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The third quarter earnings season is about over. It's time to take stock (no pun intended, well, maybe it was).

After each quarter's earnings season, I try to pull together what I call the Growth Report. Part 1 compiles the list of stocks that have shown a year-over-year increase in both revenue and earnings AND a sequential quarter-over-quarter increase in both revenue and earnings. Given the perception that the economic downturn is easing, it will be interesting to see how many companies have been able to to pull off this trick.

The following table presents a comparison of the last three quarters:

Q1-2009Q2-2009Q3-2009
In S&P 500274139
All stocks218312281

The number of stocks in the S&P 500 that qualified as growth leaders and made it onto the Q2 Growth Report grew by 50% over the first quarter. Comparisons, however, are becoming more difficult. In Q3, we are actually seeing a small decrease is the number of growth leaders as compared to Q2.

Repeat winners --

There are 33 stocks that managed to make the list in all three quarters this year. These stocks are not only growth leaders they are truly consistent growth leaders during difficult economic times. Here's the list :

Symbol Name
AIRM Air Methods Corporation
AMED Amedisys Inc
APT ALPHA PRO TECH, LTD.
ASIA AsiaInfo Holdings, Inc.
CACC Credit Acceptance Corporation
CNU CONTINUCARE CORPORATION
COCO Corinthian Colleges, Inc.
CRM SALESFORCE.COM, INC.
CRN CORNELL COMPANIES, INC.
CTFO China TransInfo Technology Corp.
CUB CUBIC CORPORATION
EBIX Ebix Inc
EBS EMERGENT BIOSOLUTIONS, INC.
FMR FIRST MERCURY FINANCIAL CORPORATION
GTS TRIPLE-S MANAGEMENT CORP.
HTS HATTERAS FINANCIAL CORP.
IDCC InterDigital, Inc.
INMD IntegraMed America, Inc.
LINC Lincoln Educational Services Corporation
MED MEDIFAST, INC.
NHC NATIONAL HEALTHCARE CORP.
ORLY O'Reilly Automotive, Inc.
ROST Ross Stores, Inc.
SEP SPECTRA ENERGY PARTNERS, LP
SF STIFEL FINANCIAL CORP.
SQM SOCIEDAD QUIMICA Y MINERA DE CHILE SA
SVT SERVOTRONICS, INC.
TNDM Neutral Tandem, Inc.
TRU TORCH ENERGY ROYALTY TRUST
TSTC Telestone Technologies Corp.
TYL TYLER TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
VIT VANCEINFO TECHNOLOGIES INC
YORW The York Water Company


Interestingly, this is exactly half as many stocks as we saw when combining Q1 and Q2.

Conclusion --

Even as many companies beat earnings estimates this quarter, there was still much concern over the fact that revenues were not growing as fast as many analysts had hoped. Again, cost cutting helped many companies achieved their profitable results. Our results seem to bear this out - there was no increase in the number of stocks that registered sequential and year-over-year increases in revenues and earnings. Indeed, the numbers decreased a litlle.

This makes the achievement of the stocks that did register strong results all the more remarkable.

You can click this link to download a spreadsheet that lists all the individual stocks that qualified for the Q3 Growth Report.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Q3 Growth Report where we discuss the those stocks that raised their dividends in the last quarter.

Source: Growth Report for Third Quarter 2009 - Part I