Zacks #1 Rank Top Performers: TBS Int'l, Sun Hydraulics, Hudson Highland Group, Shanda Interactive and iMergent.
Stocks ranked #1 (Strong Buy) by Zacks have produced an average annual return of +31.9% since inception in 1988. During the 2000-2002 bear market, Zacks #1 Rank stocks gained 43.8% while the S&P 500 tumbled 37.6%. To learn more about the Zacks Rank, go to http://at.zacks.com/?id=3172.
Here is a synopsis of the last week's best performing Zacks #1 Rank stocks.
TBS International Ltd. (NASDAQ: TBSI) reached 52-week highs on May 15 and May 16, following the announcement of a successful first-quarter performance. The ocean transportation services company reported total revenues of $70.8 million in the quarter, which was up 11% from the previous year's $63.8 million. Earnings per share improved year over year to 54 cents, excluding items, and beat the consensus by 35%. The company attributed the improvement to the continued market strength and the consistent implementation of its business strategy during prior years.
TBS International was the top performing Zacks #1 Rank company last week as shares soared 19.7%. Analysts' earnings estimates for this year are up to $2.35, marking advances of 35% and 8.3% over the past one month and seven days respectively.
Sun Hydraulics Corporation (NASDAQ: SNHY) was a top performing Zacks #1 Rank company for the second straight week. It gained 12.4% for the five days ended May 18 and reached 52-week highs on three occasions. Earlier this month, the company announced earnings per share of 53 cents on sales of $40.9 million for its first quarter. EPS eclipsed the consensus by approximately 20.5% while sales increased 20% from $34.2 million. All of the company's business segments grew in the quarter, but European and Asian sales were particularly strong.
Earnings estimates for this year are up 14.7% in the past month. For its second quarter, Sun Hydraulics expects sales and earnings per share to advance approximately 11% and 36% respectively from a year ago. Sun Hydraulics is a leading designer and manufacturer of high performance screw-in hydraulic cartridge values and manifolds for worldwide industrial and mobile markets.
Hudson Highland Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: HHGP) bucked history with a solid first-quarter performance, which included revenue of $337.9 million and net income of a penny per share. Revenue advanced 3.2% from the $327.3 million in the first quarter of 2006, and EPS reversed a year-ago loss while surging past the consensus by 106.7%. Shares of the company improved 11.3% last week and it reached 52-week highs on May 14, May 17 and May 18.
Hudson Highland Group is a leading provider of permanent recruitment, contract professionals and talent management services worldwide. Given the completion of its restructuring program, the company said its financial strength continues to build and it is well positioned for increased operating leverage. Over the past month, earnings estimates for this year are up 16.9% to 76 cents.
Shanda Interactive Entertainment (NASDAQ: SNDA) improved 10.8% last week and reached a 52-week high, as the Chinese online video game company heads into its quarterly report later this month. Its improvement last week can be largely attributed to a broker upgrade. Analysts like the company's recent change in its revenue stream, whereby gamers are charged for certain features rather than the time that they play. This all comes in the midst of a growing online gamer base in China on which Shanda should be able to capitalize.
Earnings estimates for this year gained 8.5% over the past three months to $1.27, including a rise of 2.4% in the past week.
Shares of iMergent, Inc. (AMEX: IIG), a leading provider of eCommerce software for small businesses and entrepreneurs, gained 10.6% last week to become one of the top-performing Zacks #1 Rank companies. Earnings per share of 36 cents improved from 22 cents a year earlier and eclipsed the consensus by approximately 33%. Revenues surged 71% to $42.6 million from $25 million, fueled by an increase in the number of workshops in combination with the improvement in the percentage of attendees purchasing its software at its workshops.
iMergent expects the growth in its fiscal third quarter to continue for the remainder of fiscal 2007. It increased its expectations for fiscal 2007 annual growth of Net Dollar Volume of Contracts Written.
About the Zacks Rank
Since 1988, the Zacks Rank has proven that "Earnings estimate revisions are the most powerful force impacting stock prices." Since inception in 1988, #1 Rank stocks have generated an average annual return of +31.9%. During the 2000-2002 bear market, Zacks #1 Rank stocks gained +43.8%, while the S&P 500 tumbled -37.6%. Also note that the Zacks Rank system has just as many Strong Sell recommendations (Rank #5) as Strong Buy recommendations (Rank #1). Since 1988, Zacks Rank #5 stocks have underperformed the S&P 500 by 131.8% annually (+5.2% vs. +11.9%). Thus, the Zacks Rank system allows investors to truly manage portfolio trading effectively.
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