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Zacks.com Announces That Richard Moroney Highlights the Following Stocks: Flagstar Bancorp, BioReliance, First Cash Financial, and Investors Financial Services.

Business Editors

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 3, 2003

Having trouble finding dividend payers among small company stocks? Richard Moroney can end your search through his extensive analysis and stock recommendations. Read about Flagstar Bancorp (NYSE:FBC), BioReliance (NASDAQ:BREL), First Cash Financial (NASDAQ:FCFS), and Investors Financial Services (NASDAQ:IFIN). Click here for the full story exclusively on Zacks.com: http://featuredexpert2bw.zacks.com/

Here are the highlights from the Featured Expert column:

If you are investing in small-company stocks, limiting your search to dividend-paying companies can be problematic. For one thing, the average stock in the Russell 2000 Index yields less than 1%, compared to 1.5% for the average stock in the S&P 500 Index. Still, if you can find them, dividend-paying stocks can provide a winning combination of growth and income. At 2.8%, Flagstar Bancorp (NYSE:FBC) is the highest yielder. Moreover, the company has aggressively grown its dividend. September-quarter earnings per share were $1.42, up from 73 cents a year earlier.

Sales and earnings standouts

Earnings season has begun well for small-company stocks, with reported earnings beating expectations handily. In the following paragraphs, Upside reviews three high-quality companies with strong earnings momentum and bright year-ahead profit prospects.

BioReliance (NASDAQ:BREL), a leading supplier of testing, development, and manufacturing services to pharmaceutical companies, posted record September-quarter results. Per-share earnings reached 39 cents, up from 36 cents in 2002 and topping the consensus estimate by a penny. Revenue rose 13% to $24 million, with sales up 11% in the U.S. and 20% in Europe. Sales should benefit from the growing trend toward outsourcing biotech testing and product development.

First Cash Financial (NASDAQ:FCFS) exceeded consensus estimates by more than 15% in he September quarter. Per-share profits for this fast-growing operator of pawn and check-cashing stores soared 37% to 37 cents. Sales jumped 25%, spurred by 15% same-store sales growth. Management now expects full year earnings per share of $1.43 to $1.45, up from $1.14 in 2002. During the quarter, the company added 12 new locations, bringing the total store count to 224. First Cash remains on track to open a total of 45 stores by year-end.

Investors Financial Services (NASDAQ:IFIN) delivered outstanding September-quarter earnings of 40 cents per share, up 54% from a year earlier and 18% above the consensus estimate. Investors Financial provides asset servicing, including securities custody and accounting. Value-added services include mutual fund administration and foreign exchange. Looking ahead, Investors Financial stands to benefit from an improving operating environment and continued cost cutting.

Read all of Richard Moroney's commentaries and take a look at several more sales and earnings standouts by clicking: http://featuredexpert3bw.zacks.com/

About Zacks Featured Experts

To be a successful investor you need professional advice. Experts who know what they're talking about and can help you achieve your financial goals in good markets...and especially in bad ones will help you improve your portfolio. That is why Zacks Investment Research has assembled the best investment experts in the business to offer their powerful advisory newsletters to you on all the major investment topics: Stocks, Mutual Funds, Bonds, Options, Futures etc.

Recommendations from Featured Experts Highlighted in FREE Investment Newsletter

The best way to tap into the powerful advice from these experts is through our free weekly e-mail newsletter, "Profit from the Pros". Each week we highlight several Featured Experts in this free e-mail newsletter. Get your free subscription to "Profit from the Pros" at: http://www.freeprofit1bw.zacks.com

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 to compile, analyze, and distribute investment research to both institutional and individual investors. The guiding principle behind our work is the belief that investment experts, such as brokerage analysts and investment newsletter writers, have superior knowledge about how to invest successfully. Our goal is to unlock their profitable insights for our customers. And there is no better way to enjoy this investment success, than with a FREE subscription to "Profit from the Pros" weekly e-mail newsletter. For your free newsletter, visit http://www.freeprofitbw.zacks.com

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.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 3, 2003
Words:756
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