NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- If you're looking for something to buy during times of market turbulence, we have you covered. TheStreet Quant Ratings, TheStreet's proprietary quant-based stock-rating tool, rates every one of these stocks an A+ with a beta of less than 1, meaning low volatility. These stocks were chosen from 4,300 different types of equities we rate.

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 stocks made the list. And when you're done, be sure to read about which mid-cap energy stocks you should buy now. Year-to-date returns are based on August 27, 2015 prices, as of 11:00am.

SLP Chart SLP data by YCharts
21. Simulations Plus, Inc. (SLP - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $109.6 million
Year-to-date return: -2.8%

Simulations Plus, Inc. designs and develops pharmaceutical simulation software for use in pharmaceutical research, and in the education of pharmacy and medical students.

"We rate SIMULATIONS PLUS INC (SLP) 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 robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. 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:

  • SLP's very impressive revenue growth exceeded the industry average of 35.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 58.8%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • SLP has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 6.61, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The gross profit margin for SIMULATIONS PLUS INC is currently very high, coming in at 88.34%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 31.18% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $2.14 million or 26.78% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, SIMULATIONS PLUS INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -23.40%.
  • SIMULATIONS PLUS INC has improved earnings per share by 37.5% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Stable earnings per share over the past two years indicate the company has sound management over its earnings and share float. We anticipate the company beginning to experience more growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, SIMULATIONS PLUS INC's EPS of $0.18 remained unchanged from the prior years' EPS of $0.18. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.22 versus $0.18).

 

MSEX Chart MSEX data by YCharts
20. Middlesex Water Company (MSEX - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $368.4 million
Year-to-date return: -1.2%

Middlesex Water Company, through its subsidiaries, provides regulated and unregulated water, and wastewater utility services. The company operates in two segments, Regulated and Non-Regulated.

"We rate MIDDLESEX WATER CO (MSEX) 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, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and increase in net income. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results."

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

  • MSEX's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 5.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.5%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • MIDDLESEX WATER CO has improved earnings per share by 6.9% 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, MIDDLESEX WATER CO increased its bottom line by earning $1.14 versus $1.03 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.20 versus $1.14).
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 60.62% to $8.75 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, MIDDLESEX WATER CO has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -0.35%.
  • The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. The stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Water Utilities industry average. The net income increased by 7.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $4.73 million to $5.09 million.

CFI Chart CFI data by YCharts
19. Culp, Inc. manufactures (CFI)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $385 million
Year-to-date return: 43.9%

Culp, Inc. manufactures, sources, markets, and sells mattress fabrics and upholstery fabrics to the furniture and bedding industries in North America and internationally. The company operates through two segments, Mattress Fabrics and Upholstery Fabrics.

"We rate CULP INC (CFI) 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 increase in net income, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

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

  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods industry. The net income increased by 79.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $2.74 million to $4.91 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 11.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • CFI's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.02 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, CFI has a quick ratio of 1.60, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 77.27% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 79.49% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, CFI should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.

 

PFBC Chart PFBC data by YCharts
18. Preferred Bank Los Angeles (PFBC - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $420.7 million
Year-to-date return: 9.6%

Preferred Bank provides various commercial banking products and services to small and mid-sized businesses and their owners, entrepreneurs, real estate developers and investors, professionals, and high net worth individuals in the United States.

"We rate PREFERRED BANK LOS ANGELES (PFBC) 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 robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results."

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

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 2.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 19.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 26.67% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, PFBC should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • PREFERRED BANK LOS ANGELES has improved earnings per share by 22.2% 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, PREFERRED BANK LOS ANGELES increased its bottom line by earning $1.79 versus $1.43 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.10 versus $1.79).
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly outperformed against the S&P 500 and exceeded that of the Commercial Banks industry average. The net income increased by 22.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $6.21 million to $7.59 million.
  • The gross profit margin for PREFERRED BANK LOS ANGELES is currently very high, coming in at 87.65%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 31.38% significantly outperformed against the industry average.

HFWA Chart HFWA data by YCharts
17. Heritage Financial Corporation (HFWA - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $522.4 million
Year-to-date return: -0.63%

Heritage Financial Corporation operates as the bank holding company for Heritage Bank that provides various financial services to small businesses and general public.

"We rate HERITAGE FINANCIAL CORP (HFWA) 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 robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. 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 2.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 17.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • HERITAGE FINANCIAL CORP reported significant earnings per share improvement 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, HERITAGE FINANCIAL CORP increased its bottom line by earning $0.79 versus $0.61 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.22 versus $0.79).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Banks industry. The net income increased by 110.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $4.15 million to $8.73 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 1264.31% to $18.20 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, HERITAGE FINANCIAL CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 631.13%.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that the other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.

 

CSFL Chart CSFL data by YCharts
16. CenterState Banks (CSFL - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $616 million
Year-to-date return: 13.9%

CenterState Banks, Inc. operates as the holding company for CenterState Bank of Florida, N.A. that provides various consumer and commercial banking services to individuals, businesses, and industries.

"We rate CENTERSTATE BANKS INC (CSFL) 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 robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and impressive record of earnings per share growth. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results."

