NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- MasterCard Inc. ( MA), CF Industries Holdings ( CF), Cabot Oil & Gas ( COG), Newmont Mining ( NEM), Google ( GOOG), and Apple ( AAPL) are S&P 500 stocks with mean return potential of up to 23%.

U.S. stocks rose Wednesday on the European Union's bank recapitalization plan and positive economic data. U.S. durable goods orders for September, excluding transportation equipment, rose highest in the last six months, while discounted prices increased new home purchases more than estimated during the same month.

In the last ten months, these six stocks averaged a mean 29% return, while the S&P 500 index delivered negative 1%. In comparison to broader indices and peers, these stocks gained on strong fundamentals. Their earnings are expected to grow at an average 30% to 35%. The buy rating for these stocks is 74%. We list them in ascending order of buy rating.

6. CF Industries Holdings ( CF) is a leading manufacturer of fertilizer products specializing in the nitrogen- and phosphate-based segments.

Net earnings during 2011 second quarter were $129 million compared to $66.7 million during the same quarter prior year.

During the quarter, net sales totaled $199 million compared to $167 million in the corresponding period in 2010 due to higher selling prices for ammonia and urea ammonium nitrate solutions (UAN).

Ammonia and UAN prices increased 48% and 47%, respectively, as sales volumes decreased year-on-year during the quarter. This price increase resulted from higher crop plantings in North America and global demand for nitrogen products. However, UAN and ammonia sales volume decreased 11% and 5% during this period, respectively.

Cash and cash equivalents stood at $152 million vs. $125 million at the end of the 2010 June quarter. Gaining 33% in the last one year, the stock is trading at 7.5 times its estimated 2011 earnings. It has 15% upside over the next one year with 59% buy rating.

5. Cabot Oil & Gas ( COG) is a U.S.-based oil and gas company.

Net income for the third quarter of 2011 was $28.5 million, vs. $3.9 million in the comparable quarter prior year.

Total revenue for the third quarter was $262 million, increasing 17% from the same period last year. Production grew 39% year-over-year during the quarter, with liquid volume up 101% and gas volume 37%.

Cash flow from operations was $155 million compared to $124 million in the same quarter prior year. Discretionary cash flow was $165 million, vs. $139 million in the year-earlier period.

The stock doubled during the last one-year and analysts expect it to deliver 37% upside over the next one year. COG is trading at 25.6 times its estimated 2012 earnings.

4. Newmont Mining ( NEM) is U.S.-based gold producer.

During the second quarter of fiscal 2011, consolidated revenue increased 11% to $2.4 billion from the prior-year quarter. The average realized price for gold and copper was $1,501 per ounce and $3.78 per pound, up 25% and 62%, respectively, vs. the same quarter last year. Gold and copper production slumped 5% and 45% to 1.2 million ounces and 44 million pounds, respectively.

Capital spending through the first half of 2011 was lower than expected and is likely to accelerate during the second half. Capital expenditure outlook for fiscal 2011 is expected to range from $2.7 to $3.0 billion on a consolidated basis. The company is maintaining its previously announced 2011 production outlook for gold at 5.1 million ounces to 5.3 million ounces and copper production at 190 million pounds to 220 million pounds.

The stock is trading at 14 times its estimated 2011 earnings with an estimated upside of 21% and analysts' buy ratings of 65%. It has gained 13% in the past one month.

3. MasterCard ( MA) is a global payments and technology company providing services related to credit, debit payments.

Operating margin for the second quarter of 2011 was 53.1%, up 50 basis points in the second quarter of 2010. Net revenue was $1.7 billion, increasing 22.1% from the same period prior year due to higher cross-border volumes and processed transactions.

Speaking about new initiatives, Ajay Banga, MasterCard CEO, said, "During the quarter, work continued in the mobile commerce category highlighted by an agreement with Google and multiple partners to launch the Google Wallet, as well as our alliance with Isis, in the U.S. Additionally, the previously announced Orange and Barclaycard contactless mobile payment service became available to U.K. consumers in May. Other notable agreements we executed include a commercial alliance with China Union Pay to enable its cards for cross-border e-Commerce, and a new, multi-product agreement with Swedbank in the Nordics and Baltics region."

Cash and other investments at the end of June 2011 stood at $2.75 billion. The stock rose 34% in the past one year and is trading at 18.5 times its estimated 2011 earnings. It has analysts' buy rating of 77%.

2. Apple ( AAPL) designs and markets a range of PCs, mobile communication and media devices, and portable music players. The company derives around three-fifths of its revenue from international sales.

During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, revenue came in at $28.27 billion, vs. $20.34 billion in the same quarter last year. Net profit increased from $4.31 billion to $6.62 billion. However, gross margin was 40.3% compared to 36.9% last year.

iPad sales amounted to 11.12 million units during the quarter, increasing 166% from the prior year period. Apple sold 4.89 million Macs during the quarter, up 26% over the year-ago quarter. iPhone sales were 17.07 million, a 21% volume increase. However, iPods sales declined 27% from the year-ago quarter.

On the first quarter of 2012, Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's CFO, said, "Looking ahead to the first fiscal quarter of 2012, which will span 14 weeks rather than 13, we expect revenue of about $37 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share of about $9.30." The stock has 89% buy rating and estimated upside of 28% in the next one year.

1. Google ( GOOG) focuses on areas like Internet search, advertising, operating systems and platforms. Domestic revenue forms 46% of the aggregate revenue.

During the third quarter of 2011, revenue from Google sites, a major revenue spinner and the fastest growing segment, stood at 39%. Overall, Google reported revenue of $9.72 billion, increasing 33% from $7.29 billion in the same period last fiscal. On Google+, Larry Page, CEO of Google, said, "Google+ is now open to everyone and we just passed the 40 million user mark. People are flocking into Google+ at an incredible rate and we are just getting started!"

Net income was $2.73 billion, up 26% from the same quarter prior year. Earnings per share for the reporting quarter were $8.33, vs. $6.72 in the third quarter of 2010.

Cash and cash equivalents stood at $42.6 billion. Of the 40 analysts tracking the stock, 36 rate it a buy and 4 maintain a hold. The stock is trading at 16 times its estimated 2011 earnings with an estimated upside of 24%, according to analysts polled by Bloomberg.

>>To see these stocks in action, visit the 6 S&P 500 Stocks Poised to Outperform the Index portfolio on Stockpickr.

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