bank of the Ozarks, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Bank of the Ozarks that provides a range of retail and commercial banking services. The company accepts various deposits products, such as checking, savings, money market, time deposit, and individual retirement accounts.

TheStreet Ratings team rates BANK OF THE OZARKS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate BANK OF THE OZARKS INC (OZRK) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 1.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 41.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • BANK OF THE OZARKS INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, BANK OF THE OZARKS INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.51 versus $1.26 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.07 versus $1.51).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Banks industry. The net income increased by 69.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $26.49 million to $44.78 million.
  • The gross profit margin for BANK OF THE OZARKS INC is currently very high, coming in at 91.36%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 36.29% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 50.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 29.83% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.

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4. First American Financial Corporation

(FAF) - Get Report


Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $4.1 billion
Year-to-date return: 12.2%

First American Financial Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides financial services. It operates through Title Insurance and Services, and Specialty Insurance segments.

TheStreet Ratings team rates FIRST AMERICAN FINANCIAL CP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate FIRST AMERICAN FINANCIAL CP (FAF) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 14.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 15.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Although FAF's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 80.85% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 37.96% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Turning to the future, naturally, any stock can fall in a major bear market. However, in almost any other environment, the stock should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed nice gains in the past year.
  • FIRST AMERICAN FINANCIAL CP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, FIRST AMERICAN FINANCIAL CP increased its bottom line by earning $2.15 versus $1.71 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.68 versus $2.15).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Insurance industry. The net income increased by 84.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $50.59 million to $93.35 million.

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3. PacWest Bancorp

(PACW) - Get Report


Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $4.2 billion
Year-to-date return: -10.1%

PacWest Bancorp operates as the holding company for Pacific Western Bank that provides commercial banking products and services to individuals, professionals, and small to mid-sized businesses in the United States. It accepts demand, money market, and time deposits.

TheStreet Ratings team rates PACWEST BANCORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate PACWEST BANCORP (PACW) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. "

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 1.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • PACWEST BANCORP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, PACWEST BANCORP increased its bottom line by earning $1.97 versus $1.08 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.90 versus $1.97).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Banks industry. The net income increased by 706.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $10.56 million to $85.08 million.
  • The gross profit margin for PACWEST BANCORP is currently very high, coming in at 90.58%. Regardless of PACW's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, PACW's net profit margin of 35.73% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 552.48% to $152.51 million when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow of 552.48%, PACWEST BANCORP is still growing at a significantly lower rate than the industry average of 1371.99%.

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2. Brown & Brown, Inc.

(BRO) - Get Report


Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $4.4 billion
Year-to-date return: -5%

Brown & Brown, Inc. markets and sells insurance products and services primarily in the United States, as well as in London, Bermuda, and the Cayman Islands.

TheStreet Ratings team rates BROWN & BROWN INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate BROWN & BROWN INC (BRO) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 14.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.5%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 59.95% to $176.68 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, BROWN & BROWN INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -46.54%.
  • BROWN & BROWN INC's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, BROWN & BROWN INC reported lower earnings of $1.42 versus $1.48 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.67 versus $1.42).
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.55, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 0.88 is weak.
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Insurance industry average. The net income has decreased by 1.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $61.76 million to $61.01 million.

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1. A. O. Smith Corporation

(AOS) - Get Report


Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $5.6 billion
Year-to-date return: 11.6%

O. Smith Corporation manufactures and markets water heaters and boilers to the residential and commercial end markets primarily in the United States, Canada, China, Europe, India, and the Middle East. It operates in two segments, North America and Rest of World.

TheStreet Ratings team rates SMITH (A O) CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate SMITH (A O) CORP (AOS) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • AOS's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • AOS's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.19 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, AOS has a quick ratio of 1.87, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 25.39% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 30.08% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, AOS should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • SMITH (A O) CORP has improved earnings per share by 25.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, SMITH (A O) CORP increased its bottom line by earning $2.29 versus $1.83 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.07 versus $2.29).
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly outperformed against the S&P 500 and exceeded that of the Building Products industry average. The net income increased by 24.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $57.30 million to $71.10 million.