Top Picks 2016: On Assignment

01/29/2016 7:00 am EST

Focus: STOCKS

Richard Moroney

Editor, Dow Theory Forecasts

Our Top Pick for speculative investing is a staffing firm that focuses on highly skilled, hard-to-find professionals in the technology, engineering, and life sciences sectors-areas generally insulated from the most cyclical job markets-explains Richard Moroney, editor of Upside.

The second-largest technology staffing firm in the US, On Assignment (ASGN) has nearly 2,250 consultants in more than 150 offices in North America and Europe.

The company is benefiting from a tight US labor market, market-share gains, and improved cost control. Aided by favorable pricing, profit margins have expanded in recent quarters.

Contributions from acquisitions and improved productivity have bolstered results. Wall Street expects per-share-profit growth of 21% this year and 22% in 2016.

Prudent investments have helped drive sales and profit growth. On Assignment is benefiting from strong demand and market-share gains, as many corporate human-resource departments have seen cuts in recent years.

On Assignment earns Quadrix scores above 80 for momentum, quality, and earnings estimates, a trait shared by only 4% of S&P 1500 members. The stock earns our highest Best Buy rating.

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