Archive for 'SEC'

Some Simple Ideas to Make Stock Investing Profitable

Anti-bank feeling has resulted in the public looking to take more responsibility for investing their own money.

A new website has come up with a simple but novel way to help the regular Joe invest his own money and avoid the advisory services of financial institutions that are perceived to have let the public down.

Shared Sense is based on the theory of famed investor and mentor to the man on the street: Peter Lynch. The site takes his ideas of  “invest in what you know and that the best stock tip is in front of you in the mall” and goes a step further.  It allows people to share these observations on a worldwide basis and so helping people gather market research through group thinking.

It uses the wisdom of the crowd to get people’s views on what is selling or not.  Put simply, people can give an opinion on what brands are hot or not in their area. The information is gathered worldwide and the site gives back the total view on what people see as popular or not.

As increasing or decreasing sales is generally the most important investment criteria, members can use the information as part of their investment decisions.

The site editors take this information and add their experience to it. They analyze the other important factors including financials, margins and outlook and give full stock tips to members.

The site is not another stock price prediction site but focuses on identifying brand popularity to give regular investors an edge. The themes of the site are honesty and humor – the idea being to strip stock picking of all the overly fancy jargon and replace it with raw honesty. The top predictors are invited to join to the site as full authors.

Ned Goodwin, Shared Sense founder says: “Why can’t stock picking and investment be based on a co-operative system where people help each other by sharing information on buying trends? This is a practical way of occupying Wall Street — taking the power of investment decision back to the people. People helping themselves to get an investment edge.  As Peter Lynch said, if you’re buying the product it might be worthwhile buying the stock. We’re saying if you know we’re all buying the product it’s definitely worthwhile buying the stock.”

http://www.Sharedsense.com

CONTACT: Eddie Goodwin, +1-617-331-6999, Eddie@sharedsense.com

Web Site: http://www.sharedsense.com

Zacks Makes Washington Post as Bull of the Day

Zacks Makes Washington Post as Bull of the Day

Zacks Makes Washington Post as Bull of the Day-Image via Wikipedia

Zacks Equity Research highlights The Washington Post Co. (NYSE: WPO) as the Bull of the Day and Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE: AVP) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Toyota Motors (NYSE: TM), Priceline (Nasdaq: PCLN) and WMS Industries (NYSE: WMS).

Full analysis of all these stocks is available at http://at.zacks.com/?id=2678.

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

The Washington Post Co. (NYSE: WPO) top and bottom lines surpassed Zacks’ expectations in the third quarter of 2011. The quarterly earnings of $5.27 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.85. Total revenue of $1,032.6 million also came ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,005 million.

The Kaplan Education division has undertaken a restructuring plan to lower its costs structure in the near future. Further, Kaplan International remains promising, registering growth of 25% during the quarter. Washington Post’s Cable division is also performing well, reflecting sustained improvement in Internet and telephone service revenues.

We have a long-term Outperform recommendation on the stock. Our target price of $374.00, 17.9X 2011 EPS, reflects this view.

Bear of the Day:

We have downgraded our long-term recommendation on Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE: AVP) to Underperform following the weak quarterly performance in the third quarter of 2011. The quarterly earnings of $0.38 per share fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.46 and dipped 7.3% from the year-ago quarter battered by increased product costs.

The North American market continues to be sluggish in the ongoing fiscal 2011. Moreover, the company’s initiatives to change the product mix and reposition the business in the U.S. market will require significant expenditure to support increased advertising and promotional activities, which may dent its margins.

Furthermore, Avon is a highly leveraged company, limiting its financial flexibility to drive future growth. Additionally, the company faces stiff competition from other well established players and has significant exposure to foreign currency translations.

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

Europe Issue Not Going Away

With the third quarter reporting season largely over and nothing major on the domestic economic calendar, stock market movements today will effectively reflect developments on the European front. The focus remains on Italy, where a routine budget vote in parliament has the potential to morph into a confidence vote on the government of prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. The market is rooting for Mr. Berlusconi’s departure, but he appears in no mood to quit on his own.

By its sheer size, Italy is a big deal. Ever since the start of the Euro-zone debt crisis, the market has been apprehensive of contagion spreading from the peripheral and much smaller economies of Greece, Ireland, and Portugal to the Euro-zone core of Italy and Spain. Those fears are threatening to come to fruition now as the market loses confidence in the Italian government’s ability to manage the country’s finances. This lack of confidence is showing up in yields on Italian government bonds, which have moved to a Euro-era high of above 6.5% and are inching towards the critical 7% level — beyond which lies bailout territory.

