Each business day, 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 is based on data from the close of the previous trading session. Today, fast-growth stocks are in the spotlight. These are stocks of companies that are projected to increase revenue and profit by at least 12% in the coming year and rank near the top all stocks rated by our proprietary quantitative model, which looks at over 60 factors. In addition, the stocks must be followed by at least one financial analyst who posts estimates on the Institutional Brokers' Estimate System. Please note that definitions of revenue vary by industry, and this screen does not make adjustments for acquisitions, which can materially affect posted results. Likewise, earnings-per-share growth may be affected by accounting charges, share repurchases and other one-time items. 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. Ametek ( AME - Get Report) manufactures electronic instruments and electromechanical devices. The company has operations throughout the U.S. and in more than 30 other countries. Ametek has been rated a buy since November 2002. The company's strengths include its consistent revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and net income growth, as well as its solid stock performance. In addition, Ametek's minimal exposure to the housing and automobile markets could insulate it from the sluggish U.S. economy. For the second quarter of fiscal 2008, the company reported a 13.5% increase year over year in earnings, led by top-line growth and operational improvements. Continuing its pattern of EPS growth over the past two years, the company reported a 13% EPS improvement in the second quarter. Net income grew to $65.84 million from $58.01 million a year ago. Furthermore, operating cash flow increased 39.0% to $77 million. During the second quarter, Ametek announced the acquisition of Vision Research, a privately held manufacturer of high-speed digital imaging systems used for motion capture and analysis in numerous test and measurement applications. Additionally, the company paid a quarterly dividend of 6 cents per share.
The company cited strong conditions in its key markets and solid second quarter results as the basis for raising its full year 2008 EPS estimate to a range $2.50 to $2.54 per share. Revenue is estimated to grow about 20% over the full year 2007. Looking ahead to the third quarter of fiscal 2008, management anticipates a sales increase of approximately 20%, along with EPS in the range of 61 cents to 63 cents per share. However, these results could be negatively affected should the company fail to successfully integrate its recent acquisitions. Other risks include the price and availability of raw materials and changes in the competitive environment. Flowserve ( FLS - Get Report) engages in the development, manufacture, and sale of precision-engineered flow equipments through 3 divisions: Flowserve Pump, Flow Control, and Flow Solutions. The company operates worldwide in more than 56 countries, with 43% of its revenue coming from North America. We have rated Flowserve a buy since January 2007 based on several positive investment measures, such as the company's increasing revenue and net income. Additionally, the company reported record results in various areas including earnings per share (EPS), sales and bookings for the first quarter of fiscal 2008. Flowserve's revenues rose 23.6% year over year in the first quarter, largely due to strong sales in the oil and gas markets. The company also reported that fully diluted earnings per share improved 159%, rising from 59 cents a year ago to $1.53. Furthermore, net income increased 162%, rising from $33.61 million to $88.07 million. Additionally, bookings were up 31% for the quarter.
Management raised its fiscal 2008 EPS forecast to a target range of $5.90 to $6.20 from its previous estimate of $5.10 to $5.40. The company is encouraged by its first quarter results and its continued strength in key markets, and remains confident in its ability to successfully carry out its operational excellence initiatives to increase its performance in the current global environment. Bear in mind, however, that the recent surge in commodity costs is a challenge to the machinery industry as a whole and could therefore affect Flowserve's results in the future. Atwood Oceanics ( ATW) is a Houston, Texas-based international drilling contractor, engaging in the offshore drilling and completion of exploratory and developmental oil and gas wells worldwide. The company also provides related support, management and consulting services. We have rated this company a buy since September 2004, based on its revenue growth, largely solid financial position, earnings per share (EPS) growth, and compelling growth in net income. Revenue rose by 20.4% year over year in the second quarter of fiscal 2008, and this increase appears to have contributed to EPS growth. EPS rose 28.7% from $1.01 per share in the second quarter of fiscal 2007 to $1.30 per share in the most-recent quarter. Additionally, net income improved 31.5% when compared with the same quarter last year. Furthermore, Atwood's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.07, implying that the company has been very successful at managing debt levels, and it appears that the company has the ability to cover its short-term cash needs.
