Each weekday, TheStreet.com Ratings compiles a list of the top 10 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.

The top 10 rankings are based on our ratings, which assess risk-adjusted returns as well as other criteria specific to the type of stock.

We update the lists at the end of the business day on the basis of information available at the close of the previous trading session.

Today we'll look at fast-growth stocks. These are stocks that rate in the top 10% of TheStreet.com Ratings' coverage universe and are projected to increase revenue and profit at least 12% in the coming year. In addition, the stocks must be followed by at least one financial analyst who posts earnings estimates on the Institutional Brokers Estimate System.


Albemarle ( ALB), which developes, manufactures and markets specialty chemicals around the world, has been rated a buy since December 2004. The company's strengths include its robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity, solid stock price performance and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. TheStreet.com Ratings feels these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had subpar growth in net income.


Precision Castparts ( PCP) manufactures metal components and products for aerospace and industrial gas turbine applications. It has been rated a buy since December 2004. The company is expected to benefit from its recent acquisitions and capacity expansion plans. This, together with higher defense spending worldwide, may allow it to repeat its recent strong financial performance.

TheStreet.com Ratings believes increased defense spending, combined with the ongoing rebound in aviation, could increase the demand for Precision's products. However, because the company's top-line growth is dependent on the aerospace industry, any slowdown in the sector could lead to reduced demand for parts, components and supplies. Also, fluctuation in the prices of basic materials and the company's inability to successfully integrate acquisitions are concerns.


Designer and clothing manufacturer Polo Ralph Lauren ( RL) has been rated a buy since August 2004. The company displayed a strong financial performance for the first quarter of fiscal year 2007, and TheStreet.com Ratings expects it to benefit from growth initiatives and a positive industry trend.

Global sales of luxury goods are expected to grow 6.0% annually through 2010, compared with 2.0% annual growth in the last five years, according to Bain & Co., a business consulting firm. Polo has a presence in 38 nations and has plans to expand further internationally.

TheStreet.com Ratings sees a potential risk to the company if it fails to quickly adjust to changing fashion trends, which could hurt its brand identity and market share. Also, as Polo continues to initiate strategic growth and expansion plans, it is likely to incur higher costs related to store openings and acquisitions, and this may pressurize margins in the near term.

BlackRock ( BLK), an asset management company, has been rated a buy since January 2005. The company's strengths include its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. TheStreet.com Ratings feels these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had subpar growth in net income.


J&J Snack Foods ( JJSF) has been rated a buy since December 2004. TheStreet.com Ratings' positive outlook on the stock is based on its notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share, revenue growth and a solid financial position with reasonable debt levels.

Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 25.4% for the year ending Sept. 30. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.


Lincoln Electric ( LECO), which manufactures and resells welding and cutting products, has been rated a buy since December 2004. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings-per-share growth over the past two years as of Jan. 3, and TheStreet.com Ratings expects this to continue.

Along with a favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.13, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems. 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 51.23% over the past year.

Investment firm American Capital Strategies ( ACAS) has been rated a buy since December 2004. The rating is based on the fact that investors are beginning to recognize positive factors, including earnings growth. This helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 28.4% for the 2006, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 index. Although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, American Capital Strategies should continue to move higher.


Steiner ( STNR) provides spa services and skin and hair care products on board cruise ships and in resorts. The company also sells personal care products through third-party land-based salon and retail channels. The company's strengths include its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. TheStreet.com Ratings feels these strengths outweigh the fact that the company's profit margins are low.


Martin Marietta ( MLM) has been a buy rating since December 2004. The company's strengths include notable return on equity, revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, solid stock price performance and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. TheStreet.com feels these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had subpar growth in net income.

The company's return on equity has improved slightly for the quarter ended Oct. 31, 2006; this can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. The company's revenue growth since the same quarter the previous year significantly trails the industry average of 75.1%.

Martin Marietta has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. TheStreet.com Ratings believes this trend should continue. We also believe the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level that is now somewhat expensive compared with that of the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.


Eaton Vance ( EV), an asset management company, has been rated a buy since May 2006. The company's strengths include its notable return on equity, growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance.

TheStreet.com Ratings feels these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation, on the basis of our review of its current price compared with such factors as earnings and book value.

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