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

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 2.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 32.3%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Banks industry. The net income increased by 852.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $1.04 million to $9.88 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 1538.50% to $11.62 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, CENTERSTATE BANKS INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 631.13%.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 633.33% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 34.58% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.
  • CENTERSTATE BANKS INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, CENTERSTATE BANKS INC reported lower earnings of $0.30 versus $0.40 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.87 versus $0.30).

STC Chart STC data by YCharts
15. Stewart Information Services Corporation (STC - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $879 million
Year-to-date return: 1.9%

Stewart Information Services Corporation provides title insurance and real estate services worldwide.

"We rate STEWART INFORMATION SERVICES (STC) 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, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

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

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 14.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 18.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • STC's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.13 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Insurance industry. The net income increased by 172.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $6.28 million to $17.11 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 77.44% to $32.44 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, STEWART INFORMATION SERVICES has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -46.73%.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 166.66% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 26.25% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.

 

MHLD Chart MHLD data by YCharts
14. Maiden Holdings, Ltd. (MHLD - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $1.1 billion
Year-to-date return: 12.8%

Maiden Holdings, Ltd., together with its subsidiaries, provides reinsurance solutions to regional and specialty insurers in the United States, Europe, and internationally. The company operates in two segments, Diversified Reinsurance and AmTrust Reinsurance.

"We rate MAIDEN HOLDINGS LTD (MHLD) 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, solid stock price performance, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

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

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 14.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 14.8%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • Although MHLD's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, MHLD's share price has jumped by 35.53%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, MHLD should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 126.52% to $208.03 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, MAIDEN HOLDINGS LTD has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -46.73%.

AGII Chart AGII data by YCharts
13. Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (AGII)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $1.6 billion
Year-to-date return: 9.9%

Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. underwrites specialty insurance and reinsurance products in the property and casualty market worldwide.

"We rate ARGO GROUP INTL HOLDINGS LTD (AGII) 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 largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

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

  • Although AGII's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 199.85% to $67.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, ARGO GROUP INTL HOLDINGS LTD has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -46.73%.
  • 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 Insurance industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, ARGO GROUP INTL HOLDINGS LTD has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period, despite the company's weak earnings results. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.

 

CALM Chart CALM data by YCharts
12. Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. (CALM - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $2.4 billion
Year-to-date return: 26.8%

Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. produces, grades, packages, markets, and distributes shell eggs. It offers specialty shell eggs, such as nutritionally enhanced, cage free, organic, and brown eggs under the Egg-Land's Best, Land O' Lake, Farmhouse, and 4-Grain brand names, as well as under private labels.

"We rate CAL-MAINE FOODS INC (CALM) 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, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

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

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 9.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • CALM's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.07 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 2.73, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover 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 Food Products industry and the overall market, CAL-MAINE FOODS INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 46.15% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 29.44% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, CALM should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.

JJSF Chart JJSF data by YCharts
11. J & J Snack Foods Corp. (JJSF - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $2.1 billion
Year-to-date return: 4.7%

J & J Snack Foods Corp., together with its subsidiaries, manufactures, markets, and distributes various nutritional snack foods and beverages for the food service and retail supermarket industries in the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

"We rate J & J SNACK FOODS CORP (JJSF) 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, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

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

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 9.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.4%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • JJSF's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.00 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, JJSF has a quick ratio of 2.29, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • 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 Food Products industry average. The net income increased by 3.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $23.68 million to $24.46 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $37.38 million or 24.39% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 3.28%.
  • J & J SNACK FOODS CORP's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. 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, J & J SNACK FOODS CORP increased its bottom line by earning $3.82 versus $3.41 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.89 versus $3.82).

 

TXRH Chart TXRH data by YCharts
10. Texas Roadhouse, Inc. (TXRH - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $2.5 billion
Year-to-date return: 6.7%

Texas Roadhouse, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a full-service restaurant company. The company operates its restaurants primarily under the Texas Roadhouse name.

"We rate TEXAS ROADHOUSE INC (TXRH) 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, solid stock price performance, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

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

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 4.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 15.0%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, TXRH's share price has jumped by 44.32%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, TXRH should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $37.13 million or 3.92% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -7.85%.
  • TEXAS ROADHOUSE INC's earnings per share declined by 9.1% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, TEXAS ROADHOUSE INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.23 versus $1.13 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.38 versus $1.23).

CAKE Chart CAKE data by YCharts
9. Cheesecake Factory Incorporated (CAKE - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $2.6 billion
Year-to-date return: 9.1%

The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated operates full-service and casual dining restaurants. The company also produces cheesecakes and other baked products for foodservice operators, retailers, and distributors.

"We rate CHEESECAKE FACTORY INC (CAKE) 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, solid stock price performance, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and increase in net income. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

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

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 4.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.6%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry. The net income increased by 15.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $30.05 million to $34.72 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $55.62 million or 23.61% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -7.85%.

 

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8. Home BancShares, Inc. (HOMB - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $2.6 billion
Year-to-date return: 16.8%

Home BancShares, Inc. operates as a bank holding company for Centennial Bank that provides commercial and retail banking, and related financial services to businesses, real estate developers and investors, individuals, and municipalities.