A simple answer to rising Italian bond yields would have been for the European Central Bank (ECB) to come up with its version of the U.S. Fed’s quantitative easing program, where the central bank purchases a boatload of treasury bonds to keep yields (or interest rates) in check. The ECB has been making some purchases, but the recent uptrend in Italian bond yields shows that its effort is far from effective. German reluctance to go this route has been a major hurdle.

The Euro-zone had provided for increasing the firepower of the rescue fund (the EFSF), but many critical details of that plan still need to be worked out. The initial hope of attracting contribution from China and other cash-rich emerging economies to that end has also not panned out.

The bottom line is that the Euro-zone debt story refuses to go away. Last week it was about Greece and now it is about Italy. The departure of the Berlusconi government will likely improve market confidence and bring down bond yields. But if the incoming government — assuming there is a change of political control — fails to come up with a viable long-term plan, then the respite will likely prove short-lived.

On the earnings front, we have results from Toyota Motors (NYSE: TM), whose operations have been hit hard by natural disasters — first by the Japanese Tsunami and now by floods in Thailand. The auto giant’s global vehicle sales for the six month period ending September 30th were down more than 18% from the year-earlier level.

In other earnings reports, Priceline (Nasdaq: PCLN) came out with solid EPS and revenue beats after the close on Monday. WMS Industries (NYSE: WMS), the maker of slot machines, came short of expectations.

Get the full analysis of all these stocks by going to http://at.zacks.com/?id=2649.

About the Bull and Bear of the Day

Every day, the analysts at Zacks Equity Research select two stocks that are likely to outperform (Bull) or underperform (Bear) the markets over the next 3-6 months.

About the Analyst Blog

Updated throughout every trading day, the Analyst Blog provides analysis from Zacks Equity Research about the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous analyst coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Zacks “Profit from the Pros” e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today by visiting http://at.zacks.com/?id=7158.

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leonard Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it’s your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=4582.

Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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Join us on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339
support@zacks.com
http://www.zacks.com

Web Site: http://www.zacks.com

Allstate (NYSE: ALL) Board OK’s Stock Repurchase

The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) today announced that its board of directors has approved plans to issue preferred stock and senior unsecured debt to fund a new $1.0 billion share repurchase program and repay maturing debt. The board also approved a quarterly dividend of 21 cents per share.

“We believe this is an opportune time to repurchase common stock given Allstate’s current valuation,” said Thomas J. Wilson, Allstate’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “As a result, we plan to adjust our capital structure to capture this opportunity while maintaining our strong capital position. Our $1.0 billion share repurchase program and upcoming 2012 debt maturity will be funded by issuing a combination of preferred stock and senior unsecured notes totaling $1.25 billion, market conditions permitting.” The share repurchase program will be made through open market purchases and may include an accelerated repurchase program. The program is expected to be completed by March 31, 2013.

The board also approved a quarterly dividend of 21 cents on each outstanding share of the corporation’s common stock, payable in cash on January 3, 2012 to stockholders of record at the close of business on November 30, 2011.

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” that anticipate results based on our estimates, assumptions and plans that are subject to uncertainty. We believe that these statements are based on reasonable estimates, assumptions and plans. However, if the estimates, assumptions or plans underlying the forward-looking statements prove inaccurate or if other risks or uncertainties arise, actual results could differ materially from those communicated in these forward-looking statements. These statements are made subject to the safe-harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information or future events or developments.

Allstate has filed a registration statement (including a prospectus) with the SEC for the offering to which this communication relates. Before you invest, you should read the prospectus in that registration statement and other documents Allstate has filed with the SEC for more complete information about Allstate and this offering. You may get these documents for free by visiting EDGAR on the SEC website at www.sec.gov. Alternatively, Allstate will arrange to send you the prospectus if you request it by calling tollfree 1-800-416-8803.

The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer known for its “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate®” slogan. Now celebrating its 80th anniversary as an insurer, Allstate is reinventing protection and retirement to help nearly 16 million households insure what they have today and better prepare for tomorrow. Consumers access Allstate insurance products (auto, home, life and retirement) and services through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial representatives in the U.S. and Canada, as well as via www.allstate.com and 1-800 Allstate®.

CONTACT: Maryellen Thielen, Media Relations, +1-847-402-5600, or Robert Block or Christine Ieuter, Investor Relations, +1-847-402-2800

Web Site: http://www.allstate.com

Zacks Releases Bull of the Day

Zacks Equity Research highlights Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) as the Bull of the Day and Plexus Corporation (Nasdaq: PLXS) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Kellogg Company (NYSE: K), General Mills, Inc. (NYSE: GIS) and Ralcorp Holdings Inc. (NYSE: RAH).

