Today begins with Watson Wyatt ( WW - Get Report), a human resources consulting company. It has been rated a buy since March 2005. The company's strengths include steady revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive increases in net income and a compelling record of EPS growth. These strengths outweigh the company's weak operating cash flow.
Oil and gas transportation company Oneok Partners ( OKS) has maintained a buy rating since June 2006. The company has recently acquired valuable natural gas and processing assets that reduce its dependence on regulated fee-based transportation revenue. Oneok shows impressive revenue growth, and superior return-on-equity that is significantly higher than that of the industry average. It also has enjoyed impressive net income growth.
Asbury Automotive Group ( ABG - Get Report), which operates 125 automotive retail franchises, has been rated a buy since October 2005. The company has enjoyed strong revenue growth, a successful move toward premier and luxury brands, and several recent strategies that have boosted its used vehicle and parts, services and collision repair segments. Since Asbury's performance is dependent upon gasoline prices, consumer confidence and the availability of consumer credit, any negative turn in interest rates or fuel prices could negatively impact its sales growth and threaten the buy rating.
A buy since March 2005, Baldor Electric ( BEZ) designs, manufactures and sells electric motors and drives, speed reducers, industrial grinders, buffers, polishing lathes, stampings, castings and repair parts. Its custom and stock products are sold directly to original equipment manufacturers, as well as to independent distributors for resale. The company's strengths can be seen in its strong stock price performance, revenue growth, improved return on equity and reasonable valuation levels by most measures. Given these positives, the company's subpar growth in net income is not a cause for concern.
Carrying a buy rating since March 2005, Martin Marietta Materials ( MLM) provides construction material for infrastructural, commercial and residential uses. The company displays solid revenue growth, an impressive pattern of EPS growth over the past two years, compelling net income growth and increased net operating cash flow.
Terex ( TEX - Get Report), rated a buy since May 2006, makes equipment used for construction, mining, shipping, transportation and numerous other industries. The company has shown impressive revenue growth, a pattern of solid EPS growth, compelling net income growth, and outstanding stock price appreciation. These strengths outweigh the company's low profit margins.
Rated a buy since October 2006, II-VI ( IIVI - Get Report) develops, manufactures and markets high technology materials for precision use in industrial, medical, military, security and aerospace applications. Pronounced "two-six," the company's name refers to the two groups of the Periodic Table of Elements utilized by many of the components and materials made by the company. II-VI demonstrates steady revenue growth, a very low debt-to-equity ratio, increased net operating cash flow and net income growth that has significantly outperformed its industry. These strengths outweigh the company's somewhat disappointing return on equity.
Mettler-Toledo ( MTD - Get Report), rated a buy since March 2005, supplies precision instruments and services worldwide. The company shows steady revenue growth, strong stock price performance, a notable pattern of EPS growth over the past 24 months, and net income growth that has significantly exceeded that of its industry peers.
Carpenter Technology ( CRS), a manufacturer of specialty metals and engineered products, has pinned down a buy rating since March 2005. The company shows a convergence of positive investment measures, including a notable return on equity, impressive stock price appreciation and compelling EPS growth. The company's low profit margins are unlikely to threaten its buy rating.
Rated a buy since March 2005, Barnes Group ( B) builds precision metal components in addition to assembling and distributing industrial supplies. It has shown solid revenue growth, significant EPS improvement, compelling net income growth and a debt-to-equity ratio below the industry average. Even though its stock is currently trading at a price that is relatively more expensive than that of its peers, given its numerous strengths and lack of significant weaknesses, the higher price level is justified.