Star Trek fans may chuckle when they see the name "Borg" on Wall Street. The Borg in their world have a single goal -- the consumption of technology (instead of wealth, or political power).

The Borg on Wall Street, Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation BorgWarner (NYSE:BWA), is a class act among the parts suppliers to vehicle manufacturers like General Motors (NYSE:GM), Ford (NYSE:F), and Toyota. The reason for its success is, like the fictional collective that shares its name, technological -- it produces "highly engineered systems and components" for vehicle powertrain applications.

For its first quarter of 2005, the company reported that net sales were up 20% over the same period last year, or 5% if you exclude the purchase of automotive supplier Beru. Operating income increased 7.7%.

Operating margins decreased 0.9% to 7.7%, but that dip can be easily explained by the Borg-like 39.8% increase in research and development costs. The underlying cause for the increased R&D becomes evident when we take a closer look at the Beru purchase, which resulted in an immediate write-off of in-process R&D. But for comparison, if R&D had remained unchanged, operating margins would have improved over last year's.

To see what a rose BorgWarner is, look at the competition. First, there are the GM and Ford spinoffs, Visteon (NYSE:VC) and Delphi (NYSE:DPH). Red ink is their specialty, and they are expected to continue losing money through 2005. Dana (NYSE:DCN), meanwhile, saw first-quarter profits fall, and analysts do not expect earnings in 2005 or 2006 to match the $1.72 earned in 2004. Only more diversified Johnson Controls (NYSE:JCI) expects to seeing rising earnings in 2005 and 2006.

The future is very bright for BorgWarner. Analysts expect earnings to jump 13.7% this year and 14.8% next year. That's double-digit growth for a company that also had an excellent 15.7% return on equity in 2004. The forward price-to-earnings multiple is a downright cheap nine times 2006 earnings.

In this observer's view, hanging around in the rose garden with some companies sporting really thorny issues is hurting the stock price of BorgWarner -- the prize rose of the bunch.

Fool contributor W.D. Crotty does not own stock in any of the companies mentioned. Click here to see The Motley Fool's disclosure policy.