Full analysis of all these stocks is available at http://at.zacks.com/?id=2678.

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

We are upgrading our recommendation on Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) to Outperform based on third quarter results, which matched the Zacks Consensus Estimate, and continuous cost reduction initiatives. Despite soaring fuel prices, earnings on a GAAP basis climbed on fare hikes, capacity cuts and unbundled offerings.

Delta continues to make efforts to reduce its operating expenses, including both fuel and non-fuel costs. The company is also progressing well on upgrading seats, replacing older planes in its fleet, installing WiFi and expanding Economy Comfort to other aircrafts.

Additionally, Delta is expanding its footprint in both domestic and international markets, thereby strengthening its competitive position. Furthermore, merger synergies from Northwest Airlines as well as efforts to deleverage its balance sheet make the stock more attractive.

Bear of the Day:

Plexus Corporation (Nasdaq: PLXS) reported mixed fourth quarter 2011 financial results. The company beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.50 per share but fell shy of the revenue expectation of $540.0 million. Plexus continues to face cut-throat competition in the EMS market, where component shortages and supply chain constraints are increasing operational complexities.

Moreover, Plexus continues to invest in new sites and increasing headcount that may affect profitability in the near term. We maintain our Underperform rating and set a target price of $25.00.

Further, investment in Plexus is expected to generate just 10% over the next 5 years, compared to the peer group average of 11.5%. We therefore believe that downside potential exists.

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

Kellogg Misses, Provides Guidance

Kellogg Company (NYSE: K) has posted third-quarter 2011 earnings of 80 cents per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 89 cents. The earnings also lagged the prior-year earnings of 90 cents per share by 11%. On a currency-neutral basis, the earnings in the reported quarter plummeted 13% year over year.

Kellogg’s results were driven by weak economic environment, increased cost of goods sold, increased supply-chain costs and due to the reinstatement of incentive compensation costs.

Guidance

Following the earnings results, Kellogg reaffirmed its full-year 2011 internal net sales growth guidance to a range of 4% to 5%. The increased net sales outlook is expected to offset anticipated higher cost pressures. For 2012, internal net sales are expected to grow by 4% to 5%, above long-term annual targets, reflecting price/mix benefits and a strengthening innovation pipeline.

The company lowered its 2011 internal operating profit guidance to a range of down 2% to 4% due to the impact of the third quarter results and expected continued investments in supply chain during the remainder of the year. For 2012, Kellogg expects growth in operating profit to be below its long-term annual targets, as it continues to invest in the future.

Kellogg also expects its full-year 2011 guidance of currency-neutral earnings per share growth to be approximately flat on a year-over-year basis. Assuming no foreign exchange impact, this implies earnings per share of approximately $3.27 to $3.33. Further, the company estimates a foreign exchange benefit of 8 cents, which would result in reported 2011 earnings per share guidance in the range of $3.35 to $3.41.

For 2012, Kellogg expects currency-neutral earnings per share to grow 2% to 4% including a benefit from the three-year $2.5 billion share repurchase program and the impact of continued investments in supply chain, the re-implementation of SAP, and an increase in the level of investment in brand building.

Headquartered in Battle Creek, Michigan, Kellogg engages in manufacture and marketing of ready-to-eat cereal and convenience foods. General Mills, Inc. (NYSE: GIS) and Ralcorp Holdings Inc. (NYSE: RAH) are its competitors.

Currently, Kellogg holds a Zacks #3 Rank, translating into a short-term Hold rating. On a long-term basis, we maintain a Neutral recommendation on the stock.

Get the full analysis of all these stocks by going to http://at.zacks.com/?id=2649.

About the Bull and Bear of the Day

Every day, the analysts at Zacks Equity Research select two stocks that are likely to outperform (Bull) or underperform (Bear) the markets over the next 3-6 months.

About the Analyst Blog

Updated throughout every trading day, the Analyst Blog provides analysis from Zacks Equity Research about the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous analyst coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Zacks “Profit from the Pros” e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today by visiting http://at.zacks.com/?id=7158.

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leonard Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment

Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it’s your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=4582.

Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Follow us on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339
support@zacks.com
http://www.zacks.com

Web Site: http://www.zacks.com

Fast Growing Index Business Creates Opportunities

Fast Growing Index Business Creates Opportunities-Image by milletre via Flickr

McGraw-Hill (NYSE: MHP), one of the world’s foremost financial information companies and owner of S&P Indices, and CME Group (NASDAQ: CME), the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace and 90-percent owner of the CME Group/Dow Jones joint venture, announced today an agreement to establish a new joint venture in the rapidly growing index business.  Under the terms of the agreement, which has been approved by the Boards of both companies, McGraw-Hill will contribute its S&P Indices business and the CME Group/Dow Jones joint venture will contribute the Dow Jones Indexes business to create S&P/Dow Jones Indices, a global leader in index services with annual revenue of more than $400 million.  Approximately $6 trillion in assets are benchmarked against these leading indices.

McGraw-Hill will own 73 percent of S&P/Dow Jones Indices, CME Group will own 24.4 percent through its affiliates, and Dow Jones will own 2.6 percent.  S&P/Dow Jones Indices is expected to be operational in the first half of 2012, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.  The new company will become part of the new McGraw-Hill Markets company following the separation of McGraw-Hill into two public companies, as announced on September 12, 2011.

As part of the new joint venture, S&P/Dow Jones Indices will enter into a new license agreement whereby CME Group will pay S&P Indices a share of the profits of CME Group’s equity product complex, which is their trading and clearing business for futures, swaps and options on futures.  In addition, the new license agreement expands the products covered under the license to include swaps and extends CME Group’s existing exclusive rights (currently in place through December 31, 2017) to the E-mini and other S&P indexed futures.

Harold McGraw III, chairman, president and chief executive officer of McGraw-Hill, said, “This joint venture expands our dynamic index business and accelerates the growth of the new McGraw-Hill Markets company.  By combining our unique and complementary strengths, we are creating a leading global index provider with the breadth and depth to provide both retail and institutional investors with the cutting-edge products and services they need to make sound investment decisions in today’s complex markets.  In addition, McGraw-Hill Markets will benefit from the new license agreement that changes S&P’s Indices’ relationship with CME Group from a transactional fee-per-trade model to a partnership in which S&P Indices participates in the profits of CME Group’s overall equity product complex.”

Terry Duffy, CME Group executive chairman, said, “This new joint venture reflects CME Group’s continued commitment to creating trading opportunities for our global customer base.  Through the new JV company, we look forward to developing leading risk-management solutions in equity indexes and across other asset classes, as well as diversifying our revenue streams, thereby creating value for our shareholders and customers in both institutional and retail client segments.”

Craig Donohue, CME Group chief executive officer, said, “As part of our global growth strategy, CME Group has continued to expand our index services business, both through our own index futures and options products as well as through new product development at our Dow Jones Indexes subsidiary.  The expanded partnership announced today not only creates a leading index services provider that will benefit our customers and shareholders, but also will deliver new opportunities for innovation, including a long-term, ownership-based exclusive global license for CME Group to use the S&P 500® for futures and options on futures products going forward.”

The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to McGraw-Hill’s earnings and S&P/Dow Jones Indices is expected to drive profit growth by:

  • Increasing revenue through international and asset-class expansion, new product development, enhanced market data offerings and increased cross-selling opportunities
  • Achieving cost savings and accelerating time to market by leveraging technology, data procurement, other back office functions and McGraw-Hill Markets’ infrastructure
  • Reducing capital requirements and generating free cash flow for parent companies.

 

Alexander Matturri, executive managing director of S&P Indices, will be chief executive officer of S&P/Dow Jones Indices and Lou Eccleston, president of McGraw-Hill Financial, will chair the company’s seven-member Board that will include five directors designated by McGraw-Hill and two by CME Group.

Matturri said, “Those who rely on indices worldwide – from product issuers to exchanges to investors – will benefit from a deeper lineup of indices as well as a business model focused on innovation, performance and impact.  Combining S&P Indices’ institutional strength with CME Group’s global exchange partnerships and Dow Jones Indexes’ retail focus will optimize our ability to respond to the changing global environment with increased speed and efficiency.  Just as important, the structure of the joint venture is flexible enough to allow us to maintain our existing exchange relationships and work with other potential partners that could bring additional capabilities to the new company.”

All current indices will retain their brand names (S&P or Dow Jones).  The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average® will continue to be separately maintained and licensed as the basis for a wide variety of funds and financial instruments.  This transaction does not affect existing licensing agreements with other exchanges, nor does it preclude entering into future agreements with additional providers.

Other provisions of the agreement include:

  • McGraw-Hill will acquire London-based Credit Market Analysis Ltd. (CMA), a leading source of independent data in the over-the-counter markets, from CME Group.  This acquisition significantly expands McGraw-Hill’s asset-class coverage for data and pricing and adds the technology to move into intraday quotes on derivative and other OTC securities.
  • A separate license agreement between Platts, a unit of McGraw-Hill, and CME Group/NYMEX will be extended.

