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Midcap Mojo

Fast Money Portfolio
Fast Money Portfolio

If you’re an active investor, chances are you’re in lock-step with the Street as marquis companies such as Apple or Goldman Sachs release earnings.

But with big names grabbing the spotlight, it’s easy to get distracted and miss other areas of the market.

Did you know that a number of midcap stocks have also been beating Street expectations and making strong moves to the upside?

Michelle Stevens knows – she’s senior portfolio manager with Baird Investments.

In an interview on CNBC’s Fast Money she says, “If you’re a buy and hold investor, (it’s strategic to) own not only earnings growth but revenue growth as well - and we’re finding revenue growth in spades in small and midcaps.”

And she has 3 hot stocks on her radar right now after their latest results suggested they all had room to run.

Her top picks follow:

Rent-A-Center

-Largest rent to own operator in the U.S.
-Over 3K stores worldwide
-Also owns the ColorTyme chain

Q1 Earnings
Q1 2012 Q1 2011
EPS $0.87 $0.79
Revenue $835.3M $742.2M
Source: Thomson Reuters

Helix Energy Solutions

-Deepwater service provider to the offshore energy industry
-Focused on subsea infrastructure services

Q1 Earnings
Q1 2012 Q1 2011
EPS $0.73 $0.24
Revenue $407.9M $291.6M
Source: Thomson Reuters

Valmont Industries

-Parking lot & sports arena lighting poles
-Utility transmission poles
- Mechanized irrigation systems

Q1 Earnings
Q1 2012 Q1 2011
EPS $1.96 $0.97
Revenue $717.4M $568M
Source: Thomson Reuters

Although midcaps can be volatile, Stevens says in the long-term they’re well poised. “With midcaps you’ve got less exposure to the uncertainty of the international markets and more exposure to domestic economy, which we think is improving.”





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Trader disclosure: On Apr 25, 2012, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders ; Karen Finerman is long AAPL; Karen Finerman is short AAPL CALLS; Karen Finerman is long BAC; Karen Finerman is long JPM; Karen Finerman is long WMT; Karen Finerman is long TGT; Karen Finerman is long RIMM CALLS; Karen Finerman is long HPQ; Karen Finerman is short MDY; Karen Finerman is short IWM; Karen Finerman is short SPY; Anthony Scaramucci is long AAPL; Anthony Scaramucci is long GS; Anthony Scaramucci is long JPM; Anthony Scaramucci is long IBM

For Gene Munster
Piper Jaffray was making a market in the securities of Amazon.com, Inc. at the time this research report was published. Piper Jaffray will buy and sell Amazon.com, Inc. securities on a principal basis.

For Doug Kass
Nothing to Disclose

For Michelle Stevens
Nothing to Disclose

For Rich Ilczyszyn
Rich Ilczyszyn is long SOYBEANS

CNBC.com with wires.