10 High-Quality, High-Growth Stocks to Buy

Companies with outsize growth prospects aren't hard to find.

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Companies with outsize growth prospects aren't hard to find. High-growth stocks that also are high on quality are another matter.

Seemingly every other week, a so-called unicorn files for an initial public offering. And yet more often than not, the stocks of these red-hot companies quickly disappoint investors. There's no point in betting on companies with high growth prospects if they don't have the quality to churn out such returns year after year.

When it comes to looking for high-quality companies, a good place to start is with return on equity. ROE measures how adept a company is at squeezing a return out of its net assets. It's often used as a shorthand for quality. Although ROE differs from industry to industry, a rule of thumb is that ROE should come to at least 15%.

Quality stocks can't be found by applying just a single measure, however. Balance sheets, fundamental performance and cash flow are critical too. As such, we scoured the Russell 1000 Growth Index of large- and midsize companies to find stocks with returns on equity of at least 15%. Additionally, these companies had to have positive free cash flow (FCF), healthy balance sheets and long-term growth rates of at least 20%.

Lastly, they had to have an average analyst score of less than 2.0 from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Any score below 2.0 equals a Buy recommendation on the part of Wall Street, and the lower the score, the better.

Here, then, are the 10 best-rated high-quality, high-growth stocks to buy.

Dan Burrows
Senior Investing Writer, Kiplinger.com

Dan Burrows is Kiplinger's senior investing writer, having joined the august publication full time in 2016.


A long-time financial journalist, Dan is a veteran of SmartMoney, MarketWatch, CBS MoneyWatch, InvestorPlace and DailyFinance. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Senior Executive and Boston magazine, and his stories have appeared in the New York Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News and Investor's Business Daily, among other publications. As a senior writer at AOL's DailyFinance, Dan reported market news from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and hosted a weekly video segment on equities.


Once upon a time – before his days as a financial reporter and assistant financial editor at legendary fashion trade paper Women's Wear Daily – Dan worked for Spy magazine, scribbled away at Time Inc. and contributed to Maxim magazine back when lad mags were a thing. He's also written for Esquire magazine's Dubious Achievements Awards.


In his current role at Kiplinger, Dan writes about equities, fixed income, currencies, commodities, funds, macroeconomics and more.


Dan holds a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and a master's degree from Columbia University.


Disclosure: Dan does not trade stocks or other securities. Rather, he dollar-cost averages into cheap funds and index funds and holds them forever in tax-advantaged accounts.