Growth stocks have the potential to offer investors high returns, but the risks may be too steep for some investors. 

The potential for a company that develops a new technology or cure for a common or rare disease could fuel its stock price to rise exponentially in a relatively short period of time.

And while investors looking for growth need to take into account a company's return on equity, earnings-per-share growth and projected earnings, among other factors, they also need to be wary of the risks involved in when putting money into a stock that may not be a sure thing.

Here are the 21 A+-rated stocks that also have the highest growth rates via their revenue, cash flow, and earnings in the Russell 2000 Index, according to TheStreet Ratings, TheStreet's proprietary ratings tool. The stocks are from a variety of sectors. TheStreet included trailing 12-month revenue growth, net income growth and EPS growth on each company for comparison.

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.

Note: Stock ratings are as of Nov. 8, 2015.

ALE Chart ALE data by YCharts

1. Allete Inc. (ALE)
Industry: Utilities Non-Telecom/Electric Utilities
Market Cap: $2.56 billion
Year-to-date Return: -5.3%

12-Month Revenue Growth: 25.34%
12-Month Net Income Growth: 24.65%
12-Month EPS Growth: 9.36%

ALLETE, Inc. operates as an energy company. The company operates through Regulated Operations, and Investments and Other segments. It generates electricity from coal-fired, hydro, wind, and biomass co-fired facilities.

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

We rate ALLETE INC (ALE) 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, growth in earnings per share, compelling growth in net income 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:

  • ALE's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 0.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 60.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.85, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels.
  • ALLETE INC has improved earnings per share by 26.8% 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, ALLETE INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.90 versus $2.63 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.44 versus $2.90).
  • 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 45.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $41.60 million to $60.40 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 Electric Utilities industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, ALLETE INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: ALE

 

ALK Chart ALK data by YCharts

2. Alaska Air Group Inc. (ALK)
Industry: Industrials/Airlines
Market Cap: $9.78 billion
Year-to-date Return: 29.8%

12-Month Revenue Growth: 4.83%
12-Month Net Income Growth: 50.46%
12-Month EPS Growth: 59.17%

Alaska Air Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides passengers and cargo air transportation services primarily in the United States. The company operates through Alaska Mainline and Alaska Regional segments.

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

We rate ALASKA AIR GROUP INC (ALK) 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 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:

  • ALK's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 6.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.30, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 47.58% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 44.63% 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, ALK should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • ALASKA AIR GROUP INC has improved earnings per share by 47.6% 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, ALASKA AIR GROUP INC increased its bottom line by earning $4.43 versus $3.59 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($6.47 versus $4.43).
  • 42.84% is the gross profit margin for ALASKA AIR GROUP 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 18.08% trails the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: ALK

 

AOS Chart AOS data by YCharts

3. A. O. Smith Corp. (AOS)
Industry: Industrials/Building Products
Market Cap: $6.86 billion
Year-to-date Return: 38%

12-Month Revenue Growth: 10.3%
12-Month Net Income Growth: 30.1%
12-Month EPS Growth: 31.94%

O. Smith Corporation manufactures and markets water heaters and boilers to the residential and commercial end markets primarily in the United States, Canada, China, Europe, India, and the Middle East. It operates in two segments, North America and Rest of World.

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

We rate SMITH (A O) CORP (AOS) 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. 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:

  • AOS's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 5.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • AOS's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.18 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, AOS has a quick ratio of 1.74, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 46.42% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 47.86% 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, AOS should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • SMITH (A O) CORP has improved earnings per share by 46.4% 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, SMITH (A O) CORP increased its bottom line by earning $2.29 versus $1.83 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.11 versus $2.29).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Building Products industry. The net income increased by 45.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $50.60 million to $73.60 million.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: AOS

 

BCPC Chart BCPC data by YCharts

4. Balchem Corp. (BCPC)
Industry: Materials/Specialty Chemicals
Market Cap: $2 billion
Year-to-date Return: -3.1%

12-Month Revenue Growth: 26.51%
12-Month Net Income Growth: 41.6%
12-Month EPS Growth: 38.88%

Balchem Corporation develops, manufactures, and markets specialty performance ingredients and products for the food, nutritional, feed, pharmaceutical, and medical sterilization industries in the United States and internationally.

