This article has been updated from Sept. 30, 2015 with market commentary. 

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The U.S. market indexes had modest gains in the first half of the year, but stocks took a major nosedive in August, following China's stock market crash amid troubles of slowing growth there. The continued precipitous decline in oil (and now other commodities, too) as Wall Street continues to wait for the Fed to raise interest rates (which now looks like December) all contributed to choppy markets this year. 

But as a result of August's stock market selloff, the S&P 500 index had its worst quarterly performance in four years, slumping 6.9% for the three-months ending Sept. 30. The index is down 6.7% for the year.

"U.S. stocks fell into correction territory in the [third quarter], but we believe this had more to do about fear and overreaction to the same old Emerging Market, commodity and Fed worries as opposed to any real deterioration in U.S. stock fundamentals, which we believe remain in good shape," BMO Capital Markets analysts wrote in an Oct. 1 note. BMO Capital Markets is a division of Bank of Montreal (BMO - Get Report) .

"Our secular bull market call for U.S. stocks remains intact as bear market ingredients are not present. Corrections tend to occur in August, September and October and this one was long overdue," the note said.

The macro economy is expected to "hum along at the current pace of 3% or better" in the fourth quarter, according to JPMorgan Chase (JPM - Get Report) analysts, "largely to high consumer confidence and low price of oil and other commodities."

Despite some pretty tumultuous market days this year, there have been a handful of stocks with big wins so far, with Netflix (NFLX - Get Report) remaining in the lead year-to-date. The streaming media service company has more than doubled its stock this year. Including Netflix, here are the 10 best-performing stocks in 2015, paired with TheStreet Ratings to let you know if you should buy or sell these stocks as we head into the final quarter of the year.

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.

MLM Chart MLM data by YCharts

10. Martins Marietta Materials (MLM - Get Report)
Industry: Materials/Construction Materials
Market Cap: $10 billion
Year-to-date return: 37.7%

TheStreet Said: TheStreet Ratings team rates MARTIN MARIETTA MATERIALS as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate MARTIN MARIETTA MATERIALS (MLM) 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 largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. 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 greatly exceeded the industry average of 3.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 37.7%. 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.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Construction Materials industry. The net income increased by 37.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $59.52 million to $81.94 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $91.94 million or 44.22% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, MARTIN MARIETTA MATERIALS has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 37.91%.
  • 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.
  • MARTIN MARIETTA MATERIALS' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, MARTIN MARIETTA MATERIALS reported lower earnings of $2.53 versus $2.61 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.89 versus $2.53).
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: MLM


RAI Chart RAI data by YCharts

9. Reynolds American Inc. (RAI)
Industry: Consumer Non-Discretionary/Tobacco
Market Cap: $62.1 billion
Year-to-date return: 37.7%

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

We rate REYNOLDS AMERICAN INC (RAI) 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 good cash flow from operations. 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 14.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 267.39% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 44.75% 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.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Tobacco industry. The net income increased by 291.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $492.00 million to $1,928.00 million.
  • The gross profit margin for REYNOLDS AMERICAN INC is rather high; currently it is at 55.93%. Regardless of RAI's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, RAI's net profit margin of 80.23% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to -$632.00 million or 3.80% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, REYNOLDS AMERICAN INC's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 41.52%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: RAI

EXPE Chart EXPE data by YCharts

8. Expedia Inc. (EXPE - Get Report)
Industry: Consumer Goods & Services/Internet Retail
Market Cap: $14.7 billion
Year-to-date return: 37.8%

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

We rate EXPEDIA INC (EXPE) 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

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

  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 404.47% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 40.21% 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, EXPE should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • EXPEDIA INC 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 two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, EXPEDIA INC increased its bottom line by earning $3.00 versus $1.66 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.11 versus $3.00).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Internet & Catalog Retail industry. The net income increased by 403.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $89.37 million to $449.64 million.
  • EXPE's revenue growth trails the industry average of 33.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Internet & Catalog Retail industry and the overall market, EXPEDIA INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: EXPE


SBUX Chart SBUX data by YCharts

7. Starbucks Corp. (SBUX - Get Report)
Industry: Consumer Goods & Services/Restaurants
Market Cap: $83.5 billion 
Year-to-date return: 38.5%

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

We rate STARBUCKS CORP (SBUX) 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and notable return on equity. 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 3.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 17.5%. 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 54.99% 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.
  • STARBUCKS CORP has improved earnings per share by 22.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, STARBUCKS CORP turned its bottom line around by earning $1.36 versus -$0.01 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.58 versus $1.36).
  • 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 22.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $512.70 million to $626.60 million.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry and the overall market, STARBUCKS CORP's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: SBUX


