Investor ratings can be a bit confusing... Confusing because they can be somewhat arbitrary. It's not that they are fickle, per se. It's just that different analysts place different weights on factors that could result in a vastly different rating.
That said, ratings do have an effect on the markets, and they can give individual investor a sense of overall sentiment or trajectory.
I then sorted them by trading ratings, followed by revenue growth, profitability and valuation.
These top five companies beat out famous names like Amazon, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), ranked 8th, Facebook, Inc. (Nasdaq: FB), ranked 18th, Google's parent company Alphabet, Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL), ranked 31st, and China's Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU), ranked 32nd. Let's take a look at them:
5. Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN)
With a five-star investor rating and a five-star trading rating, Raytheon boasts strong profitability. RTN develops and manufactures engineering technology for government and commercial uses, in sectors such as defense, IT and electronics. Analysts rate RTN as a very strong buy, and technical analysis indicates bullishness in both the short- and long-term.
Over the past six months, RTN's share price has climbed more than 17%, a bit of a faster climb than the previous six months. Shares have climbed 29.8% over the past year. Analysts are targeting a share price of $152.54, a further gain of 7%.
4. Mohawk Industries, Inc. (NYSE: MHK)
MHK also has five-star investor and trading ratings, with profitability on par with Raytheon, and a bit better revenue growth. MHK makes flooring products for both residential and commercial spaces and has a market cap of $15.6 billion. Analysts also rate MHK a very strong buy with bullish technical indicators.
The target price for MHK is 13.4% higher than current prices, or $237.96. These analysts are also targeting 10.6% revenue growth this year and another 5.2% next year.
3. UnitedHealth Group, Inc. (NYSE: UNH)
While profitability for UNH isn't as high as MHK or RTN, its valuation is much stronger than either of them. With 28 analyst rating UNH as a strong buy, this company's share prices has the potential to climb 13.2% to $161.
This $134.8 billion stock is a behemoth in the health insurance sector with bullish expectations. With a 14% pop in UNH's share price over the past 12 months, this company is hardly a rocket ship, but it could be a steady winner over the long haul.
2. Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG)
With five-star investor and trading rankings, you'd think DG would have gangbuster revenue growth and profitability, but that's not the case. Both are just better than middling, with a middle-of-the-group valuation as well.
Indeed investors are targeting a share price of $99.60, about 8.6% higher than current price. And over the past year, DG's share price has climbed 15.4%. Perhaps this is where investor ratings are weighing different factors -- like uncertainty in the economy -- a bit stronger than actual profitability and growth.
1. D.R. Horton, Inc. (NYSE: DHI)
The top spot goes to a home builder with higher than average growth and profitability, and better than average valuation. And yet, DHI, with a market cap of $12.4 billion, has a target price forecast of $35, a mere 9.2% above current prices.
DHI's share price has made a significant comeback over the past six months, climbing nearly 31%, which is putting it back within its longer-term uptrend, having climbed about 230% over the past five years.
Overall, this study in investor ratings shows that the number of stars a company carries doesn't always equate to investor profits right away, and is probably a poor choice to judge your investment opportunity on its own (though no indicator should ever be used on its own). But get this... Over the past five years, these five stocks have gained a cumulative 1,214.44%.
My top pick of the bunch would be Raytheon. It's been a steady performer with high profitability.
Risks To Consider: While this company has both government and commercial clients, it receives 51% of its sales from the Department of Defense -- with a further 16% of sales from "classified" customers. In all, the United States is the company's biggest market, accounting for 69% of the company's sales. That makes it heavily skewed, or attached to government budgets...
Not everyone buys missile defense systems.
Action To Take: With all that in mind, there are some other numbers that may convince you to add Raytheon (NYSE: RTN) to your portfolio. In RTN's 2015 company report, it said international sales climbed 31%, and that total contract topped 15,000 in the year. That means booking, cash flow and net sales were all higher in 2015.
Analysts are predicting that this $41 billion company could see earnings growth of 10.26% a year for the next five years, more than double the performance of the previous years.
RTN's target price is $152.54, or 7% higher than current prices. The stock's momentum could push gains even higher than that, as over the last five years, share prices have climbed 47.9% a year on average.
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