"We rate HOME BANCSHARES INC (HOMB) 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value."

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

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 2.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 14.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • HOME BANCSHARES INC has improved earnings per share by 16.3% 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, HOME BANCSHARES INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.70 versus $1.14 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.03 versus $1.70).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Commercial Banks industry average. The net income increased by 19.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $28.43 million to $33.91 million.
  • The gross profit margin for HOME BANCSHARES INC is currently very high, coming in at 90.46%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 31.58% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 32.61% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.

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7. Landstar System, Inc. (LSTR - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $2.9 billion
Year-to-date return: -8.1%

Landstar System, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides integrated transportation management solutions in the United States and internationally. The company operates through two segments, Transportation Logistics and Insurance.

"We rate LANDSTAR SYSTEM INC (LSTR) 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, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

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

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 6.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • LSTR's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.27 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, LSTR has a quick ratio of 1.83, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. When compared to other companies in the Road & Rail industry and the overall market, LANDSTAR SYSTEM INC's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • LANDSTAR SYSTEM INC has improved earnings per share by 15.0% 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, LANDSTAR SYSTEM INC increased its bottom line by earning $3.09 versus $2.36 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.40 versus $3.09).
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly outperformed against the S&P 500 and exceeded that of the Road & Rail industry average. The net income increased by 12.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $35.93 million to $40.47 million.

 

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6. Ritchie Bros. (RBA - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $3 billion
Year-to-date return: 4.6%

Ritchie Bros.

"We rate RITCHIE BROS AUCTIONEERS INC (RBA) 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, solid stock price performance, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results."

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

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 5.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.6%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • RBA's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.17 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.17, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • The gross profit margin for RITCHIE BROS AUCTIONEERS INC is currently very high, coming in at 89.05%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 29.87% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 5744.03% to $48.04 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, RITCHIE BROS AUCTIONEERS INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 16.94%.

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5. IDACORP, Inc. (IDA - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $3 billion
Year-to-date return: -9.7%

IDACORP, Inc., through its subsidiary, Idaho Power Company, engages in the generation, transmission, distribution, purchase, and sale of electric energy in the United States.

"We rate IDACORP INC (IDA) 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, solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. 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:

  • IDA's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 2.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • 35.77% is the gross profit margin for IDACORP 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 19.64% is above that of the industry average.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Electric Utilities industry. The net income increased by 48.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $44.54 million to $66.08 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.89, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.93 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.

 

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4. Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited (AHL)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $2.8 billion
Year-to-date return: 4.8%

Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited, through its subsidiaries, engages in insurance and reinsurance businesses worldwide. Its Insurance segment offers property and casualty insurance, including U.S. and the United Kingdom commercial property and construction business, commercial liability, U.S.

"We rate ASPEN INSURANCE HOLDINGS LTD (AHL) 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 largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

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

  • AHL's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.19 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 55.39% to $132.40 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, ASPEN INSURANCE HOLDINGS LTD has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -46.73%.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period, despite the company's weak earnings results. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 14.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 7.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • ASPEN INSURANCE HOLDINGS LTD has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ASPEN INSURANCE HOLDINGS LTD increased its bottom line by earning $4.80 versus $4.15 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 14.6% in earnings ($4.10 versus $4.80).

ESLT Chart ESLT data by YCharts
3. Elbit Systems Ltd. (ESLT - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $3.3 billion
Year-to-date return: 26.7%

Elbit Systems Ltd. develops and supplies a range of airborne, land, and naval systems and products for defense, homeland security, and commercial aviation applications worldwide.

"We rate ELBIT SYSTEMS LTD (ESLT) 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, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

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

  • ESLT's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 4.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Aerospace & Defense industry average. The net income increased by 3.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $43.88 million to $45.29 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 150.21% to $32.65 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, ELBIT SYSTEMS LTD has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 26.15%.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.39, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.73 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 39.73% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.

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2. Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. (THG - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $3.5 billion
Year-to-date return: 9.5%

The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides various property and casualty insurance products and services in the United States and internationally. It operates through four segments: Commercial Lines, Personal Lines, Chaucer, and Other.

"We rate HANOVER INSURANCE GROUP INC (THG) 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, solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels. 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 14.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Although THG's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 46.19% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 29.72% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, THG should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Insurance industry. The net income increased by 46.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $82.60 million to $120.70 million.

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1. First American Financial Corporation (FAF - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $4.2 billion
Year-to-date return: 15.3%

First American Financial Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides financial services. It operates through Title Insurance and Services, and Specialty Insurance segments.

"We rate FIRST AMERICAN FINANCIAL CP (FAF) 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, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

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

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 14.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 15.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Although FAF's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 80.85% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 45.72% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Turning to the future, naturally, any stock can fall in a major bear market. However, in almost any other environment, the stock should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed nice gains in the past year.
  • FIRST AMERICAN FINANCIAL CP reported significant earnings per share improvement 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, FIRST AMERICAN FINANCIAL CP increased its bottom line by earning $2.15 versus $1.71 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.68 versus $2.15).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Insurance industry. The net income increased by 84.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $50.59 million to $93.35 million.