"Under-the-Radar Stocks" is a daily feature that uncovers little-known companies worthy of investors' consideration. Check in at 5 every morning to find out about stocks that tend to beat their bigger brethren.
are soaring in 2009. The
has surged 15% since January and is up 40% from its March bottom. But a shift in sentiment catalyzed a broad sell-off this week.
That means it's time to buy if you're an opportunistic
. If you're in the market for growth
but wary of overplayed names like
Research In Motion
( RIMM), look no further. Here's an information-technology services stock that's poised to gain this year.
has developed a recession-resistant business model. The online supplier of graphic design and customized printing offers inexpensive marketing services to small businesses. When times are tough, small businesses turn to VistaPrint for marketing materials instead of traditional advertising firms. When the economy is flourishing, the company attracts startups looking for cheap promotional tools.
VistaPrint has increased earnings for 11 straight quarters. Revenue climbed 21% to $128 million and net income rose to $14.2 million, or 33 cents a share, in the fiscal third quarter, which ended in March. Its operating margin strengthened to 13%. The company has a strong balance sheet, with $114 million of cash and just $19 million of long-term debt. We give VistaPrint a financial strength score of 6.9 out of 10.
Sound financials come at a price. VistaPrint is an expensive stock with a price-to-earnings ratio of 36, making it 25% more costly than rivals in the Internet software and services industry. The shares are also expensive when you compare them to the company's cash flow, book value and sales. And the company doesn't pay dividends.
However, profit figures don't tell the whole story. If you look at the company's projected earnings, VistaPrint trades at a ratio of 21, which is 25% less than its average peer.
We upgraded the stock to "buy" on May 13 because of its impressive performance. The stock has more than doubled this year, while the
Russell 3000 Index
has gained 1.7%.
We believe VistaPrint's versatile business model and record of beating Wall Street expectations merits the high stock price. In April, the company formed an alliance with
, which should help it add customers and boost performance this quarter.
TSC Ratings provides exclusive stock, ETF and mutual fund ratings and commentary based on award-winning, proprietary tools. Its "safety first" approach to investing aims to reduce risk while seeking solid outperformance on a total return basis.