TheStreet.com 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.BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- The following mid-cap companies have market values between $500 million and $10 billion and received "buy" ratings from our quantitative model, which considers more than 60 factors. The stocks are ordered by their potential to gain. Landauer ( LDR) offers equipment that measures people's exposure to radiation. The numbers: Fiscal second-quarter revenue increased 5% to $25 million as earnings fell 16% to $5.4 million, or 58 cents per share. The operating margin remained steady at 42% and the net margin fell to 22%. The company has no debt. A quick ratio of 1.9 indicates ample liquidity. The stock: Landauer has fallen 8% this year, underperforming the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 Index. The stock offers a 3.1% dividend yield, but trades at an expensive price-to-earnings ratio of 27. Church & Dwight ( CHD) makes household and hygiene products, such as cat litter, cleaning agents and condoms. The numbers: First-quarter revenue rose 5% to $581 million. Net income increased 11% to $63 million and earnings per share, which were hurt by a higher share count, climbed 9% to 88 cents. The operating margin expanded from 17% to 20% and the net margin increased from 10% to 11%. The company has a strong liquidity position, reflected by a quick ratio of 1.1. Its debt-to-equity ratio of 0.6 demonstrates restrained leverage. The stock: Church & Dwight is up 6% this year, beating the Dow, but underperforming the S&P 500. The stock trades at an expensive price-to-earnings ratio of 21 and its dividend yield is less than 1%.
J&J Snack Foods ( JJSF) distributes snacks and frozen beverages in the U.S. The numbers: Fiscal third-quarter revenue increased 2% to $180 million as earnings rose 38% to $15 million, or 80 cents per share. The operating margin climbed from 10% to 14% and the net margin increased from 6% to 8%. Over $81 million of cash reserves and a quick ratio of 1.9 demonstrate ample liquidity. The company holds minimal debt. The stock: J&J Snack has climbed 22% this year, outpacing the Dow and S&P 500. The stock trades at an expensive price-to-earnings ratio of 22 and its dividend yield is less than 1%. National Presto Industries ( NPK) makes small appliances, defense products and absorbent materials. The numbers: First-quarter revenue increased 40% to $108 million as earnings rose 74% to $11 million, or $1.58 per share. Its operating margin expanded to 14% and its net margin climbed to 10%. National Presto has abundant cash reserves, reflected by a quick ratio of 3.6, and no debt. The stock: National Presto has increased 2% this year, underperforming major U.S. indices. The stock trades at an affordable price-to-earnings ratio of 11 and offers an attractive 6% dividend yield. MGE Energy ( MGEE) is a Wisconsin-based electric utility. The numbers: First-quarter revenue dropped 5% to $181 million, but net income increased 8% to $15 million. Earnings per share, which climbed 3% to 65 cents, were hurt by a higher share count. The operating margin rose to 13% and the net margin increased from 7% to 8%. Although a quick ratio of 0.4 indicates weak liquidity, MGE has a lower debt load than its peers. A debt-to-equity ratio of 0.8 is a sign of restrained leverage. We give the company a financial strength score of 8.9 out of 10, which is higher than the average for "buy"-rated stocks.
The stock: MGE has advanced 8% this year, beating the Dow and S&P 500. The stock trades at a fair price-to-earnings ratio of 15 and offers a 4% dividend yield, which is higher than the S&P 500 average. -- Reported by Jake Lynch in Boston. Feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.