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If the “magic” recipe for a stock price increasing was as simple as seeing a company post solid numbers during earnings season and to grow this number over time, the investment world would be a lot nicer. Unfortunately, things aren't quite that simple, but that doesn’t mean strong earnings growth can’t be overlooked. The point is we all know markets can be irrational over the short term, therefore the easiest way to take advantage is to identify companies that have posted strong earnings growth but are out of favor with the market today.

The 1-year fiscal EPS growth (earnings per share growth) rate helps investors identify which companies are growing the earnings at the aggregate level. These companies aren’t just having one good quarter, but a clear upward trend in profitability. Improving or growing profitability trends over an extended period of time is a key driver in stock prices over the long term, and generally shows a positive correlation.

We first looked for companies that have underperformed the market but posted strong profitability over the last year (1-year fiscal EPS growth rate>10%) but have also underperformed the S&P 500 YTD. From this narrowed list of names we then screened for firms that are also trading near their 52-week lows (X<20%).

This list is ranked from least worst to worst performance YTD:

1. C.R. Bard, Inc. (BCR)

Sector

Healthcare

Industry

Medical Instruments & Supplies

Market Cap

$7,686M

Beta

0.41

The company designs and sells medical, surgical, diagnostic and patient care devices. The company has a 1-year fiscal EPS growth rate of 15.65%. BCR has a YTD return of -2.54%. The company is 7.65% above its 52-week low. The short interest was 2.50% as of 09/30/2011.

2. Haemonetics Corporation. (HAE)

Sector

Healthcare

Industry

Medical Instruments & Supplies

Market Cap

$1,583M

Beta

0.43

The company makes and sells automated systems that collect, process, and surgically salvage donor and patient blood. The company has a 1-year fiscal EPS growth rate of 39.29%. HAE has a YTD return of -2.79%. The company is 15.67% above its 52-week low. The short interest was N/A as of 09/30/2011.

3. CareFusion Corp. (CFN)

Sector

Healthcare

Industry

Medical Instruments & Supplies

Market Cap

$5,586M

Beta

0.98

The company offers a variety of clinical and medical products. The company has a 1-year fiscal EPS growth rate of 81.69%. CFN has a YTD return of -2.80%. The company is 13.49% above its 52-week low. The short interest was 1.20% as of 09/30/2011.

4. 3M Co. (MMM)

Sector

Diversified Industrials

Industry

Industrials

Market Cap

$58,310M

Beta

0.91

The company offers a variety of products in the health care, industrial, and transportation space. The company has a 1-year fiscal EPS growth rate of 24.5%. MMM has a YTD return of -2.86%. The company is 19.74% above its 52-week low. The short interest was 1.70% as of 09/30/2011.

5. Fidelity National Information. (FIS)

Sector

Business Services

Industry

Industrials

Market Cap

$8,088M

Beta

0.55

The company offers a variety of business services to financial institutions. The company has a 1-year fiscal EPS growth rate of 188.64%. FIS has a YTD return of -2.96%. The company is 14.64% above its 52-week low. The short interest was 1.00% as of 09/30/2011.

6. BOK Financial Corp. (BOKF)

Sector

Banks - Regional - US

Industry

Financial Svs

Market Cap

$3,488M

Beta

0.90

The company offers full service banking through the Midwest within the U.S. The company has a 1-year fiscal EPS growth rate of 21.96%. BOKF has a YTD return of -3.09%. The company is 16.40% above its 52-week low. The short interest was 3.70% as of 09/30/2011.

7. PSS World Medical, Inc. (PSSI)

Sector

Medical Distribution

Industry

Healthcare

Market Cap

$1,165M

Beta

0.86

The company offers medical products, equipment, and pharmaceutical related products. The company has a 1-year fiscal EPS growth rate of 11.86%. PSSI has a YTD return of -3.27%. The company is 18.13% above its 52-week low. The short interest was 16.40% as of 09/30/2011.

8. HDFC Bank Ltd. (HDB)

Sector

Banks - Regional - Asia

Industry

Financial Svs

Market Cap

$24,874M

Beta

1.49

The company is a financial services and private sector bank company in India. The company has a 1-year fiscal EPS growth rate of 58.18%. HDB has a YTD return of -3.36 %. The company is 21.42% above its 52-week low. The short interest was N/A as of 09/30/2011.

9. Moog, Inc. (MOG.A)

Sector

Aerospace & Defense

Industry

Industrials

Market Cap

$1,765M

Beta

1.28

The company designs and makes high performance, precision motion, and fluid controls and control systems for a variety of industries. The company has a 1-year fiscal EPS growth rate of 19.19%. MOG.A has a YTD return of -3.42%. The firm is 26.24% above its 52-week low. The short interest was 0.90% as of 09/30/2011.

10. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A)

Sector

Insurance - Diversified

Industry

Financial Svs

Market Cap

$190,970M

Beta

0.56

The company operates a variety of subsidiaries involved in a diverse number business activities. The company has a 1-year fiscal EPS growth rate of 52.67%. BRK.A has a YTD return of -3.57%. The firm is 17.38% above its 52-week low. The short interest was 0.20% as of 09/30/2011.

We hope this list helps as investors do their own due diligence and research on profitable companies that are experiencing bearish momentum.

Source: 10 Oversold, Profitable Firms Trading Near 52-Week Lows