Top 5 Mid-Cap Stocks With 'Buy' Ratings

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.

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