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

This list, updated daily, is based on data from the close of the previous trading session. Today, small-cap stocks are in the spotlight. These are stocks of companies that have market capitalizations of between $50 million and $500 million that rank near the top of all stocks rated by our proprietary quantitative model, which looks at more than 62 factors.

The stocks must also be followed by at least one financial analyst who posts estimates on the Institutional Brokers' Estimate System. They are ordered by their potential to appreciate.

Note that no provision is made for off-balance-sheet assets such as unrealized appreciation/depreciation of investments, market value of real estate or contingent liabilities that might affect book value. This could be material for some companies with large underfunded pension plans.


Today begins with Martin Midstream ( MMLP), which provides marine transportation, terminaling, distribution and midstream logistical services for producers and suppliers of hydrocarbon products and byproducts. It has been rated a buy since June 2005.

The company shows revenue growth, significantly increased net income growth and strong stock price performance. These positives outweigh concerns about Martin Midstream's somewhat disappointing return on equity.


Rated a buy since February 2006, Multi-Color Corp. ( LABL) supplies decorative label solutions and packaging services to consumer product and food and beverage companies, retailers and container manufacturers. It displays significantly increased net operating cash flow and notable stock price appreciation with good potential for further growth. The market expects EPS growth in Multi-Color's fiscal 2007.

These strengths outweigh the company's subpar net income growth.


Waste Industries USA ( WWIN) provides solid waste collection, transfer, disposal and recycling services to commercial, industrial and residential customer locations to six states in the Southeast. It demonstrates improved operating margins due to companywide pricing initiatives, higher productivity gains and increased internalization of waste into its landfills. The company also completed recent acquisitions in South Carolina and Georgia that will boost hauling revenue and strengthen its routes in desired markets.

Since the solid waste industry is very competitive and requires considerable labor and capital resources, and is subject to extensive federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations, any changes in the economic, legal and regulatory environment could have an unfavorable impact on its future financial performance.


Dynamex ( DDMX) provides same-day delivery and logistics services in the U.S. and Canada. It has been rated a buy since May 2005.

The company's revenue growth has outpaced the industry average, and it appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the EPS. Dynamex has no debt to speak of and has shown a pattern of positive EPS growth over the past year.

These strengths outweigh the company's low profit margins.


Medtox Scientific ( MTOX), which provides forensic and clinical laboratory services, has been rated a buy since October 2005. The company has shown impressive stock price appreciation, net income growth that has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and its industry, and strong earnings growth.

Although no company is perfect, there are currently no significant weaknesses that are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

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