Zacks #1 Rank Top Performers: Silicom, Michael Baker, Excel

Maritime Carriers, Dawson Geophysical and Key Technology 
CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--September 11, 2007
Zacks.com announces the latest list of top performing Zacks #1
Rank ("strong buy") stocks. The stocks on the prestigious list with
the highest returns last week were Silicom Ltd. (NASDAQ: SILC),
Michael Baker Corporation (AMEX: BKR), Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd.
(NYSE: EXM), Dawson Geophysical Company (NASDAQ: DWSN) and Key
Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: KTEC). Each of these stocks easily
outperformed the S&P 500. 
Stocks ranked #1 (Strong Buy) by Zacks have produced an average
annual return of +32.2% 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. 
Silicom Ltd. (NASDAQ: SILC) announced last week a new line of
Standalone BYPASS cards and modules, which will offer full BYPASS
functionality in a ready-for-integration add-on card or module with no
extra communication ports. According to the company, the innovative
feature of the new product line takes it another step towards becoming
a 'one-stop shop' for best-in-breed appliance connectivity solutions.
Silicom Ltd. is an industry-leading provider of high-performance
server/appliances networking solutions. 
Silicom was a top-performing Zacks #1 Rank company last week with
a gain of 19.1%. For its second quarter, the company reported earnings
per share of 25 cents on revenues of $6.6 million. The earnings
results soared almost 400% from the previous year's six cents and beat
the consensus by 25%. Revenues increased 82% from $3.6 million. 
Michael Baker Corporation (AMEX: BKR) provides engineering and
operations and maintenance services. Shares of this Zacks #1 Rank
advanced 17.4% last week. Over the last two months, earnings estimates
for this year are up approximately 12%. Michael Baker's primary
practice areas include aviation, environmental, facilities, geospatial
information technologies, pipelines & telecommunications,
transportation, water/wastewater and oil & gas. 
Early last month, the company announced second-quarter earnings
per share of 96 cents, versus 13 cents in the year-ago quarter. That
marked a positive earnings surprise of 129% above the consensus. Total
contract revenues moved to $192 million from $156 million. The quarter
was led by revenue and operating income growth in the energy segment
and about $4.9 million of award and project performance-based
incentive fees. Michael Baker Corp. expects both of its segments to
show continued quarter-over-quarter improvement for the rest of this
year, after non-recurring items. 
Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd. (NYSE: EXM) finished August in fine
form with two consecutive appearance on the Zacks #1 Rank top
performers list. The seaborne transportation services company picked
up where it left off in September, advancing 11.3% last week. Earnings
estimates for this year have been trending higher for months now,
gaining 15.4% in the past 30 trading days and 2.7% in the past seven
trading days. 
Stemming from strength in shipping markets and consistent
implementation of its balanced fleet deployment strategy, Excel
Maritime Carriers put together strong second-quarter numbers. Earnings
per share, excluding items, reached 71 cents on total revenues of
$37.3 million. EPS topped the consensus by almost 25% while revenues
increased from $26.7 million. Excel Maritime Carriers believes its
strong balance sheet enables it to further pursue fleet expansion
opportunities. 
Dawson Geophysical Company (NASDAQ: DWSN) was a top-performing
Zacks #1 Rank company for the week ended Sep 7 as shares rose 10.2%.
Earnings estimates for the year ending this month are up 9.8% over the
past two months. Dawson Geophysical is the leading provider of U.S.
onshore seismic data acquisition services as measured by the number of
active data acquisition crews. 
Early last month, the company announced that fiscal third-quarter
revenue jumped 65% to $68.6 million from $41.5 million. The growth was
attributed to several factors, including the addition of two seismic
data acquisition crews during fiscal 2006 and another in April 2007.
Earnings per share of 98 cents beat the consensus by more than 25% and
improved handily from last year's 56 cents. In addition, Dawson's
Board increased its fiscal 2007 capital budget by $16.9 million to $55
million. 
Helped by record quarterly revenues and backlog, Key Technology,
Inc. (NASDAQ: KTEC) reported solid fiscal third-quarter results last
month. Earnings per share reached 54 cents, which beat the consensus
by more than 63% while easily topping the year-ago performance of
seven cents. Net sales pushed forward to $31 million from $21.5
million. The company's backlog at the end of the quarter was $36.7
million, versus $24.7 million a year earlier. New orders received were
33.6 million, compared to $22.5 million. The company believes it is on
track to achieve record annual net sales in fiscal 2007. 
Shares of Key Technology gained 9.9% last week, putting it on the
Zacks #1 Rank top performers list. The company is a worldwide leader
in the design and manufacture of process automation systems for the
food processing and industrial markets. 
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 +32.2%. 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. 
To view the current Zacks #1 Rank List and to see additional Zacks
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(a)The Zacks Performance Rank performance is the total return of
equal weighted simulated portfolios consisting of those stocks with
the indicated Zacks Rank net of fees. Results reflect the reinvestment
of dividends and other earnings. Simulated results do not represent
actual trading and may not reflect the impact that economic and market
factors might have had on decision-making if an adviser were actually
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(b)The S&P 500 Index ("S&P 500") is a well-known, unmanaged index
of the prices of 500 large-company common stocks selected by Standard
& Poor's. The S&P 500 includes the reinvestment of all dividends, no
transaction costs, and represents the gross returns before management
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Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results.
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