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

We rate BALCHEM CORP (BCPC) 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, expanding profit margins, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. 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 debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.67, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. To add to this, BCPC has a quick ratio of 1.89, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $28.98 million or 33.94% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 11.91%.
  • 37.89% is the gross profit margin for BALCHEM CORP 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 9.97% trails the industry average.
  • 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 Chemicals industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, BALCHEM CORP has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • BALCHEM CORP's earnings per share declined by 10.2% 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, BALCHEM CORP increased its bottom line by earning $1.70 versus $1.47 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.43 versus $1.70).
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: BCPC

 

CALM Chart CALM data by YCharts

5. Cal-Maine Foods Inc. (CALM)
Industry: Consumer Non-Discretionary/Packaged Foods & Meats
Market Cap: $2.66 billion
Year-to-date Return: 40.8%

12-Month Revenue Growth: 23.72%
12-Month Net Income Growth: 115.93%
12-Month EPS Growth: 115.87%

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.

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

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 robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels 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:

  • CALM's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 3.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 70.9%. 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 0.05 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, CALM has a quick ratio of 2.17, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • 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 Food Products industry and the overall market, CAL-MAINE FOODS INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • 44.95% is the gross profit margin for CAL-MAINE FOODS INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 23.45% is above that of the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: CALM

 

CBRL Chart CBRL data by YCharts

6. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. (CBRL)
Industry: Consumer Goods & Services/Restaurants
Market Cap: $3.27 billion
Year-to-date Return: -3.4%

12-Month Revenue Growth: 5.91%
12-Month Net Income Growth: 24.04%
12-Month EPS Growth: 23.55%

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. develops and operates the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store concept in the United States. The company's Cracker Barrel stores consist of a restaurant with a gift shop. Its restaurants provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

TheStreet Said: TheStreet Ratings team rates CRACKER BARREL OLD CTRY STOR as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate CRACKER BARREL OLD CTRY STOR (CBRL) 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. 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:

  • CBRL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost 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.
  • CRACKER BARREL OLD CTRY STOR has improved earnings per share by 20.9% 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, CRACKER BARREL OLD CTRY STOR increased its bottom line by earning $6.82 versus $5.52 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($7.25 versus $6.82).
  • 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 Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry average. The net income increased by 21.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $39.19 million to $47.40 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. When compared to other companies in the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry and the overall market, CRACKER BARREL OLD CTRY STOR's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: CBRL

 

COLB Chart COLB data by YCharts

7. Columbia Banking Systems Inc. (COLB)
Industry: Financial Services/Regional Banks
Market Cap: $2 billion
Year-to-date Return: 28.9%

12-Month Revenue Growth: 12.98%
12-Month Net Income Growth: 10.14%
12-Month EPS Growth: 1.92%

Columbia Banking System, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Columbia State Bank that provides various banking products and services to small and medium-sized businesses, professionals, and individuals in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

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

We rate COLUMBIA BANKING SYSTEM INC (COLB) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. 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 0.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 13.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • COLUMBIA BANKING SYSTEM INC has improved earnings per share by 9.8% 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, COLUMBIA BANKING SYSTEM INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.52 versus $1.22 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.75 versus $1.52).
  • 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 19.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $21.58 million to $25.78 million.
  • 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 gross profit margin for COLUMBIA BANKING SYSTEM INC is currently very high, coming in at 96.38%. Regardless of COLB'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 24.51% trails the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: COLB

 

CVG Chart CVG data by YCharts

8. Convergys Corp. (CVG)
Industry: Technology/Data Processing & Outsourced Services
Market Cap: $2.5 billion
Year-to-date Return: 25.7%

12-Month Revenue Growth: 13.12%
12-Month Net Income Growth: 248%
12-Month EPS Growth: 286.04%

Convergys Corporation provides customer management services to communications and media, technology, financial services, retail, and healthcare industries in North America and internationally.