 

McGraw-Hill was advised by BofA Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.  Barclays Capital acted as exclusive financial advisor to CME Group.

Conference Call/Webcast Scheduled for 8:00 am Eastern Time on November 4, 2011:  Harold McGraw III, chairman, president and CEO of The McGraw-Hill Companies, and Craig Donohue, CEO of the CME Group will host a joint conference call this morning, November 4, at 8:00 AM Eastern Time.  This call is open to all interested parties.  Discussions may include forward-looking information.  Additional information presented on the conference call may be made available on the corporations’ respective Investor Relations Web sites at www.mcgraw-hill.com/investor_relations and www.cmegroup.com.

Webcast Instructions:  Live and Replay

The webcast will be available live and in replay through the corporations’ respective Investor Relations Web sites via the following link: http://investor.mcgraw-hill.com/phoenix.zhtml?p=irol-eventDetails&c=96562&eventID=4225043. (Please copy and paste URL into Web browser.)  The archived replay will be available beginning two hours after the conclusion of the live call and will remain available for one year.

Telephone Access:  Live and Replay

Telephone participants are requested to dial in by 7:50 AM.  The passcode is “McGraw-Hill” and the conference leader is Harold McGraw III.

  • For callers in the U.S.: (888) 391-6568
  • For callers outside the U.S.: +1 (415) 228-4733 (long distance charges will apply)

The recorded telephone replay will be available beginning two hours after the conclusion of the call and will remain available until December 5, 2011.

  • For callers in the U.S.: (800) 348-3514
  • For callers outside the U.S.: +1 (402) 220-9676 (long distance charges will apply)

Presenters’ Slides & Remarks

The presenters’ slides will be made available for downloading at the conclusion of the conference call/webcast on the corporations’ respective Investor Relations Web sites at www.mcgraw-hill.com/investor_relations and www.cmegroup.com.  The final prepared remarks will be available for downloading by the end of the business day.

Forward-looking Statements

The forward-looking statements in this news release involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on various important factors, including worldwide economic, financial, liquidity, political and regulatory conditions; the health of debt and equity markets, including possible future interest rate changes; the successful marketing of competitive products; the effect of competitive products and pricing; the risk that the transactions described herein are not consummated on their terms; and other matters described in McGraw-Hill’s filings with the SEC.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies:  McGraw-Hill, which announced on September 12, 2011, its intention to separate into two public companies – McGraw-Hill Markets (working name), primarily focused on global capital and commodities markets and McGraw-Hill Education focused on digital learning and education services worldwide – is a leading global financial information and education company that helps professionals and students succeed in the Knowledge Economy.  Leading brands include Standard & Poor’s, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Indices, Platts energy information services, J.D. Power and Associates and McGraw-Hill Education.  With sales of $6.2 billion in 2010, the Corporation has approximately 21,000 employees across more than 280 offices in 40 countries.  Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.

About S&P Indices:  S&P Indices, a leading brand of The McGraw-Hill Companies, maintains a wide variety of investable and benchmark indices to meet an array of investor needs. Over $1.25 trillion is directly indexed to Standard & Poor’s family of indices, which includes the S&P 500, the world’s most followed stock market index, the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, the S&P Global BMI, an index with approximately 11,000 constituents, the S&P GSCI, the industry’s most closely watched commodities index, and the S&P National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Index, the premier investable index for U.S. municipal bonds. For more information, please visit: www.standardandpoors.com/indices.

About CME Group:  As the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, CME Group (www.cmegroup.com) is where the world comes to manage risk.  CME Group exchanges offer the widest range of global benchmark products across all major asset classes, including futures and options based on interest rates, equity indexes, foreign exchange, energy, agricultural commodities, metals, weather and real estate.  CME Group brings buyers and sellers together through its CME Globex® electronic trading platform and its trading facilities in New York and Chicago.  CME Group also operates CME Clearing, one of the world’s leading central counterparty clearing providers, which offers clearing and settlement services for exchange-traded contracts, as well as for over-the-counter derivatives transactions through CME ClearPort®.  These products and services ensure that businesses everywhere can substantially mitigate counterparty credit risk in both listed and over-the-counter derivatives markets.

