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5. Medifast
3-year average
Revenue Growth: 49%
Profit Growth: 87%
Total Return: 65%
Medifast offers multiple ways to lose weight: it develops personal diets, counsels clients and sells healthy meals and snacks. The company celebrated its 30-year anniversary in 2010 by beefing up profits 73%. Revenue at its Take Shape for Life personal coaching division, which accounts for 65% of Medifast's total, increased by 62%. ("Coaches," in Medifast parlance, are local folks-roughly in the mold of the Avon Lady-who collect commissions on products sold and can get a bonus in their first month for acquiring new customers.)

The company, which now has 80 Medifast Weight Control Centers, opened 15 new centers this year alone. It also recently expanded its "Medifast to go!" product line and last year added desserts, introducing the Medifast Brownie, which is billed as a full-meal replacement with real chocolate chips.
Get stock quote: MED
Revenue ($ millions): $271.3
Net Income ($ millions): $21.1
Industry: Beverages
Network with Medifast
From the September 26, 2011 issue.
Revenue and profit figures reflect the four quarters ended on or before April 30,2011.
Total return is through June 30, 2011.

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To qualify, a company -- domestic or foreign -- must be trading on a major U.S. stock exchange; file quarterly reports to the SEC; have a minimum market... More