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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 identify companies that are improving profitability over time and managing the economic landscape better than competitors.

The Debt/Equity Ratio illustrates how aggressively a company is financing its growth via debt. The more debt financing that is used in a capital structure, the more volatile earnings can become due to the additional interest expense. Should a company's potentially enhanced earnings fail to exceed the cost associated with debt financing over time, this can lead the company toward substantial trouble.

We first looked for Mid Cap stocks with strong profit margins (1-year operating margin>15%) and that have maintained a sound capital structure (D/E Ratio<.3). We did not screen out any sectors.

1) Akamai Technologies, Inc. (AKAM)

  • Sector: Technology
  • Industry: Internet Information Providers
  • Market Cap: $6.58B
  • Beta: 0.86
  • AKAM has a Operating Profit Margin of 25.09% and a Debt/Equity Ratio of 0.00.
  • The short interest was 2.94% as of 04/15/2012.

Akamai Technologies, Inc. provides content delivery and cloud infrastructure services for accelerating and improving applications over the Internet in the United States and internationally. The company offers application and cloud performance solutions to enhance the operation of the applications used by enterprises to connect with their employees, suppliers, and customers.

2) Apollo Group Inc. (APOL)

  • Sector: Services
  • Industry: Education & Training Services
  • Market Cap: $4.43B
  • Beta: 0.30
  • APOL has a Operating Profit Margin of 21.04% and a Debt/Equity Ratio of 0.12.
  • The short interest was 7.97% as of 04/15/2012.

Apollo Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides online and on-campus educational programs and services at the undergraduate, master's, and doctoral levels. The company offers various degree programs in arts and sciences, business and management, criminal justice and security, education, health care, human services, nursing, psychology, and technology through its campus locations and learning centers in 40 states and the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, as well as through its online education delivery system.

3) BMC Software Inc. (BMC)

  • Sector: Technology
  • Industry: Application Software
  • Market Cap: $6.44B
  • Beta: 0.60
  • BMC has a Operating Profit Margin of 26.72% and a Debt/Equity Ratio of 0.22.
  • The short interest was 1.71% as of 04/15/2012.

BMC Software, Inc. develops software that provides system and service management solutions for enterprises in the United States and internationally. The company operates in two segments, Enterprise Service Management and Mainframe Service Management.

4) F5 Networks, Inc. (FFIV)

  • Sector: Technology
  • Industry: Application Software
  • Market Cap: $9.67B
  • Beta: 1.45
  • FFIV has a Operating Profit Margin of 30.75% and a Debt/Equity Ratio of 0.00.
  • The short interest was 2.05% as of 04/15/2012.

F5 Networks, Inc. provides application delivery networking technology that optimizes the delivery of network-based applications, and the security, performance, and availability of servers, data storage devices, and other network resources in the Americas, EMEA, Japan, and the Asia Pacific. The company offers BIG-IP, an application delivery controller; VIPRION, a chassis-based application delivery controller; and FirePass, an appliance that provides SSL VPN access for remote users of Internet protocol networks, and applications connected to the networks from Web browser on any device.

5) FLIR Systems, Inc. (FLIR)

  • Sector: Industrial Goods
  • Industry: Aerospace/Defense Products & Services
  • Market Cap: $3.64B
  • Beta: 0.84
  • FLIR has a Operating Profit Margin of 20.28% and a Debt/Equity Ratio of 0.16.
  • The short interest was 4.71% as of 04/15/2012.

FLIR Systems, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets thermal imaging systems worldwide. The company operates through two divisions, Commercial Systems and Government Systems.

6) Forest Laboratories Inc. (FRX)

  • Sector: Healthcare
  • Industry: Drug Manufacturers - Other
  • Market Cap: $8.88B
  • Beta: 0.68
  • FRX has a Operating Profit Margin of 30.67% and a Debt/Equity Ratio of 0.00.
  • The short interest was 7.60% as of 04/15/2012.