About Dow Jones Indexes:   Dow Jones Indexes is a leading full-service index provider that develops, maintains and licenses indexes for use as benchmarks and as the basis of investment products. Best-known for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Dow Jones Indexes offers more than 130,000 equity indexes as well as fixed-income and alternative indexes, including measures of hedge funds, commodities and real estate. Dow Jones Indexes employs clear, unbiased and systematic methodologies that are fully integrated within index families. Dow Jones Indexes is part of a joint venture company owned 90 percent by CME Group and 10 percent by Dow Jones & Company, Inc., a News Corporation company (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV).

Investors Relations Contacts:

McGraw-Hill
Donald S. Rubin
Senior Vice President, Investor Relations
(212) 512-4321 (office)
donald_rubin@mcgraw-hill.com

CME Group
John Peschier
Managing Director, Investor Relations
(312) 930-8491
john.peschier@cmegroup.com

News Media Contacts:

McGraw-Hill
Patti Rockenwagner
Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications
(212) 512-3533
patti_rockenwagner@mcgraw-hill.com

S&P Indices
David Guarino
Director, Communications
(212) 438-1471
dave_guarino@standardandpoors.com

CME Group
Laurie Bischel
Director, Corporate Marketing & Communications
(312) 907-0003
laurie.bischel@cmegroup.com

Web Site: http://www.mcgraw-hill.com

Zacks Latest List of Top Stocks to Buy

Zacks Latest List of Top Stocks to Buy

Zacks Latest List of Top Stocks to Buy-Image via Wikipedia

Four free stock picks are being made available today on Zacks.com. The industry’s leading independent research firm highlights one Zacks #1 Rank Strong Buy or a Zacks #2 Rank Buy stock for each of the four main styles of investing: Aggressive Growth, Growth & Income, Momentum, and Value.

The four highlighted picks are: Greatbatch, Inc. (NYSE: GB), B&G Foods, Inc. (NYSE: BGS), Healthstream, Inc. (Nasdaq: HSTM) and Corn Products International (NYSE: CPO).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ”Buy” stock recommendations. Four daily picks are offered free. http://at.zacks.com/?id=88

From 1988 through the present – a period that included serious corrections and recessions – the Zacks #1 Rank Stocks have nearly tripled the market with a fully documented average gain of +28% per year.

Here is a summary of today’s selected stocks that are now highly rated by Zacks:          

Aggressive Growth – Greatbatch, Inc. (NYSE: GB)

Earnings season is in full swing so let’s take a look at one of the recent surprises. Greatbatch, Inc. came in ahead of expectations, but how are analysts reacting to this Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy).

Zacks Guide to Aggressive Growth Investing (free!) – http://at.zacks.com/?id=4309

Growth & Income – B&G Foods, Inc. (NYSE: BGS)

Estimates have been rising for B&G Foods, Inc. after the company delivered solid third quarter results. It is a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stock.

Zacks Guide to Growth & Income Investing (free!) – http://at.zacks.com/?id=4310

Momentum – Healthstream, Inc. (Nasdaq: HSTM)

Healthstream, Inc. is trading in a class of its own, recently hitting a new 52-week high on another great quarter. With an average earnings surprise of 42% over the last four quarters and a bullish growth projection, this Zacks #1 Rank stock offers a healthy stream of momentum.

Zacks Guide to Momentum Investing (free!):  http://at.zacks.com/?id=4311

Value – Corn Products International (NYSE: CPO)

Looking for a food play? Corn Products International is expected to grow earnings by the double digits for the second year in a row in 2011 despite challenging macroeconomic conditions. Sales rose 60% in the third quarter. This Zacks #1 Rank (strong buy) is also a value, with a forward P/E of just 10.3.

Zacks Guide to Value Investing (free!) –  http://at.zacks.com/?id=4312

How to Regularly Access Top Zacks Rank Picks for Free – http://at.zacks.com/?id=7154

Underlying the four free stock picks is a simple truth that first appeared in a Financial Analysts Journal article published in 1979. Leonard Zacks, a Ph.D. from M.I.T. found that “earnings estimate revisions are the most powerful force impacting stock prices.”  Zacks #1 Rank is awarded to a stock when analysts sharply upgrade their estimates of what the company will earn.

Today, Zacks is promoting its stock recommendations by offering four daily picks free to those who register here: http://at.zacks.com/?id=7155

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Len Zacks. The company continually processes stock reports issued by 3,000 analysts from 150 brokerage firms.  It monitors more than 200,000 earnings estimates, looking for changes.

Then, when changes are discovered, they’re applied to help assign more than 4,400 stocks into five Zacks Rank categories: #1 Strong Buy, #2 Buy, #3 Hold, #4 Sell, and #5 Strong Sell. This proprietary stock-picking system continues to outperform the market by a nearly 3-to-1 margin.

