) -- U.S. stocks rallied yesterday on news that existing home sales rose to the highest level since November 2007. Indices pared gains in the afternoon, but a handful of stocks continued to rise. Here are three that hit 52-week highs.

3. Mettler-Toledo

(MTD) - Get Report

rose 2.2% to $106.02. Shares of the medical instrument and lab software company have risen 6.7% during the past month.

The numbers

: Third-quarter net income fell 21% to $42 million, or $1.21 a share, as revenue dropped 14% to $436 million. Mettler-Toledo's gross margin widened from 50% to 53%, and its operating margin expanded from 14% to 16%. The company has an adequate liquidity position, evident in its quick ratio of 0.9. Its 0.5 debt-to-equity ratio demonstrates conservative leverage.

The stock

: We rate Mettler-Toledo "buy." The stock has returned 57% this year, more than major U.S. indices. The shares are cheap relative to peers, based on earnings, projected earnings, sales and cash flow. However, they're expensive based on book value. Mettler-Toledo's quarterly return on equity was 26%, beating averages for the industry and the

S&P 500 Index


2. Nvidia

TST Recommends

(NVDA) - Get Report

climbed 2.6% to $17.88. The chipmaker's shares have gained 39% during the past month.

The numbers

: Third-quarter net income increased 74% to $108 million, or 19 cents a share. Revenue improved marginally to $903 million. Nvidia's gross margin stalled at 41%, but its operating margin widened from 8% to 9%. The company has an admirable financial position, with $1.6 billion of cash and $25 million of debt.

The stock

: We rate Nvidia "hold." The stock has doubled this year, outperforming major U.S. indices and meriting a performance score of 8.9 out of 10. Despite the impressive return, Nvidia has generated net losses in three of the four previous quarters, earning the company a growth score of 2.4 out of 10.

1. Nidec


jumped 4.1% to $23.27. Shares of the electronic components company have advanced 19% during the past month.

The numbers

: Fiscal second-quarter net income decreased 22% to $94 million and earnings per share declined a more modest 5% to 19 cents, helped by a lower share count. Revenue declined 4% to $1.7 billion. Nidec's gross margin increased from 28% to 30%, but its operating margin was unchanged at 12%. Nidec has a stable financial position, evident in its quick ratio of 1.1 and debt-to-equity ratio of 0.4.

The stock

: We rate Nidec "buy." The stock has doubled this year, beating major U.S. indices and earning a performance score of 9.2 out of 10. Although electronic components makers suffered during 2008, Nidec remained profitable. The shares command a premium, relative to peers, based on trailing earnings, book value and cash flow. But growth prospects and financial strength are redeeming features.

-- Reported by Jake Lynch in Boston.