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The following is a list of companies approaching 52-week highs. All of these companies are more profitable than their competitors, when comparing gross margins and net profit margins.

We won't be going into detailed analysis for each company. The goal here is to give you a starting point for your own analysis.

Industry comps sourced from Reuters. Full analysis below.

The list has been sorted alphabetically.

1. Air Products & Chemicals Inc. (NYSE:APD): Chemicals Industry. Market Cap of $17.5B. TTM Gross Margins at 27.84% vs. industry avg. at 1.56%. 5yr avg. Gross Margins at 26.64% vs. industry avg. at 18.79%. 5yr avg. Net Profit margin at 9.88% vs. industry avg. at 6.60%.

2. Bucyrus International Inc. (NASDAQ:BUCY): Farm & Construction Machinery Industry. Market Cap of $5.88B. TTM Gross Margins at 30.45% vs. industry avg. at 22.52%. 5yr avg. Gross Margins at 27.47% vs. industry avg. at 26.76%. 5yr avg. Net Profit margin at 9.97% vs. industry avg. at 5.77%.

3. Concho Resources, Inc. (NYSE:CXO): Oil & Gas Drilling & Exploration Industry. Market Cap of $6.23B. TTM Gross Margins at 82.25% vs. industry avg. at 51.10%. 5yr avg. Gross Margins at 81.17% vs. industry avg. at 44.42%. 5yr avg. Net Profit margin at 19.43% vs. industry avg. at 11.49%.

4. Diageo plc (NYSE:DEO): Wineries & Distillers Industry. Market Cap of $44.03B. TTM Gross Margins at 58.09% vs. industry avg. at 38.83%. 5yr avg. Gross Margins at 65.18% vs. industry avg. at 45.95%. 5yr avg. Net Profit margin at 20.06% vs. industry avg. at 4.61%.

5. Family Dollar Stores Inc. (NYSE:FDO): Discount and Variety Stores Industry. Market Cap of $6.14B. TTM Gross Margins at 35.67% vs. industry avg. at 17.93%. 5yr avg. Gross Margins at 33.74% vs. industry avg. at 24.60%. 5yr avg. Net Profit margin at 3.53% vs. industry avg. at 2.98%.

6. HEICO Corp. (NYSE:HEI): Aerospace/Defense Products & Services Industry. Market Cap of $1.55B. TTM Gross Margins at 35.53% vs. industry avg. at 11.42%. 5yr avg. Gross Margins at 35.47% vs. industry avg. at 33.02%. 5yr avg. Net Profit margin at 11.07% vs. industry avg. at 9.39%.

7. Holly Energy Partners L.P (NYSE:HEP): Oil & Gas Pipelines Industry. Market Cap of $1.17B. TTM Gross Margins at 70.02% vs. industry avg. at 42.02%. 5yr avg. Gross Margins at 67.87% vs. industry avg. at 38.71%. 5yr avg. Net Profit margin at 30.18% vs. industry avg. at 13.20%.

8. Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF): Drug Related Products Industry. Market Cap of $3.74B. TTM Gross Margins at 78.52% vs. industry avg. at 25.21%. 5yr avg. Gross Margins at 79.71% vs. industry avg. at 52.40%. 5yr avg. Net Profit margin at 8.29% vs. industry avg. at 8.19%.

9. HJ Heinz Co. (NYSE:HNZ): Food Industry. Market Cap of $15.25B. TTM Gross Margins at 36.36% vs. industry avg. at 17.74%. 5yr avg. Gross Margins at 36.43% vs. industry avg. at 31.64%. 5yr avg. Net Profit margin at 8.26% vs. industry avg. at 4.83%.

10. Jos. A Bank Clothiers Inc. (NASDAQ:JOSB): Apparel Stores Industry. Market Cap of $1.25B. TTM Gross Margins at 62.21% vs. industry avg. at 27.87%. 5yr avg. Gross Margins at 61.92% vs. industry avg. at 44.84%. 5yr avg. Net Profit margin at 8.38% vs. industry avg. at 5.79%.

11. Knoll Inc. (NYSE:KNL): Business Equipment Industry. Market Cap of $770.35M. TTM Gross Margins at 33.25% vs. industry avg. at 16.40%. 5yr avg. Gross Margins at 34.15% vs. industry avg. at 25.37%. 5yr avg. Net Profit margin at 5.86% vs. industry avg. at 2.44%.

12. Middleby Corp. (NASDAQ:MIDD): Diversified Machinery Industry. Market Cap of $1.22B. TTM Gross Margins at 39.56% vs. industry avg. at 21.35%. 5yr avg. Gross Margins at 38.50% vs. industry avg. at 27.66%. 5yr avg. Net Profit margin at 10.01% vs. industry avg. at 3.02%.

13. 3M Co. (NYSE:MMM): Conglomerates Industry. Market Cap of $63.40B. TTM Gross Margins at 48.68% vs. industry avg. at 11.04%. 5yr avg. Gross Margins at 48.40% vs. industry avg. at 16.56%. 5yr avg. Net Profit margin at 15.41% vs. industry avg. at 3.06%.

14. Novo Nordisk A/S (NYSE:NVO): Drug Manufacturing. Market Cap of $59.88B. TTM Gross Margins at 79.91% vs. industry avg. at 24.58%. 5yr avg. Gross Margins at 76.73% vs. industry avg. at 59.80%. 5yr avg. Net Profit margin at 19.55% vs. industry avg. at 13.53%.

15. Penn Virginia GP Holdings LP (PVG): Independent Oil & Gas Industry. Market Cap of $923.61M. TTM Gross Margins at 28.68% vs. industry avg. at 15.51%. 5yr avg. Gross Margins at 28.23% vs. industry avg. at 15.91%. 5yr avg. Net Profit margin at 11.34% vs. industry avg. at 8.87%.

16. RBC Bearings Inc. (NASDAQ:ROLL): Machine Tools & Accessories Industry. Market Cap of $743.20M. TTM Gross Margins at 30.99% vs. industry avg. at 8.62%. 5yr avg. Gross Margins at 32.39% vs. industry avg. at 30.66%. 5yr avg. Net Profit margin at 9.08% vs. industry avg. at 8.63%.

17. Roper Industries Inc. (NYSE:ROP): Industrial Equipment & Components Industry. Market Cap of $6.26B. TTM Gross Margins at 52.24% vs. industry avg. at 8.62%. 5yr avg. Gross Margins at 50.74% vs. industry avg. at 30.66%. 5yr avg. Net Profit margin at 11.58% vs. industry avg. at 8.63%.

18. Southern Copper Corp. (NYSE:SCCO): Copper Industry. Market Cap of $32.56B. TTM Gross Margins at 56.20% vs. industry avg. at 34.84%. 5yr avg. Gross Margins at 59.61% vs. industry avg. at 33.34%. 5yr avg. Net Profit margin at 33.18% vs. industry avg. at 11.22%.

19. Western Gas Partners Lp (NYSE:WES): Oil & Gas Pipelines Industry. Market Cap of $2.02B. TTM Gross Margins at 71.66% vs. industry avg. at 8.50%. 5yr avg. Gross Margins at 65.73% vs. industry avg. at 22.27%. 5yr avg. Net Profit margin at 21.44% vs. industry avg. at 9.33%.

Disclosure: No positions

Source: 19 Highly Profitable Companies Approaching 52-Week Highs