More Free Stock Picks

Each weekday, new Zacks #1 Rank or Zacks #2 Rank stock picks are released on the free email newsletter, Profit from the Pros. Investors are invited to register for their free subscription here: http://at.zacks.com/?id=91

Follow us on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/ZacksInvestmentResearch

Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339
support@zacks.com
http://www.zacks.com

Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

Web Site: http://www.zacks.com

Medical Group Institutes $10 Million Buy-Back

The Ensign Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: ENSG), the parent company of the Ensign™ group of skilled nursing, rehabilitative care services, assisted living, home health and hospice care companies, announced today that its board of directors has authorized the company to repurchase up to $10 million of its common stock over the next 12 months.

“This program reaffirms our continued confidence in the Company’s near and long-term financial and operating performance, and our commitment to enhancing shareholder value,” said Christopher Christensen, Ensign’s President and CEO.

Mr. Christensen confirmed that the company intends to continue paying quarterly dividends, and growing and diversifying its business. Pointing to the company’s strong cash flow and existing credit facilities, He noted that Ensign is well-positioned to continue acquiring not only well-performing and struggling long-term care skilled nursing and assisted living operations, but also existing and start-up or early-stage hospice and home health agencies. “While we will continue to invest in our current operations and the acquisition of additional operational assets, we are pleased that our strong balance sheet, significant credit relationships and the untapped equity in our real estate portfolio provide us with the flexibility to opportunistically repurchase Ensign shares,” he added.

Under the stock repurchase program, the Company is authorized to repurchase its issued and outstanding common shares from time to time in open-market and privately negotiated transactions and block trades in accordance with federal securities laws, including Rule 10b-18 promulgated under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as amended.

The number of shares repurchased by the company will depend entirely upon the levels of cash available, the attractiveness of alternate investment and business opportunities either at hand or on the horizon, and Management’s perception of value relative to market price, as well as other legal, regulatory and contractual requirements. The repurchase program does not obligate Ensign to repurchase any dollar amount or number of shares of common stock.

About Ensign™

The Ensign Group, Inc.’s independent operating subsidiaries provide a broad spectrum of skilled nursing and assisted living services, physical, occupational and speech therapies, home health and hospice services, and other rehabilitative and healthcare services for both long-term residents and short-stay rehabilitation patients at 100 facilities, three hospice companies and three home health businesses in California, Arizona, Texas, Washington, Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa and Nebraska. More information about Ensign is available at http://www.ensigngroup.net.

Safe Harbor Statement

This release may include forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, statements as to the Company’s plans, objectives, expectations and business strategy. Forward-looking statements can often be identified by words such as “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “predicts,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “would,” “could,” “potential,” “continue,” “ongoing,” similar expressions, and variations or negatives of these words. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding growth prospects and future operating and financial performance. They are not guarantees of future results and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to materially and adversely differ from those expressed in any forward-looking statement. Important factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are detailed in filings made by Ensign with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ensign undertakes no obligation to update or revise any such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

CONTACT: Robert East of Westwicke Partners LLC, +1-443-213-0500, bob.east@westwickepartners.com, or Suzanne Snapper of The Ensign Group, Inc., +1-949-487-9500, ir@ensigngroup.net

Web Site: http://www.ensigngroup.net

Zacks highlights commentary from People and Picks Trader MightyMo.

For more Voice of the People, visit http://at.zacks.com/?id=5851

Featured Post

Is it Bull or Bear? Does anyone with our strategy really care?

With our Robbing The Market Blind strategy, it doesn’t really make a difference. Robbing the Markets Blind is devised to win in either type of market.

With the Europe/Greek/Debt/ Euro somewhat resolved, the markets went haywire with wooopa today. Maybe someone forgot about the US ECONOMY – with it’s financial, banking, jobs, and housing issues.

Since I hold a good number of dividend stocks long, it was nice to see today’s action….however with these very strong historical stocks, I was going to get the dividends regardless of the market type. Also playing these underlying stocks with ultra conservation options plays, my odds of winning, by  robbing the market and stocks blind, those are high in either type of market.

Since the market is starting to show some positive momentum, I am returning as MightyMO back to this playing field. That said, I will be here until the end of October. Starting Nov 1, all the MO’s will be gone for at least a week as we get very invovled in setting up ROB THE MARKETS BLIND. When we return later in November, I hope to have certain aspects of the process ready.

The most recent picks by «MightyMo» are:
A buy rating on McGraw-Hill (NYSE: MHP),
a buy rating on Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and
a buy rating on Mead Johnson Nutrition (NYSE: MJN).

