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With the markets as volatile as they are it isn't too hard to see companies with great operating profit margins take a dip in the market or simply underperform it. While the market may drop a company's value quickly over the short run, that doesn't change the fact that it still holds a sound operating profit margin. Further, short-term stock price fluctuations should be taken with a grain of salt unless it's due to a fundamental change in the company. This is exactly why we decided to point out some underperforming companies that still hold great operating profit margins and are now finally posting bullish momentum again.

The Operating Profit Margin is a profitability ratio that measures the effectiveness of the company's operating efficiency. This metric allows investors to see how much profit is left after all variable costs are covered. If the company's margin is increasing over time this means that it's earning more per dollar of sales. Finding trends in the Operating Profit Margin helps investors indentify companies that are improving profitability over time and managing the economic landscape better than competitors.

We first looked for stocks that have underperformed the S&P 500 over the last three months but have sound operating margins (1-year fiscal Operating Profit Margin>20%). From this narrowed list of candidates we then looked for companies that have recently started to take on bullish momentum again by outperforming the S&P 500 over the last week. We did not screen out any sectors or market caps.

The list is ranked from highest to lowest by the 1-week performance:

1. Ultra Petroleum Corporation. (UPL)

Sector

Energy

Industry

Oil & Gas E&P

Market Cap

$5,551M

Beta

0.95

The company Ultra Petroleum Corp., an independent oil and gas company, engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, production, and operation of oil and natural gas properties in the United States. UPL has a 1-year fiscal operating profit margin of 46.59%. The company has gained by 14.09% in the last week and fallen -12.33% over the last three months. The short interest was 5.20% as of 10/14/2011.

2. AuRico Gold Inc. (AUQ)

Sector

Basic Materials

Industry

Gold

Market Cap

$1,905M

Beta

0.36

The company AuRico Gold Inc. engages in the exploration, development, and production of gold and silver mines and projects in Mexico. AUQ has a 1-year fiscal operating profit margin of 25.29%. The company has gained by 12.02% in the last week and fallen -6.36% over the last three months. The short interest was N/A as of 10/14/2011.

3. Power-One, Inc. (PWER)

Sector

Technology

Industry

Electronic Components

Market Cap

$568M

Beta

2.09

The company Power-One, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets power conversion and power management solutions for the renewable energy (RE), communications infrastructure, and other technology markets. PWER has a 1-year fiscal operating profit margin of 25.27%. The company has gained by 10.51% in the last week and fallen -24.03% over the last three months. The short interest was 27.60% as of 10/14/2011.

4. National CineMedia, Inc. (NCMI)

Sector

Consumer Cyclical

Industry

Marketing Services

Market Cap

$731M

Beta

0.42

The company National CineMedia, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates a digital in-theatre network in North America. NCMI has a 1-year fiscal operating profit margin of 44.58%. The company has gained by 9.69% in the last week and fallen -0.30% over the last three months. The short interest was 5.00% as of 10/14/2011.

5. Yanzhou Coal Mining Company Li. (YZC)

Sector

Basic Materials

Industry

Coal

Market Cap

$13,186M

Beta

2.24

The company Yanzhou Coal Mining Company Limited, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the mining, preparation, and sale of coal in China, Australia, Japan, and South Korea. YZC has a 1-year fiscal operating profit margin of 29.35%. The company has gained by 8.54% in the last week and fallen -21.93% over the last three months. The short interest was N/A as of 10/14/2011.

6. Pan American Silver Corporation (PAAS)

Sector

Basic Materials

Industry

Silver

Market Cap

$3,267M

Beta

0.88

The company Pan American Silver Corp. engages in the exploration, acquisition, development, and operation of silver properties. PAAS has a 1-year fiscal operating profit margin of 30.14%. The company has gained by 8.26% in the last week and only gained by 5.63% over the last three months. The short interest was N/A as of 10/14/2011.

7. Agnico-Eagle Mines. (AEM)

Sector

Basic Materials

Industry

Gold

Market Cap

$7,939M

Beta

-0.13

The company Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited, through its subsidiaries, engages in the exploration, development, and production of mineral properties in Canada, Finland, and Mexico. AEM has a 1-year fiscal operating profit margin of 28.78%. The company has gained by 8.04% in the last week and fallen -16.52% over the last three months. The short interest was 1.80% as of 10/14/2011.

8. Strayer Education, Inc. (STRA)

Sector

Consumer Defensive

Industry

Education & Training Services

Market Cap

$1,100M

Beta

1.18

The company Strayer Education, Inc., through its subsidiary, Strayer University, provides post-secondary education services for working adults. STRA has a 1-year fiscal operating profit margin of 33.89%. The company has gained by 7.45% in the last week and fallen -16.61% over the last three months. The short interest was 26.00% as of 10/14/2011.

9. Veeco Instruments Inc. (VECO)

Sector

Technology

Industry

Semiconductor Equipment & Materials

Market Cap

$1,109M

Beta

2.68

The company Veeco Instruments Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets equipment to make high brightness light emitting diodes (HB LEDs), solar panels, hard-disk drives, and other devices. VECO has a 1-year fiscal operating profit margin of 29.74%. The company has gained by 7.34% in the last week and fallen -19.04% over the last three months. The short interest was N/A as of 10/14/2011.

10. Acme Packet, Inc. (APKT)

Sector

Technology

Industry

Communication Equipment

Market Cap

$2,604M

Beta

1.23

The company Acme Packet, Inc. provides session delivery network solutions that enable the delivery of interactive communications, such as voice, video, and multimedia sessions; and data services across internet protocol (IP) network borders. APKT has a 1-year fiscal operating profit margin of 28.62%. The company has gained by 7.15% in the last week and fallen -25.94% over the last three months. The short interest was 6.40% as of 10/14/2011.

We hope this list helps investors as they do their own due diligence and research on stocks with short-term bullish momentum and strong operating profit margins.

*Company profiles were sourced from Finviz

Source: 10 Oversold, Profitable Stocks Rallying Again