Although no company is perfect, we do not currently see any significant weaknesses that are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook for Atwood's stock. Risks to the rating include any pricing fluctuations in the oil and gas industry, the company's ability to secure adequate financing and governmental regulation and environmental matters. Amedisys ( AMED - Get Report) provides home health and hospice services in the southern and southeastern U.S. The company provides a wide variety of health care services, including skilled monitoring by registered nurses, occupational and physical therapy, assessments, and patient education. We have rated Amedisys a buy since January 2005. On July 29, the company reported record financial results for the second quarter of fiscal 2008. Net earnings for the quarter surged 35.6% year over year due to coverage expansion from the buyout of TLC Healthcare Services. Net income increased to $20.38 million from $14.92 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2007. Diluted earnings per share rose 43.9% year over year to 82 cents per share. Helped by acquisition revenue, an increase in re-certifications, growth in average revenue per episode, and a rise in admissions, the company's net services revenue climbed 84.5% to $312.67 million. Additionally, the number of home health agencies increased to 454 from 296, while hospice agencies rose to 44 from 17 in the prior year's quarter. During the second quarter, Amedisys acquired five home health locations from Health Management Associates, which should add around $4 million to its annualized revenue. Management announced that it was pleased with its second quarter results and the progress of the post-acquisition integration of TLC. Looking ahead to full year 2008, Amedisys included the anticipated impact of recent acquisitions in raising its net service revenue guidance to a range of $1.10 billion to $1.15 billion. The company also raised its EPS guidance to a range of $3.00 to $3.10 per share from the previous guidance of $2.70 to $2.80 per share. Bear in mind, however, that the company's revenue and earnings could be affected by any adverse changes in Medicare rates and reimbursement methodologies or any challenges related to the integrations of recent acquisitions.
Ansys ( ANSS - Get Report) develops and markets engineering simulation software and technologies used by engineers across a broad spectrum of industries. Headquartered in Pennsylvania, the company distributes its products through a global network of channel partners as well as through its own direct sales offices. Our buy rating for Ansys has been in place since November 2006. Our recommendation is based on the company's strong revenue growth and the positive impact of foreign currency movements. The company's improved cash balance and notable return on equity also enhance the rating. Ansys' revenue surged 24.7% year over year in the first quarter of fiscal 2008, driven by higher Software License and Maintenance revenue. Foreign currency rates also aided revenue growth. Earnings per share (EPS) also increased, rising from 20 cents in the first quarter of fiscal 2007 to 32 cents in the most-recent quarter. Despite a declining gross profit margin, the company's operating and net income also increased during the quarter. Operating margin improved 763 basis points to 38.16%, while net income spiked 60.1% to $22.85 million. During the first quarter, Ansys' cash and equivalents rose 71.2% to $201.23 million. Returns on assets and equity also improved as a result of the improved quarterly earnings. Looking ahead to the second quarter, Ansys expects its generally accepted accounting principal earnings to be in the range of 28 cents to 29 cents per share on revenue of $109 million to $111 million. For the full year, the company raised its revenue forecast to the range of $448 million to $452 million from its earlier guidance of $442 million to $447 million. However, the highly competitive software and license market, the company's narrow gross profit margin and fluctuations in currency rates could restrict the company's future financial performance despite the recent revenue and bottom-line improvements.
Our quantitative rating is based on a variety of historical fundamental and pricing data and represents our opinion of a stock's risk-adjusted performance relative to other stocks. However, the rating does not incorporate all of the factors that can alter a stock's performance. For example, it doesn't always factor in recent corporate or industry events that could affect the stock price, nor does it include recent technology developments and competitive dynamics that may affect the company. For those reasons, we believe that a rating alone cannot tell the whole story and that it should be part of an investor's overall research.