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

We rate CONVERGYS CORP (CVG) 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, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels 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 96.42% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 25.06% 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.
  • CONVERGYS 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 two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, CONVERGYS CORP increased its bottom line by earning $1.10 versus $0.52 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.72 versus $1.10).
  • CVG's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.25 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, CVG has a quick ratio of 1.81, 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. Compared to other companies in the IT Services industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, CONVERGYS CORP has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: CVG

 

ES Chart ES data by YCharts

9. Eversource Energy (ES)
Industry: Utilities Non-Telecom/Electric Utilities
Market Cap: $16.2 billion
Year-to-date Return: -4.6%

12-Month Revenue Growth: 6.62%
12-Month Net Income Growth: 18.43%
12-Month EPS Growth: 18.03%

Eversource Energy, a public utility holding company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the energy delivery business. The company operates in three segments: Electric Distribution, Electric Transmission, and Natural Gas Distribution.

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

We rate EVERSOURCE ENERGY (ES) 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, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and reasonable 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:

  • ES's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.1%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displaying stagnant earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Electric Utilities industry average. The net income increased by 0.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $234.61 million to $235.92 million.
  • EVERSOURCE ENERGY reported flat earnings per share in the most recent quarter. 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, EVERSOURCE ENERGY increased its bottom line by earning $2.57 versus $2.48 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.85 versus $2.57).
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.96, 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 0.36 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • 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 Electric Utilities industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, EVERSOURCE ENERGY has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: ES

 

HFWA Chart HFWA data by YCharts

10. Heritage Financial Corp. (HFWA)
Industry: Financial Services/Regional Banks
Market Cap: $583 million
Year-to-date Return: 10.8%

12-Month Revenue Growth: 46.08%
12-Month Net Income Growth: 143.63%
12-Month EPS Growth: 98.30%

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

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

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 revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. 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:

  • HFWA's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • HERITAGE FINANCIAL CORP has improved earnings per share by 39.1% 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 ($1.23 versus $0.79).
  • 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 34.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $7.07 million to $9.49 million.
  • The gross profit margin for HERITAGE FINANCIAL CORP is currently very high, coming in at 94.44%. 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 22.06% 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. 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.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: HFWA

 

HOMB Chart HOMB data by YCharts

11. Home Bancshares Inc. (HOMB)
Industry: Financial Services/Regional Banks
Market Cap: $3.26 billion
Year-to-date Return: 44.6%

12-Month Revenue Growth: 13.48%
12-Month Net Income Growth: 36.01%
12-Month EPS Growth: 32.41%

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 Said: 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, notable return on equity 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 0.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 20.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • HOME BANCSHARES INC has improved earnings per share by 26.8% 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 ($2.04 versus $1.70).
  • 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 30.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $27.37 million to $35.74 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 Commercial Banks industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, HOME BANCSHARES INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 26.82% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 38.77% 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.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: HOMB

 

 

MNRO Chart MNRO data by YCharts

12. Monro Muffler Brake Inc. (MNRO)
Industry: Consumer Goods & Services/Automotive Retail
Market Cap: $2.34 billion
Year-to-date Return: 37.3%

12-Month Revenue Growth: 8.45%
12-Month Net Income Growth: 9.43%
12-Month EPS Growth: 8.64%

Monro Muffler Brake, Inc. provides automotive undercar repair and tire services in the United States. The company offers a range of services on passenger cars, light trucks, and vans for brakes; mufflers and exhaust systems; and steering, drive train, suspension, and wheel alignment.

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

We rate MONRO MUFFLER BRAKE INC (MNRO) 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 growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, revenue growth, 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:

  • MONRO MUFFLER BRAKE INC 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, MONRO MUFFLER BRAKE INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.89 versus $1.67 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.16 versus $1.89).
  • 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 Specialty Retail industry average. The net income increased by 15.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $16.33 million to $18.87 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 9.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.1%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.60, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels.
  • 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 35.62% 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.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: MNRO

 

MSEX Chart MSEX data by YCharts

13. Middlesex Water Co. (MSEX)
Industry: Utilities Non-Telecom/Water Utilities
Market Cap: $404 million
Year-to-date Return: %

12-Month Revenue Growth: 5.79%
12-Month Net Income Growth: 8.05%
12-Month EPS Growth: 6.36%

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.

