NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- With many people finishing up spring cleaning and buying new household items for the changing season, we decided to check Quant Ratings for the best household products companies to buy.

In the U.S., analysts consider the household products industry to be selling necessary goods. In other parts of the world, many household items are considered luxuries, like dishwashers. But in the U.S., no matter how the economy is doing, people will still buy these "necessities."

So, what are the best household products companies investors should be buying? Here are the top three, according to TheStreet Ratings, TheStreet's proprietary ratings tool.

TheStreet Ratings projects a stock's total return potential over a 12-month period including both price appreciation and dividends. Based on 32 major data points, TheStreet Ratings uses a quantitative approach to rating over 4,300 stocks to predict return potential for the next year. The model is both objective, using elements such as volatility of past operating revenues, financial strength, and company cash flows, and subjective, including expected equities market returns, future interest rates, implied industry outlook and forecasted company earnings.

Buying an S&P 500 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a buy yielded a 16.56% return in 2014 beating the S&P 500 Total Return Index by 304 basis points. Buying a Russell 2000 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a buy yielded a 9.5% return in 2014, beating the Russell 2000 index, including dividends reinvested, by 460 basis points last year.

Check out which household products companies made the list. And when you're done, be sure to read about which biotech companies to buy now. Year-to-date returns are based on June 3, 2015, closing prices. The highest-rated stock appears last.

WDFC ChartWDFC data by YCharts
3. WD-40 Company (WDFC)

Rating: A-

Market Cap: $1.2 billion
Year-to-date return: -0.03%

WD-40 Company provides consumer products worldwide.

"We rate WD-40 CO (WDFC) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 10.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.3%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.64, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.04, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • WD-40 CO has improved earnings per share by 13.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, WD-40 CO increased its bottom line by earning $2.87 versus $2.54 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.10 versus $2.87).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Household Products industry. The net income increased by 9.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $10.32 million to $11.33 million.
  • The gross profit margin for WD-40 CO is rather high; currently it is at 53.52%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 11.64% trails the industry average.
CHD ChartCHD data by YCharts
2. Church & Dwight Co. (CHD)

Rating: A-

Market Cap: $11 billion
Year-to-date return: 7%

Church & Dwight Co., Inc. develops manufactures, and markets household, personal care, and specialty products in the United States. The company operates through three segments: Consumer Domestic, Consumer International, and Specialty Products Division (SPD).

"We rate CHURCH & DWIGHT INC (CHD) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 10.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.9%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • CHURCH & DWIGHT INC has improved earnings per share by 9.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, CHURCH & DWIGHT INC increased its bottom line by earning $3.01 versus $2.78 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.27 versus $3.01).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Household Products industry average. The net income increased by 4.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $102.60 million to $107.20 million.
  • 46.88% is the gross profit margin for CHURCH & DWIGHT INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 13.19% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $144.20 million or 40.82% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, CHURCH & DWIGHT INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -17.92%.
PG ChartPG data by YCharts
1. The Procter & Gamble Company (PG)

Rating: A-

Market Cap: $213 billion
Year-to-date return: -13.7%

The Procter & Gamble Company, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells branded consumer packaged goods. The company operates through five segments: Beauty; Grooming; Health Care; Fabric Care and Home Care; and Baby, Feminine and Family Care.

"We rate PROCTER & GAMBLE CO (PG) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The gross profit margin for PROCTER & GAMBLE CO is rather high; currently it is at 53.92%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 11.86% is above that of the industry average.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.52, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Despite the fact that PG's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.57, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Household Products industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, PROCTER & GAMBLE CO has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • PROCTER & GAMBLE CO' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. Stable earnings per share over the past year indicate the company has sound management over its earnings and share float. We anticipate these figures will begin to experience more growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, PROCTER & GAMBLE CO's EPS of $3.87 remained unchanged from the prior years' EPS of $3.87. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.97 versus $3.87).
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 10.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 7.6%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
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