NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- If you're looking for something to buy during times of market turbulence, we have you covered.

Here are 21 mid-cap stocks with an A+ rating, which also have great total return from TheStreet Quant Ratings, TheStreet's proprietary quant-based stock-rating tool.

The Street Quant Ratings rates every one of these stocks an A+, as well as a five-star rating on total return, by measuring the historical price movement of the stock. 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 safe, A+ rated stocks you should buy now. Year-to-date returns are based on September 3, 2015 prices as of 1:17pm.


CFI Chart CFI data by YCharts
21. Culp, Inc. (CFI)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $393.7 million
Year-to-date return: 47.1%

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.

TheStreet Ratings team rates CULP INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"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 10.4%. 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 72.27% 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
20. Preferred Bank (PFBC)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $413.7 million
Year-to-date return: 8.4%

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.

TheStreet Ratings team rates PREFERRED BANK LOS ANGELES as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"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 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 1.7%. 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 28.42% 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.
PLOW Chart PLOW data by YCharts
19. Douglas Dynamics, Inc. (PLOW)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $485.2 million
Year-to-date return: 1.4%

Douglas Dynamics, Inc. manufactures snow and ice control equipment for light and heavy duty trucks in the United States and Canada. The company offers snowplows, sand and salt spreaders, dump bodies, muni-bodies, replacement parts, and related parts and accessories.

TheStreet Ratings team rates DOUGLAS DYNAMICS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate DOUGLAS DYNAMICS INC (PLOW) 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, attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. 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 greatly exceeded the industry average of 14.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 21.4%. 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.
  • Even though the current debt-to-equity ratio is 1.05, it is still below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the Machinery industry. Despite the fact that PLOW's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 1.86 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Machinery industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, DOUGLAS DYNAMICS INC has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded 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.
ITRN Chart ITRN data by YCharts
18. Ituran Location and Control Ltd. (ITRN)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $500 million
Year-to-date return: 8.1%

Ituran Location and Control Ltd., together with its subsidiaries, provides location-based services and wireless communication products in Israel, Brazil, Argentina, and the United States.

TheStreet Ratings team rates ITURAN LOCATION & CONTROL as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate ITURAN LOCATION & CONTROL (ITRN) 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, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. 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:

  • ITRN 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 the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.38, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Communications Equipment industry and the overall market, ITURAN LOCATION & CONTROL's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for ITURAN LOCATION & CONTROL is rather high; currently it is at 58.90%. 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 15.40% trails the industry average.
  • 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 9.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.8%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
STC Chart STC data by YCharts
17. Stewart Information Services Corporation (STC)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $900 million
Year-to-date return: 4.2%

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

TheStreet Ratings team rates STEWART INFORMATION SERVICES as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"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 14.8%. 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 -46.54%.
  • 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.
FRME Chart FRME data by YCharts
16. First Merchants Corporation (FRME)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $984.2 million
Year-to-date return: 14.4%

First Merchants Corporation operates as the financial holding company for First Merchants Bank, National Association that provides community banking services.

TheStreet Ratings team rates FIRST MERCHANTS CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate FIRST MERCHANTS CORP (FRME) 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, growth in earnings per share, compelling growth 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:

  • FRME's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.7%. 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 26.61% 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, FRME should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • FIRST MERCHANTS CORP has improved earnings per share by 14.6% 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, FIRST MERCHANTS CORP increased its bottom line by earning $1.65 versus $1.41 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.80 versus $1.65).
  • 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 18.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $15.16 million to $17.97 million.
  • The gross profit margin for FIRST MERCHANTS CORP is currently very high, coming in at 90.80%. Regardless of FRME's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, FRME's net profit margin of 25.10% compares favorably to the industry average.
AGII Chart AGII data by YCharts
15. Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (AGII)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $1.5 billion
Year-to-date return: %%%

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

TheStreet Ratings team rates ARGO GROUP INTL HOLDINGS LTD as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"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 -46.54%.
  • 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.
KFY Chart KFY data by YCharts
14. Korn/Ferry International (KFY)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $1.8 billion
Year-to-date return: 18.6%

Korn/Ferry International, together with its subsidiaries, provides talent management solutions that help clients to design strategies and in the execution of building and attracting their talent worldwide.

TheStreet Ratings team rates KORN/FERRY INTERNATIONAL as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate KORN/FERRY INTERNATIONAL (KFY) 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 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 4.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • KFY 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. To add to this, KFY has a quick ratio of 1.98, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • 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.
  • KORN/FERRY INTERNATIONAL has improved earnings per share by 18.6% 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, KORN/FERRY INTERNATIONAL increased its bottom line by earning $1.77 versus $1.48 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.05 versus $1.77).
  • 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 Professional Services industry average. The net income increased by 20.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $21.21 million to $25.48 million.
JJSF Chart JJSF data by YCharts
13. J & J Snack Foods Corp. (JJSF)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $2.2 billion
Year-to-date return: 6.2%

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.

TheStreet Ratings team rates J & J SNACK FOODS CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"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 8.6%. 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 9.06%.
  • 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).
CHE Chart CHE data by YCharts
12. Chemed Corporation (CHE)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $2.3 billion
Year-to-date return: 29.5%

Chemed Corporation provides hospice and palliative care services in the United States. It operates in two segments, VITAS and Roto-Rooter. The company offers its services to patients through a network of physicians, registered nurses, home health aides, social workers, clergy, and volunteers.

