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Investing in large cap stocks as a growth strategy might sound counter-productive, but not when the following ideas are considered. For one, no matter what the size of the company, steady profits lead to growth over time. When track records of profitability are matched with strong growth projections, the case for growth is even stronger. Bearing these ideas in mind, we searched today for large cap companies with huge growth potential, and came up with distinctly interesting list of candidates. But first, let us fill in the details of how we conducted our search.

The Net Margin is a profitability metric that illustrates, by percentage, how much of every dollar earned gets turned into a bottom line profit. This is just one of many profitability metrics used by investors and analysts to better understand what the company is being left with at the end of the day. Generally, a firm that can expand its net profit margins over a period of time will see its stock price rise as well due to the trend of increasing profitability.

Net Margin = Net Income/Total Revenue

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.

EPS growth (earnings per share growth) illustrates the growth of earnings per share over time. The 5-Year Expected EPS Growth Rate is a long term annual growth estimate, where the growth projections are made by analysts, the company or other credible sources.

We first looked for large cap stocks. We then looked for companies that have been able to retain strong profit margins on the bottom line (Net Margin [TTM]>10%)(1-year operating margin>15%). We then looked for companies that have high future earnings per share growth forecasts(5-year projected EPS Growth Rate>25%). We did not screen out any sectors.

Do you think these large-cap stocks are in strong positions for future growth? Use our screened list as a starting point for your own analysis.

1) Baidu, Inc. (BIDU)

Sector:Technology
Industry:Internet Information Providers
Market Cap:$45.78B
Beta:1.88

Baidu, Inc. has a Net Margin of 46.45%, a Operating Profit Margin of 51.33%, and a 5-Year Projected Earnings Per Share Growth Rate of 42.54%. The short interest was 2.02% as of 08/13/2012. Baidu, Inc. provides Internet search services. The company offers a Chinese language search platform on its Website, Baidu.com.

2) Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX)

Sector:Basic Materials
Industry:Gold
Market Cap:$34.61B
Beta:0.42

Barrick Gold Corporation has a Net Margin of 28.09%, a Operating Profit Margin of 42.96%, and a 5-Year Projected Earnings Per Share Growth Rate of 27.83%. The short interest was 0.47% as of 08/13/2012. Barrick Gold Corporation engages in the production and sale of gold and copper. The company has a portfolio of 26 operating mines, and exploration and development projects located in North America, South America, the Australia Pacific region, and Africa. It also holds interests in oil and gas properties located in Canada.

3) Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALXN)

Sector:Healthcare
Industry:Biotechnology
Market Cap:$19.97B
Beta:0.59

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has a Net Margin of 20.55%, a Operating Profit Margin of 31.05%, and a 5-Year Projected Earnings Per Share Growth Rate of 37.47%. The short interest was 3.08% as of 08/13/2012. Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, engages in the innovation, development, and commercialization of life-transforming therapeutic products for treating patients with severe and ultra-rare disorders in the United States, Europe, Latin America, Japan, and the Asia Pacific. It focuses on developing products for the treatment of diseases in the areas of hematology, nephrology, neurology, metabolic disorders, oncology, and ophthalmology. The company offers Soliris(eculizumab), a therapeutic product for the treatment of patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria [PNH], a blood disorder; and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), an ultra-rare and life-threatening genetic disease.

4) Talisman Energy Inc. (TLM)

Sector:Basic Materials
Industry:Independent Oil & Gas
Market Cap:$13.82B
Beta:1.56

Talisman Energy Inc. has a Net Margin of 11.11%, a Operating Profit Margin of 20.36%, and a 5-Year Projected Earnings Per Share Growth Rate of 29.40%. The short interest was 1.00% as of 08/13/2012. Talisman Energy Inc., an upstream oil and gas company, engages in the exploration, development, production, transportation, and marketing of crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids. It primarily operates in North America, the North Sea, and southeast Asia. The company was founded in 1925 and is headquartered in Calgary, Canada.

5) Seagate Technology PLC (STX)

Sector:Technology
Industry:Data Storage Devices
Market Cap:$13.58B
Beta:2.39

Seagate Technology PLC has a Net Margin of 19.16%, a Operating Profit Margin of 20.81%, and a 5-Year Projected Earnings Per Share Growth Rate of 25.67%. The short interest was 8.65% as of 08/13/2012. Seagate Technology Public Limited Company designs, manufactures, markets, and sells hard disk drives for enterprise, client compute, and client non-compute market applications worldwide. The company's products are used in enterprise servers, mainframes, and workstations; desktop and notebook computers; digital video recorders; personal data backup systems; portable external storage systems; and digital media systems. It also provides data storage services for small to medium-sized businesses, including online backup, data protection, and recovery solutions; and ships external backup storage solutions under its Free Agent Go and Free Agent Go Flex product lines.

6) Silver Wheaton Corp. (SLW)

Sector:Basic Materials
Industry:Silver
Market Cap:$10.84B
Beta:1.58

Silver Wheaton Corp. has a Net Margin of 73.05%, a Operating Profit Margin of 74.94%, and a 5-Year Projected Earnings Per Share Growth Rate of 36.50%. The short interest was 0.75% as of 08/13/2012. Silver Wheaton Corp., a mining company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a silver streaming company worldwide. The company has 14 long-term silver purchase agreements and 2 long-term precious metal purchase agreements whereby it acquires silver and gold production from the counterparties located in Mexico, the United States, Greece, Sweden, Per, Chile, Argentina, and Portugal.

*Company profiles were sourced from Google Finance and Yahoo Finance. Financial data was sourced from Finviz.

Source: 6 Large Cap Stocks Priming Their Growth With Strong Profitability