About the Zacks Community

In 2008, Zacks Investment Research launched PeopleAndPicks.com, a stock-picking website where members of the Zacks community can test their strategies and share ideas with other members. Each user is scored on the accuracy of his or her picks, and top users are rewarded with free products from Zacks. Registration is free. To learn more about People And Picks, visit http://at.zacks.com/?id=5957

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Len Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3:1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros.  In short, it’s your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit From the Pros by going to http://at.zacks.com/?id=5958.

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Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Contact: Brent Billock
People & Picks Manager
Company: Zacks.com
Phone: 312-265-9307
Email: pandp@zacks.com
Visit: www.Zacks.com

Web Site: http://www.zacks.com

Top Stocks from Zacks Buy List

Top Stocks from Zacks Buy List

Image via Wikipedia

Four free stock picks are being made available today on Zacks.com. The industry’s leading independent research firm highlights one Zacks #1 Rank Strong Buy or a Zacks #2 Rank Buy stock for each of the four main styles of investing: Aggressive Growth, Growth & Income, Momentum, and Value.

The four highlighted picks are: Polypore International Inc. (NYSE: PPO), W.W. Grainger, Inc. (NYSE: GWW), Domino’s Pizza, Inc. (NYSE: DPZ) and Gafisa S.A. (NYSE: GFA).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ”Buy” stock recommendations. Four daily picks are offered free. http://at.zacks.com/?id=88

From 1988 through the present – a period that included serious corrections and recessions – the Zacks #1 Rank Stocks have nearly tripled the market with a fully documented average gain of +28% per year.

Here is a summary of today’s selected stocks that are now highly rated by Zacks:          

Aggressive Growth – Polypore International Inc. (NYSE: PPO)

Polypore International Inc. analysts keep raising estimates and the company continues to top their expectations. This Zacks #2 Rank (Buy) may not be the best value, but the earnings are showing a fantastic growth story.

Zacks Guide to Aggressive Growth Investing (free!) – http://at.zacks.com/?id=4309

Growth & Income – W.W. Grainger, Inc. (NYSE: GWW)

W.W. Grainger, Inc. is still showing no signs of a slowdown. The company, which distributes maintenance, repair, and operating (MRO) supplies, recently delivered it 6th consecutive positive earnings surprise on strong sales growth.

Zacks Guide to Growth & Income Investing (free!) – http://at.zacks.com/?id=4310

Momentum – Domino’s Pizza, Inc. (NYSE: DPZ)

Domino’s Pizza, Inc. continues its awesome performance in 2011, recently jumping into a new all-time high on strong Q3 results. With an average earnings surprise of 14% over the last four quarters and bullish growth projection, this Zacks #1 Rank stock offers a delicious take on momentum.

Zacks Guide to Momentum Investing (free!):  http://at.zacks.com/?id=4311

Value – Gafisa S.A. (NYSE: GFA)

Stocks have pulled back quite a bit over fears of another recession in the United States. This has hit emerging market stocks particularly hard. But the Brazilian economy is showing no signs of a slowdown, leading to some very attractive valuations in Brazilian equities.

Zacks Guide to Value Investing (free!) –  http://at.zacks.com/?id=4312

How to Regularly Access Top Zacks Rank Picks for Free – http://at.zacks.com/?id=7154

Underlying the four free stock picks is a simple truth that first appeared in a Financial Analysts Journal article published in 1979. Leonard Zacks, a Ph.D. from M.I.T. found that “earnings estimate revisions are the most powerful force impacting stock prices.”  Zacks #1 Rank is awarded to a stock when analysts sharply upgrade their estimates of what the company will earn.

Today, Zacks is promoting its stock recommendations by offering four daily picks free to those who register here: http://at.zacks.com/?id=7155

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Len Zacks. The company continually processes stock reports issued by 3,000 analysts from 150 brokerage firms.  It monitors more than 200,000 earnings estimates, looking for changes.

Then, when changes are discovered, they’re applied to help assign more than 4,400 stocks into five Zacks Rank categories: #1 Strong Buy, #2 Buy, #3 Hold, #4 Sell, and #5 Strong Sell. This proprietary stock-picking system continues to outperform the market by a nearly 3-to-1 margin.

More Free Stock Picks

Each weekday, new Zacks #1 Rank or Zacks #2 Rank stock picks are released on the free email newsletter, Profit from the Pros. Investors are invited to register for their free subscription here: http://at.zacks.com/?id=91

Follow us on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/ZacksInvestmentResearch

Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339
support@zacks.com
http://www.zacks.com

Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Web Site: http://www.zacks.com

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