Forest Laboratories, Inc. develops, manufactures, and sells branded forms of ethical drug products. Its principal products include Lexapro for the treatment of major depressive disorder in adults and adolescents, and generalized anxiety disorder in adults; Namenda for the treatment of moderate and severe Alzheimer's disease; Bystolic for the treatment of hypertension; Savella for the management of fibromyalgia; and Teflaro, a hospital-based injectable cephalosporin antibiotic for the treatment of adults with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia.

7) Helmerich & Payne Inc. (HP)

  • Sector: Basic Materials
  • Industry: Oil & Gas Drilling & Exploration
  • Market Cap: $5.62B
  • Beta: 1.19
  • HP has a Operating Profit Margin of 28.43% and a Debt/Equity Ratio of 0.10.
  • The short interest was 6.58% as of 04/15/2012.

Helmerich & Payne, Inc. engages in the contract drilling of oil and gas wells. It provides drilling rigs, equipments, personnel, and camps on a contract basis to explore for and develop oil and gas from onshore areas and fixed platforms, tension-leg platforms, and spars in offshore areas.

8) IntercontinentalExchange, Inc. (ICE)

  • Sector: Financial
  • Industry: Diversified Investments
  • Market Cap: $9.68B
  • Beta: 1.03
  • ICE has a Operating Profit Margin of 59.76% and a Debt/Equity Ratio of 0.28.
  • The short interest was 1.86% as of 04/15/2012.

IntercontinentalExchange, Inc. operates regulated exchanges, clearing houses, and over-the-counter (OTC) markets for agricultural, credit, currency, emissions, energy, and equity index contracts. The company operates marketplaces for trading and clearing an array of energy, environmental, and agricultural commodities; emissions contracts; credit default swaps; equity indexes; and currency contracts.

9) KLA-Tencor Corporation (KLAC)

  • Sector: Technology
  • Industry: Semiconductor Equipment & Materials
  • Market Cap: $8.79B
  • Beta: 1.72
  • KLAC has a Operating Profit Margin of 33.79% and a Debt/Equity Ratio of 0.25.
  • The short interest was 4.40% as of 04/15/2012.

KLA-Tencor Corporation designs, manufactures, and markets process control and yield management solutions for the semiconductor and related nanoelectronics industries. It offers equipment comprising wafer and integrated circuit (IC) defect monitoring, review, and classification; reticle defect inspection and metrology; packaging and interconnect inspection; critical dimension metrology; pattern overlay metrology; film thickness, surface topography, and composition measurements; measurement of in-chamber process conditions, wafer shape, and stress metrology; computational lithography tools; and yield and fab-wide data management and analysis systems. The company also provides products that serve the high brightness light emitting diode, data storage, and photovoltaic industries, as well as general materials research.

10) Microchip Technology Inc. (MCHP)

  • Sector: Technology
  • Industry: Semiconductor - Specialized
  • Market Cap: $6.88B
  • Beta: 1.07
  • MCHP has a Operating Profit Margin of 29.98% and a Debt/Equity Ratio of 0.18.
  • The short interest was 9.88% as of 04/15/2012.

Microchip Technology Incorporated engages in the design, development, manufacture, and market of semiconductor products for embedded control applications. Its product portfolio includes microcontrollers, such as 8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit microcontrollers marketed under the PIC brand name, as well as 16-bit dsPIC digital signal controllers (DSC); and development tools that enable system designers to program a PIC microcontroller and dsPIC DSC for specific applications. The company also offers analog and interface products, including power management, linear, mixed-signal, thermal management, RF Linear drivers, safety and security, and interface products; and technology licensing products.

11) People's United Financial Inc. (PBCT)

  • Sector: Financial
  • Industry: Savings & Loans
  • Market Cap: $4.48B
  • Beta: 0.34
  • PBCT has a Operating Profit Margin of 24.01% and a Debt/Equity Ratio of 0.13.
  • The short interest was 4.34% as of 04/15/2012.

People's United Financial, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for People's United Bank that provides commercial banking, retail and business banking, and wealth management services to individual, corporate, and municipal customers. It operates in three segments: Commercial Banking; Retail and Business Banking; and Wealth Management.

*Company profiles were sourced from Finviz.

Source: 11 Profitable Mid Cap Stocks With No Debt