Zacks #1 Rank Top Performers: TBS Int'l, Excel Maritime, Diana
Shipping, DryShips and Suntech Power Holdings
CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--December 04, 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 TBS International Ltd. (NASDAQ: TBSI), Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd. (NYSE: EXM), Diana Shipping Inc. (NYSE: DSX), DryShips Inc. (NASDAQ: DRYS) and Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (NYSE: STP). 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% 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) was the best-performing Zacks #1 Rank last week as shares gained 38%. Earnings estimates for this year are up 10.5% over the past 30 days. Like many other companies in the drybulk sector, TBS Int'l took a break from appearing on the list as the space cooled down from its rapid ascent. However, drybulk shippers made a strong comeback last week.
For its third quarter, the ocean transportation company announced earnings per share of 96 cents, which beat the consensus by almost 25%. The result also easily improved upon the year-earlier performance. Total revenues jumped 41.3% to $92.4 million, versus $65.4 million in the third quarter 2006. Voyage revenues advanced 49.7% to $71.7 million. According to the company, the quarter was its strongest in history in terms of operational and financial results.
Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd. (NYSE: EXM) returned to the top performers list for the week ended Nov 30 as shares gained more than 36%. Thanks in part to very favorable conditions in the drybulk shipping industry, the company has made the list numerous times this year.
Shares of EXM slipped a bit when some of its third-quarter results fell short of expectations. Nonetheless, the performance included impressive year-over-year gains, such as total revenues that moved to $43.2 million from $32.7 million. Earnings per share nearly doubled from the previous year. The company was able to take advantage of the strong freight rate environment. Also during the quarter, Excel Maritime increased its fleet to 18 vessels.
Diana Shipping Inc. (NYSE: DSX) is yet another drybulk shipper that made the top performers list last week. In mid-November, the company reported some solid third-quarter results, including voyage and time charter revenues that advanced to $49.1 million from $30.6 million. DSX attributed this rise to an increase in prevailing time charter rates and in the number of vessels in its fleet. Earnings advanced year over year as well thanks to strong market conditions, prudent management of the fleet and the sale of an older vessel.
Shares of Diana Shipping soared almost 23% last week. Earnings estimates for this year are up approximately 4.5% in the past month. The company stated that the dry bulk market remains firm with historically high levels of demand. DSX is confident about the future and expects to continue benefiting from the favorable market conditions.
DryShips Inc. (NASDAQ: DRYS) has appeared on the Zacks #1 Rank Top Performers list more than any other drybulk shipper, so it's only fitting that the company made an appearance in the group last week. Shares gained almost 23%. Earnings estimates continue to trend higher, including advances of 14.5% and 10%, respectively, over the past two-month and 30-day time periods.
The company reported third-quarter earnings per share, excluding a gain, of $2.38 in early November, which surpassed the consensus by about 1.7%. The result also marked a strong rise from the previous year. Voyage revenues increased to $150 million from $60 million. By the second quarter of 2008, DryShips expects its fleet to consist of 46 vessels with an average age well below the industry average. According to the company, its outlook for 2008 remains positive and it is in a unique position to seek growth opportunities.
Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (NYSE: STP) is a leading solar energy company as measured by both production output and capacity of solar cells and modules. The company made the top performers list for the week ended Nov 30 with shares that improved more than 16%. Earnings estimates for this year are up about 5% over the past 30 trading days.
Suntech is part of a growing industry. Robust demand and solid operational execution led to a strong third-quarter performance, which was announced last month. Total revenues jumped 137.3% to $386.7 million. Meanwhile, earnings per share of 32 cents topped the consensus and bettered the year-ago result.
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%. 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 129% annually (+5 % vs. +12%). Thus, the Zacks Rank system allows investors to truly manage portfolio trading effectively.
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