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

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, good cash flow from operations, 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:

  • MSEX's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 6.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.1%. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $8.97 million or 3.95% 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 -96.08%.
  • MIDDLESEX WATER CO' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. 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, 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).
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.77, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Despite the fact that MSEX's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.54, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
  • 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.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: MSEX

 

OZRK Chart OZRK data by YCharts

14. Bank of the Ozarks Inc. (OZRK)
Industry: Financial Services/Regional Banks
Market Cap: $4.8 billion
Year-to-date Return: 43.8%

12-Month Revenue Growth: 2.4%
12-Month Net Income Growth: 52.92%
12-Month EPS Growth: 36.87%

Bank of the Ozarks, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Bank of the Ozarks that provides a range of retail and commercial banking services. The company accepts various deposits products, such as checking, savings, money market, time deposit, and individual retirement accounts.

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

We rate BANK OF THE OZARKS INC (OZRK) 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 impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. 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:

  • BANK OF THE OZARKS INC has improved earnings per share by 30.0% 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, BANK OF THE OZARKS INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.51 versus $1.26 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.06 versus $1.51).
  • 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 43.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $32.09 million to $46.13 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 Commercial Banks industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, BANK OF THE OZARKS INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 30.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 47.12% 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.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: OZRK

 

 

PFBC Chart PFBC data by YCharts

15. Preferred Bank Los Angeles (PFBC)
Industry: Financial Services/Regional Banks
Market Cap: $479 million
Year-to-date Return: 30.3%

12-Month Revenue Growth: 18.33%
12-Month Net Income Growth: 23.12%
12-Month EPS Growth: 21.38%

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 Said: 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins 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 0.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 18.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • PREFERRED BANK LOS ANGELES has improved earnings per share by 23.9% 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, 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 ($2.13 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 24.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $6.36 million to $7.90 million.
  • The gross profit margin for PREFERRED BANK LOS ANGELES is currently very high, coming in at 87.03%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 31.20% is above that of 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 30.85% 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.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: PFBC

 

PLOW Chart PLOW data by YCharts

16. Douglas Dynamics Inc. (PLOW)
Industry: Industrials/Construction & Farm Machinery & Heavy Trucks
Market Cap: $496 million
Year-to-date Return: 3.4%

12-Month Revenue Growth: 38.05%
12-Month Net Income Growth: 18.62%
12-Month EPS Growth: 17.94%

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 Said: 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, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and notable return on equity. 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:

  • PLOW's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 19.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 52.9%. 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.
  • DOUGLAS DYNAMICS INC has improved earnings per share by 44.7% 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, DOUGLAS DYNAMICS INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.76 versus $0.51 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.87 versus $1.76).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Machinery industry. The net income increased by 44.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $10.76 million to $15.55 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 Machinery industry and the overall market, DOUGLAS DYNAMICS INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: PLOW

 

SIGI Chart SIGI data by YCharts

17. Selective Insurance Group Inc. (SIGI)
Industry: Financial Services/Property & Casualty Insurance
Market Cap: $2 billion
Year-to-date Return: 29.6%

12-Month Revenue Growth: 4.82%
12-Month Net Income Growth: 28.62%
12-Month EPS Growth: 27.85%

Selective Insurance Group, Inc. provides insurance products and services in the United States. It operates in four segments: Standard Commercial Lines, Standard Personal Lines, excess and surplus (E&S) Lines, and Investments.

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

We rate SELECTIVE INS GROUP INC (SIGI) 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, good cash flow from operations 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:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 17.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.4%. 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.
  • Although SIGI'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, SIGI's share price has jumped by 36.76%, 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, SIGI 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 $93.44 million or 9.34% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, SELECTIVE INS GROUP INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -61.22%.
  • SELECTIVE INS GROUP INC's earnings per share declined by 12.9% 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, SELECTIVE INS GROUP INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.47 versus $1.89 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.60 versus $2.47).
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: SIGI

 

TCBK Chart TCBK data by YCharts

18. TriCo Bancshares (TCBK)
Industry: Financial Services/Regional Banks
Market Cap: $650 million
Year-to-date Return: 15.7%

12-Month Revenue Growth: 37.91%
12-Month Net Income Growth: 48.07%
12-Month EPS Growth: 5.09%

TriCo Bancshares operates as a bank holding company for Tri Counties Bank that provides commercial banking services to retail customers and small to medium-sized businesses in Northern and Central California.

