Five Fast-Growing Stocks to Buy - TheStreet

BOSTON (

TheStreet

) -- Stocks might post their biggest annual gain in six years. These companies could keep the trend going into 2010.

5. Medco Health Solutions

(MHS)

is a pharmacy benefit manager.

The numbers

: Third-quarter net income increased 13% to $336 million and earnings per share climbed 19% to 69 cents, boosted by a lower share count. Revenue grew 18% to $15 billion. Medco's gross margin remained steady at 7%, and its operating margin was unchanged at 4%. A quick ratio of 1 reflects adequate liquidity. A debt-to-equity ratio of 0.7 indicates conservative leverage.

The stock

: Medco has advanced 56% this year, more than major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 27, a premium to the market and health care service peers. Medco doesn't pay dividends.

#4

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4. DeVry

(DV)

offers career training and degree programs.

The numbers

: Fiscal first-quarter profit increased 57% to $55 million, or 76 cents a share, as revenue grew 42% to $431 million. DeVry's gross margin remained steady at 57%, and its operating margin rose from 15% to 18%. A quick ratio of 0.9 indicates less-than-ideal liquidity. A debt-to-equity ratio of 0.1 demonstrates modest leverage.

The stock

: DeVry has fallen 2% this year, trailing major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 22, a premium to the market and education peers. The shares pay a 0.4% dividend yield.

#3

3. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries

(TEVA) - Get Report

is an Israeli drugmaker.

The numbers

: Third-quarter net income inched up 3% to $649 million, but earnings per share fell 6% to 72 cents. Revenue increased 25% to $3.6 billion. Teva's gross margin decreased from 57% to 54%, but its operating margin ascended from 23% to 24%. A quick ratio of 0.9 indicates less-than-ideal liquidity. A debt-to-equity ratio of 0.3 reflects modest leverage.

The stock

: Teva has risen 24% this year, beating the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

and

S&P 500 Index

. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 57, a premium to the market and pharmaceutical peers. The shares pay a 1.2% dividend yield.

#2

2. Lincoln Educational Services

(LINC) - Get Report

provides career education.

The numbers

: Third-quarter profit more than doubled to $14 million, or 50 cents a share, as revenue grew 48% to $148 million. Lincoln's gross margin rose from 63% to 65%, and its operating margin increased from 10% to 16%. The company has a liquid balance sheet, with $38 million of cash and $37 million of debt.

The stock

: Lincoln has advanced 60% this year, beating major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 14, a discount to the market and education peers. Lincoln doesn't pay dividends.

#1

1. Neogen

(NEOG) - Get Report

sells food safety tests.

The numbers

: Fiscal first-quarter net income increased 18% to $4.4 million, or 29 cents a share, as revenue grew 12% to $32 million. Neogen's gross margin rose from 55% to 57%, and its operating margin expanded from 20% to 21%. The company has an ideal financial position, with $24 million of cash and no debt.

The stock

: Neogen has climbed 31% this year, outpacing the Dow and S&P 500. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 34, a premium to the market and health care supply peers. Neogen doesn't pay dividends.

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