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, mid-cap stocks are in the spotlight. These are stocks of companies that have market capitalizations of between $500 million and $10 billion that rank near the top of all stocks rated by our proprietary quantitative model, which looks at more than 60 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. Manitowoc ( MTW) manufactures and markets cranes and related products, food service equipment and marine products. It has been rated a buy since September 2005. The company demonstrates notable revenue growth, significant earnings-per-share improvement, impressive stock price appreciation and net income growth that has significantly outpaced that of the S&P 500 and its industry. Its price level is now somewhat expensive compared with the rest of its industry, but given the company's strengths, the higher price is justified.
Ladish ( LDSH), a metal parts maker, has been rated a buy since September 2005. The company recently reported a 27% increase in second-quarter profit, totaling $10.8 million, or 74 cents a share. Sales increased 26% to $113.6 million, due to continued strong demand in all of the markets the company serves. Ladish has demonstrated a pattern of positive EPS growth over the past two years and this trend is expected to continue. Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 169.98% to $14.04 million. The sharp appreciation of the company's stock over the last year has driven it to a level that is now somewhat expensive when compared with the rest of the industry. Ladish's other strengths, however, justify the higher price levels. Gorman-Rupp ( GRC), which makes industrial pumps, has been rated a buy since November 2005. The company recently reported that second-quarter net income increased 18.9% from a year ago to $6.5 million, or 49 cents a share, outpacing the industry average. The net income increase resulted from additional sales and corresponding improvement in manufacturing efficiencies during the quarter. Net sales during the quarter increased 17.3% to $79.6 million. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive EPS growth over the past two years and this trend is expected to continue. The challenges the industry faces include the recent surge in commodity costs, which has lowered margins on many goods. The result of these commodity increases have been higher prices, which customers have generally seemed to absorb as surcharges have helped cover the difference, though there is no guarantee this will continue.
FactSet Research Systems ( FDS), which provides financial intelligence to the global investment community, has been rated buy since September 2005. The company shows robust revenue growth and has no debt to speak of. Powered by strong earnings growth of 31% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007, FactSet's stock has soared by 37.67% in the last year. It has demonstrated a pattern of EPS growth over the past two years, a trend that should continue. FactSet's stock should also continue to rise. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Tupperware Brands ( TUP), which makes plastic containers, cosmetics and personal care products, has been rated a buy since September 2005. In July, the company said second-quarter profit climbed 40% to $35.5 million or 56 cents a share, sparked by strong growth from the Asia Pacific and Tupperware North America segments. Revenue totaled $492.9 million, up from $438.6 million a year ago. Net operating cash flow increased to $55.5 million up 19.6% from a year ago. The company's stock has surged by 61.51% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. These strengths should outweigh the company's generally poor debt management.