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 companies have market capitalizations between $50 million and $500 million and receive "buy" ratings from our proprietary quantitative model, which considers more than 60 factors. They're ordered by their potential to appreciate, starting with the company with the best growth prospects.

Hawkins ( HWKN) makes specialty chemicals.

The numbers: Fiscal first-quarter profit increased 24% to $6.1 million, or 58 cents a share, as revenue grew 18% to $74 million. Its gross margin remained steady at 24% and its operating margin advanced from 12% to 13%. Hawkins has an ideal financial position, with no debt and ample liquidity, evident in its quick ratio of 2.8.

The stock: Hawkins has increased 50% this year, outpacing major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 10, a discount to the market and chemical peers. Shares pay a 2.4% dividend yield.

American Physicians Service Group ( AMPH) provides medical-liability insurance and investment-management services.

The numbers: Second-quarter profit decreased 20% to $4.9 million, or 70 cents a share, as revenue declined 13% to $20 million. Its gross margin fell from 58% to 44% and its operating margin dropped from 51% to 38%. The company has an ideal financial position, with $46 million of cash, compared to $6.5 million of debt.

The stock: American Physicians is up 14% this year, trailing major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 9, a discount to the market and insurance peers. The company doesn't pay dividends.

The First of Long Island ( FLIC) is a commercial bank in New York.

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