15. Tyler Technologies ( TYL)

Company profile: Tyler Technologies, with a market value of $1.1 billion, provides information management for cities, counties, schools, and other local government offices. It includes accounting and financial management, managing public records and judicial cases and automates appraisals and assessments.

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 21% this year and have a three-year annualized return of 40%. S&P's survey of analysts found three "buy" ratings, and four "holds." Those analysts expect the company's earnings will grow 22% this year to $1 per share.

14. Quality Systems ( QSII)

Company profile: Quality Systems, along with its wholly-owned subsidiary NextGen Healthcare Information Systems, sells customized information-processing systems to a wide range of medical services providers.

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 21% this year and have a three-year annualized return of 33%. Fidelity is the largest shareholder with 6% of its shares at the end of 2011. S&P has its shares rated "buy," with a $47 price target, which is a 7% premium to the current price. In fiscal 2013, its earnings are expected to grow 23%, to $1.74 per share.

13. Mettler-Toledo International ( MTD)

Company profile: Mettler-Toledo supplies weighing and precision instruments and supplies to customers in the life sciences, industrial, and food retail industries. It has a 50% share of the weighing-instrumentation market.

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 21% this year and have a three-year annualized return of 43%. Fidelity and Columbia Wanger Asset Management each owned 12% of its shares at the end of 2011. In fiscal 2012, its earnings are expected to grow 15% to $9.39 per share. S&P found four "buy" ratings, two "buys," five "holds," and one "weak hold," in a survey of analysts.

12. Citrix Systems ( CTXS )

Company profile: Citrix develops and sells software tools that enable organizations to efficiently manage and deliver diverse software applications over computer networks.

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 22% this year and have a three-year annualized return of 47%. Fidelity owns 14% of its shares, more than three times that of the next largest investor. S&P has it rated "hold," on valuation concerns, but it found 11 "buys," nine "buy/holds," 13 "holds," and two "weak holds," in a survey of other analysts.

11. Bruker Corp. ( BRKR)

Company profile: Bruker makes mass-spectrometry instruments for use in laboratory research, and kits that purify DNA fragments and collect and process samples used in substance detection and pathogen identification.

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 24% this year, lost 16% last year, but have a three-year annualized return of 45%. Analysts surveyed by S&P give it three "buy" ratings, two "buy/holds," four "holds," and one "weak hold." For 2012, analysts expect earnings to rise by 17% to 96 cents per share. T. Rowe Price owns 11% of its shares, more than double that of the next largest institutional investor.

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