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The following is a list of highly profitable companies that are approaching an inflection point, based on moving average trends. For this article, we define an inflection point as the convergence between the 50-day and 200-day moving averages.

When these two moving averages cross, it often represents a shift in investor sentiment. If the 50-day MA moves above the 200-day MA (bullish), it's called a "Golden Cross" signal.

To compile this list, we started with a universe of stocks that have seen the SMA50 move above the SMA200 (i.e. the "Golden Cross" signal), and the narrowed it down by only focusing on companies that have historically been more profitable than their industry competitors.

Moving average data sourced from Finviz, industry comps sourced from Reuters. Full analysis below.

click for expanded image

The list has been sorted alphabetically.

1. ASM International NV (NASDAQ:ASMI): Market cap of $1.27B. SMA50 at $23.97 vs. SMA200 at $23.88 (current price at $24.46). 5-year average gross margin at 36.12% vs. industry average at 34.04%. 5-year average net profit margin at 6.56% vs. industry average at 4.76%.

2. Berry Petroleum Co. (BRY): Market cap of $1.79B. SMA50 at $29.91 vs. SMA200 at $29.49 (current price at $33.85). 5-year average gross margin at 60.32% vs. industry average at 44.9%. 5-year average net profit margin at 19.14% vs. industry average at 11.62%.

3. Alon Holdings Blue Square (NYSE:BSI): Market cap of $427.27M. SMA50 at $8.96 vs. SMA200 at $8.81 (current price at $9.58). 5-year average gross margin at 26.92% vs. industry average at 22.47%. 5-year average net profit margin at 2.22% vs. industry average at 1.96%.

4. Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ): Market cap of $57.9B. SMA50 at $43.7 vs. SMA200 at $42.74 (current price at $46.69). 5-year average gross margin at 48.19% vs. industry average at 44.55%. 5-year average net profit margin at 9.29% vs. industry average at 6.07%.

5. Coach Inc. (NYSE:COH): Market cap of $13.06B. SMA50 at $39.62 vs. SMA200 at $38.59 (current price at $43.90). 5-year average gross margin at 74.78% vs. industry average at 45.05%. 5-year average net profit margin at 22.1% vs. industry average at 5.9%.

6. Danaher Corp. (NYSE:DHR): Market cap of $26.95B. SMA50 at $38.95 vs. SMA200 at $38.83 (current price at $41.30). 5-year average gross margin at 45.67% vs. industry average at 30.57%. 5-year average net profit margin at 10.87% vs. industry average at 8.57%.

7. Dril-Quip, Inc. (NYSE:DRQ): Market cap of $2.62B. SMA50 at $56.58 vs. SMA200 at $55.66 (current price at $65.81). 5-year average gross margin at 40.97% vs. industry average at 38.66%. 5-year average net profit margin at 18.55% vs. industry average at 13.2%.

8. FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX): Market cap of $27.81B. SMA50 at $83.45 vs. SMA200 at $83.43 (current price at $88.40). 5-year average gross margin at 26.68% vs. industry average at 12.69%. 5-year average net profit margin at 3.55% vs. industry average at 2.15%.

9. General Mills Inc. (NYSE:GIS): Market cap of $23.42B. SMA50 at $35.54 vs. SMA200 at $35.37 (current price at $36.58). 5-year average gross margin at 36.61% vs. industry average at 31.78%. 5-year average net profit margin at 8.85% vs. industry average at 4.88%.

10. GATX Corp. (NYSE:GMT): Market cap of $1.41B. SMA50 at $28.37 vs. SMA200 at $28.33 (current price at $30.42). 5-year average gross margin at 51.68% vs. industry average at 19.23%. 5-year average net profit margin at 11.43% vs. industry average at 7.54%.

11. Honda Motor Co (NYSE:HMC): Market cap of $66.11B. SMA50 at $33.88 vs. SMA200 at $33.34 (current price at $36.50). 5-year average gross margin at 27.79% vs. industry average at 21.59%. 5-year average net profit margin at 3.43% vs. industry average at 3.25%.

12. Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK): Market cap of $113.29B. SMA50 at $35.58 vs. SMA200 at $35.42 (current price at $36.86). 5-year average gross margin at 73.45% vs. industry average at 48.97%. 5-year average net profit margin at 27.82% vs. industry average at 13.34%.

13. Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL): Market cap of $13.55B. SMA50 at $71.75 vs. SMA200 at $70.83 (current price at $77.54). 5-year average gross margin at 80.14% vs. industry average at 44.9%. 5-year average net profit margin at 23.86% vs. industry average at 11.62%.

14. Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. (NYSE:RL): Market cap of $8.98B. SMA50 at $84.28 vs. SMA200 at $83.23 (current price at $93.72). 5-year average gross margin at 55.09% vs. industry average at 41.89%. 5-year average net profit margin at 8.8% vs. industry average at 6.46%.

15. Rofin-Sinar Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:RSTI): Market cap of $788.45M. SMA50 at $22.75 vs. SMA200 at $22.7 (current price at $27.89). 5-year average gross margin at 41.52% vs. industry average at 30.57%. 5-year average net profit margin at 9.81% vs. industry average at 8.57%.

16. Sun Hydraulics Corp. (NASDAQ:SNHY): Market cap of $484.21M. SMA50 at $26.2 vs. SMA200 at $25.93 (current price at $28.55). 5-year average gross margin at 30.88% vs. industry average at 30.57%. 5-year average net profit margin at 11.22% vs. industry average at 8.57%.

17. Teck Resources Limited (NYSE:TCK): Market cap of $25.94B. SMA50 at $36.92 vs. SMA200 at $36.81 (current price at $44.01). 5-year average gross margin at 49.47% vs. industry average at 33.09%. 5-year average net profit margin at 25.72% vs. industry average at 11.01%.

18. Towers Watson & Co. (NASDAQ:TW): Market cap of $3.04B. SMA50 at $46.58 vs. SMA200 at $45.71 (current price at $50.01). 5-year average gross margin at 45.05% vs. industry average at 23.52%. 5-year average net profit margin at 8.02% vs. industry average at 3.22%.

19. Vale S.A. (NYSE:VALE): Market cap of $171.87B. SMA50 at $28.79 vs. SMA200 at $28.56 (current price at $32.49). 5-year average gross margin at 48.89% vs. industry average at 35.29%. 5-year average net profit margin at 32.43% vs. industry average at 14.91%.

20. Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. Ltd. (NYSE:YZC): Market cap of $21.17B. SMA50 at $22.33 vs. SMA200 at $22.08 (current price at $28.16). 5-year average gross margin at 48.22% vs. industry average at 15.78%. 5-year average net profit margin at 22.54% vs. industry average at 6.5%.

Disclosure: No positions

Source: 20 Highly Profitable Breakout Stocks