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Zacks.com featured expert Kevin Matras highlights: Hubbell, Inc. (B), Thomas & Betts Corp. and Zumiez, Inc.

CHICAGO -- Kevin Matras explains why stocks with new analyst coverage are stocks you want to own. Stocks in this week's article are Hubbell, Incorporated (B) (NYSE: HUB.B), Thomas & Betts Corporation (NYSE: TNB) and Zumiez, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZUMZ). Click here for the full story exclusively on Zacks.com: http://at.zacks.com/?id=109

Screen of the Week written by Kevin Matras of Zacks Investment Research:

Today, I want to talk about companies that receive new analyst coverage.

One of the things that generate analyst coverage is investor interest. And as new coverage is initiated, it becomes more visible, which in turn means potentially more demand (read higher prices). This is often the case because analysts almost always initiate coverage with a positive recommendation. And when it comes to companies with little to no analyst coverage, one new recommendation can sometimes give portfolio managers the validation they need to build a position. (And the more money they can invest, the more they can potentially influence prices.)

The best way to use this information is to look for companies whose analyst coverage has increased over the last four weeks. Simply look at the number of analyst recommendations now in comparison to the number of analyst recommendations four weeks ago. An increase in coverage is bullish whereas a decrease in coverage is bearish.

It's typically more bullish if the increase went from none to one or if the coverage was minimal at the start. (Going from 25 to 26 isn't going to have the same impact because that 26th analyst isn't discovering something 'new'.) But increased coverage is better than decreased coverage -- assuming the coverage is positive of course.

Here's a screen to try:

Number of Broker Ratings four weeks ago less than or equal to 5

(No more than five analysts were covering the stock four weeks ago.)

Number of Broker Ratings now greater than or equal to 6

(There are at least six analysts covering the stock now.)

Average Broker Rating less than Average Broker Rating four weeks ago

(By 'less than,' I mean 'better than' four weeks ago.)

Average Broker Rating less than or equal to 3

(I'm not that concerned about the rating itself. But since analyst recommendations tend to be bullishly biased, I'd prefer to not have them be 'bearish'.)

And for good measure ...

% Change in Q(1) Estimates greater than or equal to 0 and ...

% Change in F(1) Estimates greater than or equal to 0

(Companies that receive upward estimate revisions have a tendency of receiving even more upward estimate revisions. This, in combination with the stock's increased visibility due to 'new' coverage, can be quite powerful.)

And I'm applying all of the above parameters to stocks with Prices greater than or equal to 5 (most money managers won't even look at a stock under $5) and Average Daily Volume greater than or equal to 50,000 shares (if there's not enough volume, even individual investors won't want it).

There are seven stocks that made it through this week's screen (10/16/06). Here are three of them:

HUB.B Hubbell, Incorporated (B)

TNB Thomas & Betts Corporation

ZUMZ Zumiez, Inc.

Get the rest of the stocks on this list and see what new stocks the analysts are talking about. And don't stop there. Try finding companies with no coverage four weeks ago that are finally being looked at today.

Most screeners won't let you search for the number of analysts covering a stock, let alone comparing the amount of coverage they had weeks or even months ago. The same goes for changes in the Average Broker Rating and Estimate Revisions. But you can with the Research Wizard. And you can backtest it all. Find out how to pick the right stocks right now by learning more about our free trial to the Research Wizard stock picking and backtesting program. http://at.zacks.com/?id=111

Disclosure: Officers, directors and/or employees of Zacks Investment Research may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material. An affiliated investment advisory firm may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material.

About Screen of the Week

Zacks.com created the first and best screening system on the web earning the distinction as the "#1 site for screening stocks" by Money Magazine. But powerful screening tools is just the start. That is why Zacks created the Screen of the Week to highlight profitable stock picking strategies that investors can actively use. Each week, Zacks Profit from the Pros free email newsletter shares a new screening strategy. Learn more about it here http://at.zacks.com/?id=112

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leonard Zacks. As a PhD in mathematics 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 http://at.zacks.com/?id=113

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
Date:Oct 18, 2006
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