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 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.

Lance ( LNCE) makes snack foods, including Cape Cod Potato Chips and Archway Cookies.

The numbers: Second-quarter net income surged 252% to $9.5 million as earnings per share grew 233% to 30 cents, restrained by a higher share count. Revenue grew 11% to $237 million. Its gross margin jumped from 41% to 44% and its operating margin rose from 3% to 7%. A quick ratio of 1.1 indicates adequate liquidity. A debt-to-equity ratio of 0.4 demonstrates restrained leverage.

The stock: Lance has advanced 22% this year, beating the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Index. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 29, a premium to the market and packaged food peers. Shares pay a 2.3% dividend yield.

Balchem ( BCPC - Get Report) sells specialty chemicals.

The numbers: Second-quarter net income increased 45% to $6.9 million and earnings per share climbed 44% to 36 cents, restrained by a higher share count. Revenue fell 16% to $53 million. Its gross margin rose from 24% to 37% and its operating margin jumped from 12% to 19%. The company has an ideal financial position, with $27 million of cash, compared to $8.1 million of debt.

The stock: Balchem is up 17% this year, more than the Dow, but less than the S&P 500. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 25, a premium to the market and specialty chemical peers. Shares pay a 0.4% dividend yield.

Pegasystems ( PEGA - Get Report) sells software to automate business processes.

The numbers: Second-quarter net income surged 294% to $11 million and earnings per share increased 275% to 30 cents. Revenue rose 25% to $64 million. Its gross margin advanced from 59% to 66% and its operating margin grew from 5% to 18%. Pegasystems has outstanding liquidity, evident in its quick ratio of 3.9, and no debt.

The stock: Pegasystems has surged 180% this year, beating major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 52, a premium to the market and application software peers. Shares pay a 0.4% dividend yield.

Monro Muffler Brake ( MNRO - Get Report) provides undercar repair and tire services.

The numbers: Fiscal first-quarter profit increased 21% to $9.4 million, or 46 cents a share, as revenue grew 6% to $128 million. Its gross margin rose from 46% to 48% and its operating margin climbed from 12% to 13%. The company has weak liquidity, evident in its quick ratio of 0.1. A debt-to-equity ratio of 0.5 indicates conservative leverage.

The stock: Monro Muffler Brake is up 28% this year, beating the Dow and S&P 500. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 26, a premium to the market and auto retail peers. Shares pay a 0.9% dividend yield.

Rollins ( ROL - Get Report) provides pest- and termite-control services.

The numbers: Second-quarter net income increased 12% to $25 million and earnings per share rose 13% to 26 cents, boosted by a lower share count. Revenue remained steady at $284 million. Its gross margin rose from 49% to 50% and its operating margin climbed from 14% to 15%. Rollins has weak liquidity, evident in its quick ratio of 0.4. A debt-to-equity ratio of 0.2 reflects modest leverage.

The stock: Rollins is up 6% this year, lagging behind major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 26, a premium to the market and environmental service peers. Shares pay a 1.5% dividend yield.

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.

-- Reported by Jake Lynch in Boston.