TSC Ratings provides exclusive stock, ETF and mutual fund recommendations using proprietary tools. Our "safety first" approach aims to reduce risk while achieving total return performance.The following mid-cap companies have market values between $500 million and $10 billion and receive "buy" ratings from our proprietary quantitative model, which considers more than 60 factors. The stocks are ordered by their potential to appreciate. Landauer ( LDR) offers personnel radiation monitoring to measure the dosage of X-ray, gamma and other radiation to which a person has been exposed. The numbers: Fiscal second-quarter revenue increased 5% to $25 million as net income and earnings per share fell 16% to $5.4 million and 58 cents, respectively. The operating margin remained steady 42% and the net margin fell to 22%. The company has no debt or interest expenses and a quick ratio of 1.9 indicates ample liquidity. The stock: Landauer has fallen 7% in 2009, underperforming the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500. The stock offers a 3.2% dividend yield and trades at an expensive price-to-earnings ratio of 27. New Jersey Resources ( NJR) is an energy-services company that provides retail and wholesale energy services to customers in New Jersey and other states from the Gulf Coast to New England. The numbers: Fiscal second-quarter revenue declined 20% to $938 million as net income and earnings per share surged 183% to $36 million and 83 cents, respectively. The operating margin inched past 6% and the net margin climbed to 4%. The debt-to-equity ratio is low at 0.6, but a quick ratio of 0.4 indicates weak liquidity. The stock: New Jersey Resources has fallen 2% in 2009, underperforming the Dow and S&P 500. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 14 and offers an attractive 3.2% dividend yield.
National Presto Industries ( NPK) makes small appliances, and defense and absorbent products. The numbers: First-quarter revenue increased 40% to $108 million as net income and earnings per share ascended 74% to $11 million and $1.58, respectively. The operating margin improved to 14% and the net margin remained steady at 10%. The company has no debt or interest expenses and abundant cash reserves, as reflected by a quick ratio of 3.6. The stock: National Presto is up 2% in 2009, matching the Dow and underperforming the S&P 500. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 11 and offers a meager 1.3% dividend yield. Strayer Education ( STRA) is a for-profit post-secondary education company that offers a variety of academic programs through Strayer University. The numbers: First-quarter revenue increased 28% to $125 million as net income jumped 24% to $29 million and earnings per share improved 26% to $2.07. The operating margin stood at 38% and the net margin remained strong at 23%. Zero debt and a quick ratio of 1.5 demonstrate fiscal prudence. The stock: Strayer is flat in 2009, underperforming the Dow and S&P 500. The stock is trading at a price-to-earnings ratio of 35. A 1% dividend yield sweetens the stock, but is below the S&P 500 average. J&J Snack Foods ( JJSF) manufactures and distributes snack foods and frozen beverages in the U.S. The numbers: Fiscal second-quarter revenue increased 4% to $149 million as net income improved 81% to $7.2 million and earnings per share climbed 86% to 39 cents, helped by a lower share count. The operating margin widened from 4% to 8% and the net margin increased from 3% to 5%. The company has an ideal financial position, with zero debt and ample liquidity, which is evident in a quick ratio of 1.9. The stock: J&J Snack Foods is up 7% in 2009, outperforming the Dow and S&P 500. The stock trades at an expensive price-to-earnings ratio of 22 and offers a lackluster dividend yield of 1%. TSC Ratings was given an award this year for "Best Stock Selection" among independent research providers by BNY ConvergEx Group. A rating can be viewed for any stock through our screener. Ratings are derived from a variety of fundamental and pricing figures and represent our opinion of risk-adjusted performance. However, the rating doesn't incorporate all factors that can alter a stock's performance.