Each business day, TheStreet.com Ratings TheStreet.com Ratings compiles a list of the top five stocks in on of five categories -- fast-growth, all-around value, large-cap, mid-cap and small-cap -- based on data from the close of the previous trading session. Today, all-around-value stocks are in the spotlight. These are stocks of companies that meet a number of criteria, including annual revenue of more than $500 million, lower-than-average valuations such as a price-to-sales ratio of less than 2, and leverage that is less than 49% of total capital.In addition, they must 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. Silgan Holdings ( SLGN) manufactures metal and plastic consumer goods packaging products, including metal food containers, vacuum closures for food and beverage products, and high density polyethylene (HDPE) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) containers for the personal care market. Our buy rating for this stock has been in place since May 2004. The rating is based on such strengths as the company's growth, efficiency, and total return. For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008, Silgan reported slight revenue growth of 8.4% year over year. This growth appears to have helped boost EPS, which improved 23.1% when compared to the same quarter a year ago, continuing a trend of positive EPS growth. We feel that this trend should continue. Net income also increased in the fourth quarter, rising 22.3% from $19.9 million to $24.4 million. A slight increase in return on equity can be seen as a modest strength for the organization, and the stock's price has risen over the past year, reflecting earnings growth and other positive factors.
Management announced that both fourth quarter and full year earnings were records for the company. Looking ahead to fiscal 2009, the company anticipates adjusted net income per diluted share in the range of $3.75 to $3.95 for the full year. Although the company has shown generally poor debt management, we feel that the strengths indicated here outweigh any weaknesses and justify the stock's high price. Family Dollar Stores ( FDO) operates a chain of almost 6,000 retail discount stores in a 44-state area, providing primarily low to lower-middle income consumers with a wide range of general merchandise at highly competitive prices in convenient neighborhood stores. The goods offered by the company generally have price points that range from under $1 to $10. We have rated the stock buy since July 10, 2008. The rating is based on the company's outstanding fundamentals and recession-resistant business model. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and expanding profit margins. Family Dollar Stores has improved earnings per share by 13.5% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. Investors have begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 63.44% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.89 versus $1.66), indicating further upside potential. Management is optimistic about 2009 operating performance.
FPL Group ( FPL) through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, distribution, and sale of electric energy. It produces electricity through natural gas, wind, nuclear, oil, hydro, and other resources. We have rated the stock a buy since January 8 due to the company's impressive growth and strong fundamentals. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in revenue and net income, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated. Fourth quarter net income increased by 81.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $224 million to $407 million and exceeding the S&P 500 and the electric utilities industry. Net operating cash flow increased to $1 billion, or by 23.25% compared with the same quarter last year. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, FPL increased its bottom line by earning $4.07 vs. $3.28 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 0.5% in earnings ($4.05 vs. $4.07). Although the company has poor debt management and subpar liquidity, as reflected by its .29 quick ratio, we feel that the strengths outlined above outweigh any weaknesses. Church & Dwight ( CHD) together with its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures, and markets a range of household, personal care, and specialty products under various brand names in the United States and internationally. We have rated the stock buy since April 5, 2007.
The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, growth inearnings per share, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company's stock has had lackluster performance. Fourth quarter revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 2.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share. During the past fiscal year, Church & Dwight increased its bottom line by earning $2.78 versus $2.46 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.25 versus $2.78). Currently, the Quick Ratio is 1.06 which shows that technically this company has the ability to cover short-term cash needs. The company's liquidity has decreased from the same period last year. Debt management is sound, as reflected by a debt to equity ratio of 0.6. We believe that the company's fundamental strengths should outweigh any negatives and translate into share price appreciation in the future. Elbit Systems ( ESLT) develops, manufactures, and integrates defense electronic and electro-optic systems primarily in Israel, the United States, and Europe. We have rated the stock a buy since April 5, 2007. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenuegrowth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management and subpar liquidity on most measures that we evaluated.
Fourth quarter revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 4.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 18.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost earnings per share. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, Elbit Systems increased its bottom line by earning $4.79 vs. $1.80 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 18.9% in earnings ($3.89 vs. $4.79). Currently, the Quick Ratio is 0.7 which shows a potential inability to cover short-term cash needs. Nevertheless, we feel that the strengths outlined above outweigh any weaknesses and the stock has strong upside potential, given current market conditions. Our quantitative rating, which can be viewed for any stock through our stock screener stock rating screener, 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.