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

We rate TRICO BANCSHARES (TCBK) 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, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins and attractive valuation levels. 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 0.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 40.4%. 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 significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Banks industry. The net income increased by 54.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $8.23 million to $12.69 million.
  • TRICO BANCSHARES has improved earnings per share by 10.0% 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, TRICO BANCSHARES reported lower earnings of $1.50 versus $1.69 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.90 versus $1.50).
  • The gross profit margin for TRICO BANCSHARES is currently very high, coming in at 99.11%. Regardless of TCBK'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 23.96% trails the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: TCBK

 

UBSH Chart UBSH data by YCharts

19. Union Bankshares Corp. (UBSH)
Industry: Financial Services/Regional Banks
Market Cap: $1.2 billion
Year-to-date Return: 10.2%

12-Month Revenue Growth: 11.23%
12-Month Net Income Growth: 41.67%
12-Month EPS Growth: 25.66%

Union Bankshares Corporation operates as the bank holding company for Union Bank & Trust that provides banking and related financial services to consumers and businesses throughout Virginia. The company operates in two segments, Community Bank and Mortgage.

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

We rate UNION BANKSHARES CORP (UBSH) 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, compelling growth in net income, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth 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:

  • UBSH's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.9%. 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 greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Commercial Banks industry average. The net income increased by 22.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $14.92 million to $18.22 million.
  • 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. 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.
  • UNION BANKSHARES CORP has improved earnings per share by 21.2% 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, UNION BANKSHARES CORP reported lower earnings of $1.14 versus $1.38 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.50 versus $1.14).
  • The gross profit margin for UNION BANKSHARES CORP is currently very high, coming in at 90.06%. Regardless of UBSH'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 21.00% trails the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: UBSH

 

UVE Chart UVE data by YCharts

20. Universal Insurance Holdings (UVE)
Industry: Financial Services/Property & Casualty Insurance
Market Cap: $1.1 billion
Year-to-date Return: 54.7%

12-Month Revenue Growth: 42.80%
12-Month Net Income Growth: 45.42%
12-Month EPS Growth: 42.70%

Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides various property and casualty insurance products. The company primarily underwrites homeowners' insurance products; and offers reinsurance intermediary brokerage services.

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

We rate UNIVERSAL INSURANCE HLDGS (UVE) 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, 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:

  • UVE's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 17.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 51.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • UVE's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.09 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 37.70% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 75.29% 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, UVE should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • UNIVERSAL INSURANCE HLDGS has improved earnings per share by 37.7% 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, UNIVERSAL INSURANCE HLDGS increased its bottom line by earning $2.07 versus $1.57 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.85 versus $2.07).
  • 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 42.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $21.34 million to $30.30 million.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: UVE

 

YORW Chart YORW data by YCharts

21. York Water Co. (YORW)
Industry: Utilities Non-Telecom/Water Utilities
Market Cap: $300 million
Year-to-date Return: 7.8%

12-Month Revenue Growth: 6.25%
12-Month Net Income Growth: 20.19%
12-Month EPS Growth: 19.23%

The York Water Company impounds, purifies, and distributes drinking water. It owns and operates two wastewater collection and treatment systems; and has two reservoirs comprising Lake Williams and Lake Redman, which together hold up to approximately 2.2 billion gallons of water.

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

We rate YORK WATER CO (YORW) 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, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. 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 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 Water Utilities industry average. The net income increased by 6.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $2.76 million to $2.93 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 6.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.1%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displaying stagnant earnings per share.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.79, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.19, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • YORK WATER CO reported flat earnings per share in the most recent quarter. 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, YORK WATER CO increased its bottom line by earning $0.89 versus $0.75 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.92 versus $0.89).
  • 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 Water Utilities industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, YORK WATER CO has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: YORW

 

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