Despite the recession and financial crisis, there are still many companies (particularly ones that are smaller and nimbler) that were able to grow earnings and sales over the past few years.

IN PICTURES: 10 Tips For Choosing An Online Broker

The results of these growth companies prove that value can be found in any market, and investors just need to keep hunting for companies with revenue streams that are less cyclical, and avoid the companies that make good headlines but not necessarily good investments. (For more, check out Cyclical Versus Non-Cyclical Stocks.)

Life Partners Holdings (Nasdaq:LPHI) is a financial services company that deals with a very esoteric segment of the insurance business. The company purchases life insurance policies at a discount to face value and holds them for investment purchases. Life Partners Holdings has grown earnings and revenues at a five-year average annual rate of 61.21% and 45.95%, respectively. The company was just named as the fastest growing small public company by Fortune Magazine.

Universal Insurance Holdings (NYSE:UVE) is a property and casualty insurance company, which makes its growth performance all the more surprising considering the soft market in insurance the last few years, and the bleak investment performance in the markets. The company has a portfolio of nearly 500,000 homeowners policies, is concentrated mostly in the South. Universal Insurance Holdings is also one of the largest underwriters in Florida, insuring against Hurricane risk for its customers. The stock is up 103% year to date. (Get to know a little bit about the institutions whose actions help to guide free markets, read The Rise Of The Modern Investment Bank.)

HMS Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq:HMSY) is in the business of managing the costs of claims in the Healthcare business, helping governments save money by assuring claims are legitimate. Earnings have grown 61% annually on average over the last five years, and are projected to grow by 40% in 2009. This stock may grow even faster if universal health insurance is passed by Congress.

EBIX Inc. (Nasdaq:EBIX) sells e-commerce and claims management software to insurance companies to help them increase efficiency and save costs. EBIX has grown revenue from $24 million in 2005, to $74.8 million in 2008. First quarter of 2009 revenues grew by 40%, and net margins have doubled from 18-37% over the last three years.

DG Fastchannel (Nasdaq:DGIT) provides digital services to advertisers that allow them to distribute content over television and radio. The company has seen revenues go from $68 million in 2006, to $157 million in 2008. The stock has done well during 2009, and is up 50% through the year.

The Bottom Line
Many companies have grown earnings and sales through the bleak economic landscape that we are currently in. Investors who invest in growth should use this list as a starting point to find ideas for their portfolios.

Use the
Investopedia Stock Simulator to trade the stocks mentioned in this stock analysis, risk free!

Related Articles
  1. Investing

    How to Ballast a Portfolio with Bonds

    If January and early February performance is any guide, there’s a new normal in financial markets today: Heightened volatility.
  2. Stock Analysis

    Performance Review: Emerging Markets Equities in 2015

    Find out why emerging markets struggled in 2015 and why a half-decade long trend of poor returns is proving optimistic growth investors wrong.
  3. Investing News

    Today's Sell-off: Are We in a Margin Liquidation?

    If we're in market liquidation, is it good news or bad news? That party depends on your timeframe.
  4. Investing News

    Bank Stocks: Time to Buy or Avoid? (WFC, JPM, C)

    Bank stocks have been pounded. Is this the right time to buy or should they be avoided?
  5. Stock Analysis

    Why the Bullish Are Turning Bearish

    Banks are reducing their targets for the S&P 500 for 2016. Here's why.
  6. Stock Analysis

    How to Find Quality Stocks Amid the Wreckage

    Finding companies with good earnings and hitting on all cylinders in this environment, although possible, is not easy.
  7. Investing News

    What You Can Learn from Carl Icahn's Mistakes

    Carl Icahn has been a stellar performer in the investment world for decades, but following his lead these days could be dangerous.
  8. Stock Analysis

    Are U.S. Stocks Still the Place To Be in 2016?

    Understand why U.S. stocks are absolutely the place to be in 2016, even though the year has gotten off to an awful start for the market.
  9. Investing News

    U.S. Recession Without a Yield Curve Warning?

    The inverted yield curve has correctly predicted past recessions in the U.S. economy. However, that prediction model may fail in the current scenario.
  10. Investing

    Retirees: 7 Lessons from 2008 for the Next Crisis

    When the last big market crisis hit, many retirees ran to the sidelines. Next time, there are better ways to manage your portfolio.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Which mutual funds made money in 2008?

    Out of the 2,800 mutual funds that Morningstar, Inc., the leading provider of independent investment research in North America, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Do interest rates increase during a recession?

    Interest rates rarely increase during a recession. Actually, the opposite tends to happen; as the economy contracts, interest ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are the risks of annuities in a recession?

    Annuities come in several forms, the two most common being fixed annuities and variable annuities. During a recession, variable ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How do dividends affect retained earnings?

    When a company issues a cash dividend to its shareholders, the retained earnings listed on the balance sheet are reduced ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital?

    The difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital is investors have already paid in full for paid-up ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Why would a corporation issue convertible bonds?

    A convertible bond represents a hybrid security that has bond and equity features; this type of bond allows the conversion ... Read Full Answer >>
COMPANIES IN THIS ARTICLE
Trading Center