Today starts with AllianceBernstein Holding ( AB), which provides diversified investment management to a broad range of clients. It has been rated a buy since March 2005. The company shows a number of positive financial measures, including a striking record of EPS growth, robust revenue growth and a very high gross profit margin. These impressive financial strengths justify the relatively high price of the stock, because the company shows no other significant weaknesses.
Precision Castparts ( PCP), a manufacturer of complex metal components and products for the aerospace and industrial gas turbine industries, has been rated a buy since March 2005. The company has completed recent acquisitions to expand its casting, forging and fastener products offerings, which should fuel revenue growth. Precision also shows strong cash flow that has enabled it to repay debt while maintaining its dividend payout. Since Precision depends on the aerospace industry for its top-line growth, any slowdown in that industry could lead to reduced demand for its products. Any fluctuations in the prices of basic materials or any unseen difficulty in integrating recent acquisitions could also be concerns.
Russian dairy product and beverage manufacturer Wimm Bill Dann ( WBD) has earned a buy rating since December 2005. The company has recently completed strategic acquisitions of several companies with strong brand portfolios and leading market positions in their respective regions. It has also shown impressive revenue growth, net income increases and an attractive return on equity. The buy rating is not without risk. Prices for Wimm Bill Dann's major inputs -- such as raw milk, juice concentrate, sugar and packaging materials -- are facing major inflation. Should the trend continue, the company's future profits might be hurt.
Albemarle ( ALB) develops, manufactures and markets specialty chemicals around the world. It has been rated a buy since March 2005. The company's strengths include notable return on equity, impressive increases in net income and a compelling record of EPS growth over the past two years.
Volvo ( VOLV) sold its car business to Ford in 1999, but it still makes trucks, buses, construction equipment and aircraft engine parts. It has been rated a buy since March 2005. The company has shown stellar revenue growth, solid stock price performance, outstanding EPS growth and compelling growth in net income. These strengths outweigh the company's low profit margins.