drugstore.com, Harris Interactive, Select Comfort, Benchmark Electronics, Claire's Stores, and Hutchinson Technology Business Editors CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 2, 2003--Zacks.com releases another list of stocks that are currently members of the coveted Zacks #1 Ranked list which has produced an average annual return of +33.6% since 1988 and has gained +13.3% annually since 2000 as the markets have been tumbling down. Among the #1 ranked stocks today we highlight the following companies: drugstore.com, inc. (NASDAQ:DSCM), Harris Interactive Inc. (NASDAQ:HPOL) and Select Comfort Corporation (NASDAQ:SCSS). Further they announced #2 Rankings (Buy) on two other widely held stocks: Benchmark Electronics, Inc. (NYSE:BHE), Claire's Stores, Inc. (NYSE:CLE), and Hutchinson Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:HTCH). To see the full Zacks #1 Ranked list or the rank for any other stock then visit. http://www.zacksrank1bw.zacks.com Here is a synopsis of why these stocks have a Zacks Rank of 1 (Strong Buy). Note that a #1 Strong Buy rating is applied to 5% of all the stocks we rank: drugstore.com, inc. (NASDAQ:DSCM) is an online drugstore and information site offering A Very Healthy Way to Shop for health, beauty, wellness, personal care and pharmacy products. Early last month, DSCM announced new partnerships with 1-800-Wheelchair.com and PetCareRx. The partnerships will allow customers to shop for more healthcare-related items and pet medicine while staying on the DSCM online store. Furthermore, in late January, DSCM announced the launch of its new Sexual Well Being (TM) store, which gives customers the opportunity to shop and buy sexual well being products from the privacy of their own home. DSCM appears to be making moves to improve its offering to customers, and may be a good treatment for your ailing investment universe. Harris Interactive Inc. (NASDAQ:HPOL) is a leading market research and polling firm, using Internet-based and traditional methodologies to provide the clients with information about the views, experiences and attitudes of people worldwide. With a war waging in Iraq and a controversial tax plan on the table, polling has become big business as every media outlet wants to know what the public is thinking. That's good news for HPOL and its shareholders. In the company's fiscal second quarter of 2003, HPOL posted record revenue and earnings, with revenue advancing by more than +20% on a fully comparable basis and net income reversing a year-ago loss. Furthermore, the company said it expects sales momentum to continue for the third quarter with about $33 million to $35 million in revenue. Its earnings estimates haven't moved much in recent months, but if the company can continue to put together strong performances, then there should be room to move higher. Select Comfort Corporation (NASDAQ: SCSS) is engaged in the manufacture, specialty retailing and direct marketing of premium quality, innovative adjustable-firmness beds and other sleep-related products. In early February, SCSS announced that it put together its sixth straight quarterly profit as fourth quarter pro forma net income of 15 cents per fully diluted share easily surpassed the year-ago result of 3 cents. Net sales jumped by +33% to $92.3 million. Over the past three months, the company's earnings estimates for this year and next have risen by approximately 10 cents and 9 cents respectively. The company will now focus on extending its national brand awareness, and expects 2003 to be another record-breaking year due to retail store expansion, continued product innovation, and leverage of its financial model. With a company like this in their portfolios, investors should be able to rest easy with plenty of cash underneath the mattress. Here is a synopsis of why these stocks have a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy). Note that a #2 Buy rating is applied to 15% of all the stocks we rank: Benchmark Electronics, Inc. (NYSE:BHE) provides contract electronics manufacturing and design services to original equipment manufacturers in select industries, including medical devices, communications equipment, industrial and business computers, testing instrumentation and industrial controls. The company's earnings estimates have been heading higher over the past several quarters, and BHE has been up to the challenge. In fact, in the past five quarters, the company has constructed an average earnings surprise of more than +19%. That's pretty good given that BHE's industry has been under pressure in these tough times. Its earnings estimates for this year have improved by about 28 cents from three months ago, while next year's estimates have improved by approximately 18 cents in the same time frame. If the company can continue such momentum, than its earnings estimates could see further growth. An investment in this company may be a benchmark for success in your portfolio. Claire's Stores, Inc. (NYSE:CLE), through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, is a leading mall-based retailer of popular-priced fashion accessories and apparel for pre-teens and teenagers. Although retail has seen better days, CLE put together a strong fourth quarter performance with income from continuing operations of 87 cents per diluted share. The result easily exceeded the year-ago total of 61 cents while also handily beating Wall Street's earnings expectations. Furthermore, sales in the quarter improved by +15% to $322.4 million, while same-store sales were enhanced by +9%. On top of its successful quarter, CLE also has an excellent record of beating Wall Street's predictions over the past several quarters, which bodes very well for the company and its shareholders. Shopping around for profits may be easy with a purchase of CLE. Hutchinson Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:HTCH) is a leading supplier of suspension assemblies for hard disk drives. Estimates for the company have risen by a very healthy clip from three months ago. In its fiscal first quarter, HTCH reported net income of 65 cents per diluted share, which beat what a consensus of analysts expected and the year-ago result. Net sales advanced to $132,862,000 from $92,717,000. The quarter's improvements were attributed to an increase in suspension assembly shipment volumes and further improvements in productivity. An increase in volume came about through an overall increase in demand, an increase in market share, and a temporarily high level of suspension assembly consumption. In four out of the past five quarters, HTCH has been able to easily exceed Wall Street's expectations. HTCH appears to be moving in the right direction and may be the bridge to profits that investors are seeking. To truly take advantage of the Zacks Rank, you need to first understand how it works. That's why we created the free special report; "Zacks Rank Guide: Harnessing the Power of Earnings Estimate Revisions." Download your free copy now to prosper in the years to come. http://freezrguideprbw1.zacks.com About the Zacks Rank For over 15 years the Zacks Rank has proven that "Earnings estimate revisions are the most powerful force impacting stock prices." Since 1988 the #1 Ranked stocks have generated an average annual return of +33.6% compared to the (a)S&P 500 return of only +11.3%. Plus this exclusive stock list has generated average gains of +13.3% during the last 3 years; a substantial return compared to the large losses suffered by most investors during that time frame. Also note that the Zacks Rank system has just as many Strong Sell recommendations (Rank #5) as Strong Buy recommendations (Rank #1). And since 1988 the S&P 500 has outperformed the Zacks #5 Ranked stocks by 166.7% annually (11.3% vs. 4.2% respectively). This is a healthy change from traditional Wall Street Brokerage firms who rarely give stocks Sell ratings even as the share price and earnings forecast tumble. Thus, the Zacks Rank system can truly be used to effectively manage the trading in your portfolio. For continuous coverage of Zacks #1 Ranked stocks, then get your free subscription to "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter where we highlight #1 Ranked stocks poised to outperform the market. http://www.zacksrank2bw.zacks.com/ The Zacks Rank, and all of its recommendations, is created by Zacks & Co., member NASD. Zacks.com displays the Zacks Rank with permission from Zacks & Co. on its web site for individual investors. 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Zacks Issues Buy Recommendations on the Following 6 Stocks:
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