UA Chart UA data by YCharts

6. Under Armour Inc. (UA - Get Report)
Industry: Consumer Goods & Services/Apparel, Accessories & Luxury Goods
Market Cap: $20.3 billion 
Year-to-date return: 42.5%

TheStreet Said: TheStreet Ratings team rates UNDER ARMOUR INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate UNDER ARMOUR INC (UA) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. 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 13.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 28.5%. 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, UA's share price has jumped by 48.79%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. 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.
  • UNDER ARMOUR INC's earnings per share declined by 12.5% 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, UNDER ARMOUR INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.95 versus $0.75 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.07 versus $0.95).
  • The gross profit margin for UNDER ARMOUR INC is rather high; currently it is at 51.53%. Regardless of UA's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, UA's net profit margin of 1.88% is significantly lower than the industry average.
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.51, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 0.89 is weak.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: UA

EA Chart EA data by YCharts

5. Electronic Arts Inc. (EA - Get Report)
Industry: Technology/Home Entertainment Software
Market Cap: $20.7 billion
Year-to-date return: 44.1%

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

We rate ELECTRONIC ARTS INC (EA) 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

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

  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 26.92% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 86.62% 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.
  • ELECTRONIC ARTS INC has improved earnings per share by 26.9% 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, ELECTRONIC ARTS INC turned its bottom line around by earning $2.68 versus -$0.03 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.92 versus $2.68).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Software industry. The net income increased by 31.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $335.00 million to $442.00 million.
  • EA'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. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.49, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Software industry and the overall market, ELECTRONIC ARTS INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: EA


ATVI Chart ATVI data by YCharts

4. Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI - Get Report)
Industry: Technology/Home Entertainment Software
Market Cap: $22.6 billion
Year-to-date return: 53.3%

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

We rate ACTIVISION BLIZZARD INC (ATVI) 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, 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 10.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.6%. 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 48.46% 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, ATVI should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • The gross profit margin for ACTIVISION BLIZZARD INC is currently very high, coming in at 81.80%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $135.00 million or 27.35% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, ACTIVISION BLIZZARD INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -30.52%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: ATVI

 

CVC Chart CVC data by YCharts

3. Cablevision Systems Corp. (CVC)
Industry: Consumer Goods & Services/Cable & Satellite
Market Cap: $8.9 billion
Year-to-date return: 57.3%

TheStreet Said: TheStreet Ratings team rates CABLEVISION SYS CORP as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate CABLEVISION SYS CORP (CVC) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed ? some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, weak operating cash flow and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

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

  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 6.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.6%. 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.
  • The gross profit margin for CABLEVISION SYS CORP is rather high; currently it is at 51.28%. Regardless of CVC's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 4.57% trails the industry average.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and greatly underperformed compared to the Media industry average. The net income has decreased by 19.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $94.21 million to $75.60 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $368.70 million or 12.87% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: CVC

 

AMZN Chart AMZN data by YCharts

2. Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN - Get Report)
Industry: Consumer Goods & Services/Internet Retail
Market Cap: $233.7 billion
Year-to-date return: 64.9%

TheStreet Said: TheStreet Ratings team rates AMAZON.COM INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate AMAZON.COM INC (AMZN) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed ? some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, robust revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's return on equity has been disappointing.

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 Internet & Catalog Retail industry. The net income increased by 173.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$126.00 million to $92.00 million.
  • AMZN's revenue growth trails the industry average of 33.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 19.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 41.10% is the gross profit margin for AMAZON.COM INC which we consider to be strong. 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 0.39% trails the industry average.
  • AMAZON.COM 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, AMAZON.COM INC swung to a loss, reporting -$0.54 versus $0.58 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.62 versus -$0.54).
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Internet & Catalog Retail industry and the overall market, AMAZON.COM INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: AMZN


NFLX Chart NFLX data by YCharts
1. Netflix Inc. (NFLX - Get Report)
Industry: Consumer Goods & Services/Internet Retail
Market Cap: $42.4 billion
Year-to-date return: 111.6%

TheStreet Said: TheStreet Ratings team rates NETFLIX INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate NETFLIX INC (NFLX) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed ? some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity.

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

  • NFLX's revenue growth trails the industry average of 33.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 22.7%. 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.
  • The gross profit margin for NETFLIX INC is currently very high, coming in at 84.02%. 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 1.60% trails the industry average.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Internet & Catalog Retail industry and the overall market, NETFLIX INC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: NFLX