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.

This list is based on data from the close of the previous trading session. Today, large-cap stocks are in the spotlight. These are stocks of companies with market capitalizations of over $10 billion that rank near the top of all stocks rated by our proprietary quantitative model, which looks at more than 62 factors. In addition, the stocks must be followed by at least one financial analyst who posts estimates on the Institutional Brokers' Estimate System. The stocks 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.

Ecolab ( ECL) develops and markets premium products and services for the hospitality, foodservice, healthcare and industrial markets.

Ecolab has been rated a buy since November 2002. This recommendation is based on the company's growing revenue, higher earnings, strong segmental performance, and healthy cash position. For the second quarter of fiscal 2008, Ecolab reported revenue growth of 15.2% year over year, aided by favorable currency translations and strategic acquisitions. Increased sales across all operating segments also contributed to the revenue growth. Net earnings in the second quarter surged 26.0% to $139.00 million from $110.30 million in the prior-year's quarter, due to solid performance in the U.S. and growth in Latin America and Asia Pacific. Cash and cash equivalents also rose during the quarter, increasing from $72.20 million to $222.00 million.

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