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Stock picking is not rocket science - it simply involves using the criteria that matches your investing style and needs. I usually invest in growth stocks, but over time I have observed that picking growth stocks that have attractive valuation and positive analyst ratings ends up being a pretty good bet in the long run.

In this article, we will discuss stocks that have low valuation, high growth projections and have overall positive analyst ratings. For valuation, we look at stocks with next year's P/E estimate low relative to their corresponding industry's next year P/E. For growth, we look at a series of earnings (actually EPS) trends after comparing EPS performance over different time periods, such as 2013's estimated EPS versus 2012's actual EPS, 2014's estimated EPS over 2013's estimated EPS, and forward or long term growth projections for the next three-five years.

Next, for the comfort of the retail investor who usually favors low-priced stocks, we narrow down this list to stocks that are trading at less than $10. With this additional filter, we get four results, shown below.

(1) Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc (NYSE:ANW)

ANW - 3 Month PriceAegean Marine Petroleum Network is a Greece-based logistics and transportation company that engages in water-based transportation of marine fuel and lubricants. This company will benefit from an overall increase in energy demand stemming from economic growth and there is a huge growth opportunity in the LNG transport business.

This company has a next year's estimated P/E of 6, much lower compared to the Transportation Infrastructure industry's P/E for 2014 of 16.6.

  • Current Price (as of April 29, 2013): $6.18
  • Sector and Industry: Industrials - Transportation Infrastructure
  • Next year's estimated P/E: 6.0
  • EPS Growth (2013 versus 2012): 40.36%
  • EPS Growth (2014 versus 2013): 30.15%
  • Long-Term EPS Growth (three to five years, forward): 26.40%
  • EPS forecasts for future years: Positive (see graph below).

    ANW - EPS Forecasts

(2) Ing Groep NV (NYSE:ING)

ING - 3 Months Chart

Ing Groep NV is a financial company based in Netherlands, offering banking, insurance and asset management services worldwide.

The company incurred huge losses around the 2009 financial meltdown, but is on the way to recovery since then. It is undergoing de-risking of the balance sheet, as well as restructuring lately, according to its recent earnings transcript.

ING Groep has an estimated P/E of 4.9 for next year, much lower compared to the Transportation Infrastructure industry's P/E of 10.7 for 2014.

  • Current Price (as of April 29, 2013): $8.29
  • Sector and Industry: Financials - Diversified Financial Services
  • Next year's estimated P/E: 4.9
  • EPS Growth (2013 versus 2012): 62.13%
  • EPS Growth (2014 versus 2013): 16.63%
  • Long-Term EPS Growth (three to five years, forward): 24.60%
  • EPS forecasts for future years: Positive (see graph below).

    ING - EPS Forecasts

(3) National American University Holdings (NASDAQ:NAUH)

NUAH - 3 Months PriceU.S. based National American University Holdings provides education services for working adults in the United States, through its North American University brand. The company serves around eleven thousand students in a variety of disciplines, including some specialized programs in healthcare.

This company belongs to the Diversified Consumer Services industry in the Consumer Discretionary Sector, which includes companies providing Educational Services, and has a 2014 P/E of 10.5 compared to the sector's P/E of 15.2.

  • Current Price (as of April 29, 2013): $3.40
  • Sector and Industry: Consumer Discretionary - Diversified Consumer Services
  • Next year's estimated P/E: 10.5
  • EPS Growth (2013 versus 2012): 23.68%
  • EPS Growth (2014 versus 2013): 37.45%
  • Long-Term EPS Growth (three to five years, forward): 17.50%
  • EPS forecasts for future years: Positive (see graph below).

    NAUH - EPS Forecasts

(4) Graphic Packaging Holding (NYSE:GPK)

GPK - 3 Month ChartGraphic Packaging Holding provides paperboard as well as flexible packaging solutions in the Americas (including the U.S., Canada, Central and South America), Europe and Asia Pacific regions. The company is attractively valued among peer small-cap members of the Materials sector, with a P/E of 12.9.

  • Current Price (as of April 29, 2013): $7.49
  • Sector and Industry: Materials - Containers and Packaging
  • Next year's estimated P/E: 12.9
  • EPS Growth (2013 versus 2012): 30.81%
  • EPS Growth (2014 versus 2013): 19.63%
  • Long-Term EPS Growth (three to five years, forward): 18.31%
  • EPS forecasts for future years: Positive (see graph below).

    GPK - EPS Forecasts

Conclusion

Investors must understand that low-priced stocks are usually more volatile and it is important to stick to the fundamental growth story that is backing the stock. These investments are for a long-term horizon because we consider earnings growth projections in the next three years or so.

In addition, it is never a great idea to chase stocks when markets are at all-time highs; it is recommended that one waits for an overall pullback in the major indices and then accumulates these stocks over time.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.