TheStreet Ratings team rates CHEMED CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate CHEMED CORP (CHE) 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 solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, revenue growth and notable return on equity. 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:

  • 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 33.92% 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, CHE should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • CHEMED CORP has improved earnings per share by 14.0% 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, CHEMED CORP increased its bottom line by earning $5.58 versus $4.16 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($6.73 versus $5.58).
  • 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 Health Care Providers & Services industry average. The net income increased by 10.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $24.36 million to $26.98 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 6.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 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 Health Care Providers & Services industry and the overall market, CHEMED CORP's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
HOMB Chart HOMB data by YCharts
11. Home BancShares, Inc. (HOMB)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $2.5 billion
Year-to-date return: 16.5%

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.

TheStreet Ratings team rates HOME BANCSHARES INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"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 1.7%. 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 26.57% 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.
CAKE Chart CAKE data by YCharts
10. Cheesecake Factory Incorporated (CAKE)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $2.5 billion
Year-to-date return: 6.6%

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.

TheStreet Ratings team rates CHEESECAKE FACTORY INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"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 -7.79%.
IDA Chart IDA data by YCharts
9. IDACORP, Inc. (IDA)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $2.9 billion
Year-to-date return: -12.4%

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

TheStreet Ratings team rates IDACORP INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"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 2.1%. 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.
POOL Chart POOL data by YCharts
8. Pool Corporation (POOL)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $3 billion
Year-to-date return: 9.8%

Pool Corporation distributes swimming pool supplies, equipment, and related leisure products in North America, Europe, South America, and Australia. The company offers approximately 160,000 national brand and its own-branded products.

TheStreet Ratings team rates POOL CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate POOL CORP (POOL) 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, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. 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:

  • POOL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • POOL CORP has improved earnings per share by 8.7% 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, POOL CORP increased its bottom line by earning $2.43 versus $2.03 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.78 versus $2.43).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Distributors industry average. The net income increased by 5.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $73.86 million to $77.92 million.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Distributors industry and the overall market, POOL CORP's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 107.43% to $1.01 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, POOL CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 5.49%.
RBA Chart RBA data by YCharts
7. Ritchie Bros. (RBA)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $2.9 billion
Year-to-date return: 1.1%

Ritchie Bros.

TheStreet Ratings team rates RITCHIE BROS AUCTIONEERS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"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 16.71%.
ESLT Chart ESLT data by YCharts
6. Elbit Systems Ltd. (ESLT)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $3.4 billion
Year-to-date return: 29.4%

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.

TheStreet Ratings team rates ELBIT SYSTEMS LTD as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"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 4.8%. 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 25.90%.
  • 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 29.01% 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.
JCOM Chart JCOM data by YCharts
5. j2 Global, Inc. (JCOM)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $3.3 billion
Year-to-date return: 9.9%

j2 Global, Inc. engages in the provision of Internet services worldwide. It operates through two segments, Business Cloud Services and Digital Media.

TheStreet Ratings team rates J2 GLOBAL INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate J2 GLOBAL INC (JCOM) 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, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and notable return on equity. 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 6.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 21.6%. 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 30.31% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. 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.
  • J2 GLOBAL 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, J2 GLOBAL INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.59 versus $2.29 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.92 versus $2.59).
  • 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 Internet Software & Services industry average. The net income increased by 11.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $35.05 million to $38.92 million.
  • 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 Internet Software & Services industry and the overall market, J2 GLOBAL INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
THG Chart THG data by YCharts
4. Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. (THG)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $3.5 billion
Year-to-date return: 9.8%

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.

TheStreet Ratings team rates HANOVER INSURANCE GROUP INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"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 14.8%. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
MTN Chart MTN data by YCharts
3. Vail Resorts, Inc. (MTN)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $3.9 billion
Year-to-date return: 17%

Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates mountain resorts and urban ski areas in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Mountain, Lodging, and Real Estate.

TheStreet Ratings team rates VAIL RESORTS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate VAIL RESORTS INC (MTN) 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, expanding profit margins, 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 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 4.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 46.07% is the gross profit margin for VAIL RESORTS 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 23.02% 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 Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry. The net income increased by 13.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $117.95 million to $133.41 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.66, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.42 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • 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 37.35% 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.
FAF Chart FAF data by YCharts
2. First American Financial Corporation (FAF)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $4.2 billion
Year-to-date return: 14%

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

TheStreet Ratings team rates FIRST AMERICAN FINANCIAL CP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"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 14.8%. 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 37.96% 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.
SFG Chart SFG data by YCharts
1. StanCorp Financial Group, Inc. (SFG)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $4.8 billion
Year-to-date return: 63.1%

StanCorp Financial Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides financial products and services in the United States. The company operates in two segments, Insurance Services and Asset Management.

TheStreet Ratings team rates STANCORP FINANCIAL GROUP INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate STANCORP FINANCIAL GROUP INC (SFG) 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 impressive record of earnings per share growth. 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 14.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Although SFG's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.23 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 61.29% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 72.64% 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, SFG 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 57.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $40.80 million to $64.30 million.
  • STANCORP FINANCIAL GROUP 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, STANCORP FINANCIAL GROUP INC reported lower earnings of $4.98 versus $5.13 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.73 versus $4.98).
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