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It would seem that because the worldwide landscape is highly uncertain, everything has been turned upside down. Still, we’re wondering what happened to the idea of buying best of breed. As far as we can tell, the standard still applies. In our view, firms that are best of breed not only generate above average returns on their assets but also continue to grow the top line even in lean economic periods.

We ran a screen for companies that have generated a return on assets of at least 15%. In our view, this provides a certain base line of caliber. From this pool, we screened for companies that had stellar top line growth (quarterly revenue growth>20%). Any company that can truly grow the top line right now and generates sound ROA numbers deserves further attention. We did not screen out any sectors or market caps for this list.

The list below is sorted from high to low by quarterly sales growth.

Leucadia National (LUK)

Sector

Conglomerates

Industry

Conglomerates

Market Cap

$7.19B

Beta

1.76

Analyst Sentiment

5/5 – List Neutral/Hold (Hold)

The firm is involved with medical product development, manufacturing, real estate, residual banking, and other activities. The firm’s quarterly sales growth is 165.26%. The firm’s ROA is 20.2%. Over the last year, LUK has increased 36.04% while the S&P 500 increased by 8.76%. The short interest for the firm is 1.70% as of July 15.

Intuit (INTU)

Sector

Technology

Industry

Application Software

Market Cap

$13.25B

Beta

0.72

Analyst Sentiment

13/21 - Buy/Outperform (Bullish)

Intuit offers a variety financial and business management solutions to large range of clients. The firm’s quarterly sales growth 110.48%. The firm’s ROA is 10.37%. Over the last year, INTU has increased 12.81% while the S&P 500 increased by 8.76%. The short interest for the firm is 1.40% as of July 15.

Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF)

Sector

Basic Materials

Industry

Steel & Iron

Market Cap

$ 11.16B

Beta

2.54

Analyst Sentiment

14/17- List Buy/Outperform (Bullish)

The firm produces iron ore pellets and sells them to steel companies. The firm’s quarterly sales growth was 52.62%. The firm’s ROA is 13.11%. Over the last year CLF has increased 36.78% while the S&P 500 increased by 8.76%. The short interest for the firm is 5.50% as of July 15.

Priceline.com (PCLN)

Sector

Services

Industry

General Entertainment

Market Cap

$ 26.20B

Beta

1.14

Analyst Sentiment

14/19 – List Buy/Outperform (Bullish)

The firm operates the online travel website priceline.com. The firm’s quarterly sales growth was 36.25%. The firm’s ROA is 18.17%. Over the last year, PCLN has increased 130.84% while the S&P 500 increased by 8.76%. The short interest for the firm is 6.50% as of July 15.

McGraw-Hill Companies (MHP)

Sector

Services

Industry

Publishing - Books

Market Cap

$ 12.57B

Beta

1.23

Analyst Sentiment

6/9- List Buy/Outperform (Bullish)

The company provides information services to education, business, and financial services markets. The firm’s quarterly sales growth is 23.32%. The firm’s ROA is 12.09%. Over the last year MHP has increased 40.65% while the S&P 500 increased by 8.76%. The short interest for the firm is 2.90% as of July 15.

Oracle (ORCL)

Sector

Technology

Industry

Application Software

Market Cap

$ 143.61B

Beta

1.08

Analyst Sentiment

29/42- List Buy/Outperform (Buy)

The company develops and sells database services, application software, & middleware to a variety of clients. The firm’s quarterly sales growth is 22.95%. The firm’s ROA is 11.62%. Over the last year ORCL has increased 15.71% while the S&P 500 increased by 8.76%. The short interest for the firm is 0.70% as of July 15.

Philip Morris International (PM)

Sector

Consumer Goods

Industry

Cigarettes

Market Cap

$ 143.61B

Beta

1.08

Analyst Sentiment

13/19 - List Buy/Outperform (Bullish)

The company manufactures and sells tobacco products outside the US. The firm’s quarterly sales growth was 22.41%. The firm’s ROA is 21.39%. Over the last year PM has increased 32.86% while the S&P 500 increased by 8.76%. The short interest for the firm is 1.40% as of July 15.

Joy Global (JOYG)

Sector

Industrial Goods

Industry

Farm & Construction Machinery

Market Cap

$ 8.36B

Beta

2.11

Analyst Sentiment

12/20 – List Buy/Outperform (Bullish)

The company manufacture’s and services mining equipment. The firm’s quarterly sales growth was 22.22%. The firm’s ROA is 14.05%. Over the last year JOYG has increased 30.78% while the S&P 500 increased by 8.76%. The short interest for the firm is 4.30% as of July 15.

Mattel (MAT)

Sector

Consumer Goods

Industry

Toys & Games

Market Cap

$ 8.40B

Beta

0.99

Analyst Sentiment

12/20 - List Buy/Outperform (Bullish)

The firm designs and sells a variety of toy worldwide. The firm’s quarterly sales growth is 22.04%. The firm’s ROA is 14.05%. Over the last year MAT has increased 11.10% while the S&P 500 increased by 8.76%. The short interest for the firm is 1.40% as of July 15.

Coca-Cola (KO)

Sector

Consumer Goods

Industry

Beverages - Soft Drinks

Market Cap

$153.31B

Beta

0.57

Analyst Sentiment

18/22 – List Buy/Outperform (Bullish)

The company is industry leading soft-drink maker with highlight brands such as Coca-Cola, Dasani Water, and more. The firm’s quarterly sales growth was 21.11%. The firm’s ROA is 16.26%. Over the last year KO has increased 17.66% while the S&P 500 increased by 8.76%. The short interest for the firm is 0.70% as of July 15.

We hope this helps investors as they do their own due diligence and look to indentify above-average firms that fit their personal investment criteria. We’d like to point out that most of these companies weren’t sexy in any form and yet they all managed to outperform the S&P 500 over the last year.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Source: 10 Companies That Are Still Generating Strong Top Line Growth