Five Fast-Growing Stocks to Own

BOSTON ( TheStreet) - In choppy markets, investors look for stocks that can gain in any economic scenario. These fast-growing companies are projected to boost revenue and profit by 12% or more in the coming year.

5. Stifel Financial ( SF) is a boutique investment bank.

The numbers: Third-quarter net income surged 73% to $22 million and earnings per share climbed 46% to 67 cents, hurt by a higher share count. Revenue grew 31% to $293 million. Stifel's gross margin rose from 13% to 14%, and its operating margin remained steady at 12%. The bank is adequately capitalized, with $443 million of cash. Its debt-to-equity ratio of 0.7 is below the industry average, indicating restrained leverage.

The stock: Stifel Financial has risen 21% this year, beating the Dow Jones Industrial Average and matching the S&P 500 Index. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 26, a premium to the market, but a discount to capital markets peers. Stifel doesn't pay a dividend.

4. Medco Health Solutions ( MHS) is a pharmacy benefit manager.

The numbers: Third-quarter net income increased 13% to $336 million and earnings per share climbed 19% to 69 cents, boosted by a lower share count. Revenue grew 18% to $15 billion. Medco's gross margin remained steady at 7%, and its operating margin was unchanged at 4%. A quick ratio of 1 reflects adequate liquidity. A debt-to-equity ratio of 0.7 indicates conservative leverage.

The stock: Medco has advanced 47% this year, more than major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 25, a premium to the market and health care service peers. Medco doesn't pay dividends.

3.Teva Pharmaceutical Industries ( TEVA) is an Israeli drugmaker.

The numbers: Third-quarter net income inched up 3% to $649 million, but earnings per share fell 6% to 72 cents. Revenue increased 25% to $3.6 billion. Teva's gross margin decreased from 57% to 54%, but its operating margin ascended from 23% to 24%. A quick ratio of 0.9 indicates less-than-ideal liquidity. A debt-to-equity ratio of 0.3 reflects modest leverage.

The stock: Teva has risen 23% this year, beating the Dow and S&P 500. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 56, a premium to the market and drugmakers. The shares pay a 1.2% dividend yield.

2. Lincoln Educational Services ( LINC) provides career education.

The numbers: Third-quarter profit more than doubled to $14 million, or 50 cents a share, as revenue grew 48% to $148 million. Lincoln's gross margin rose from 63% to 65%, and its operating margin increased from 10% to 16%. The company has a liquid balance sheet, with $38 million of cash and $37 million of debt.

The stock: Lincoln has advanced 67% this year, beating major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 15, a discount to the market and education peers. Lincoln doesn't pay dividends.

1. DeVry ( DV) offer training courses and degree programs.

The numbers: Fiscal first-quarter net income increased 57% to $55 million, or 76 cents a share, as revenue grew 42% to $431 million. DeVry's gross margin remained steady at 57%, and its operating margin rose from 15% to 18%. A quick ratio of 0.9 indicates less-than-ideal liquidity. A debt-to-equity ratio of 0.1 demonstrates modest leverage.

The stock: DeVry has fallen 8% this year, trailing major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 21, indicating parity with the market and education peers. The shares pay a 0.3% dividend yield.

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