Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights: Lumber Liquidators, Meritage Homes, Everest Re Group and Potlatch PR Newswire CHICAGO, May 1, 2013 CHICAGO, May 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights Features: Lumber Liquidators (NYSE:LL), Meritage Homes (NYSE:MTH), Everest Re Group (NYSE:RE) and Potlatch Corporation (Nasdaq:PCH). (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO) 4 Big Winners from This Earnings Season We are just past the halfway mark for first quarter earnings season, and if you just look at the percentage of positive earnings surprises, things have been pretty decent. So far a solid 68% of companies have delivered positive earnings surprises, although earnings growth is a lackluster +2.5% year-over-year. However, as Zacks Research Director Sheraz Mian has pointed out, there is one glaring weak spot this earnings season: revenue. Don't Forget the Top Line While a strong percentage of companies have beaten Wall Street expectations on the bottom line, only 38% of companies have delivered positive revenue surprises this quarter. And year-over-year "growth" is -1.5%. While earnings surprises may garner most of the attention, I'm much more impressed by a company that beats on both the bottom line and the top line. That's because earnings can often be "massaged" by management to clear the quarterly hurdle set by Wall Street. But revenue is generally much less susceptible (although not immune) to manipulation. The Triple Play Positive revenue and earnings surprises are great, but if management guidance is weak and/or if analysts still revise their earnings estimates lower, a stock can still be punished. The true winners from earnings season are those who can deliver the coveted "Triple Play": oA positive earnings surprise oA positive revenue surprise, and oSignificant positive earnings estimate revisions And as the well-documented "post-earnings announcement drift" shows, these blow out quarters are often handsomely rewarded by the market for several weeks after a company reports. So which companies have delivered the "Triple Play" this earnings season? I ran a screen in Research Wizard, and here are 4 of the top companies from the list: Lumber Liquidators (NYSE:LL) EPS Surprise: +30% Revenue Surprise: +7% 4-Week Change in 2013 Consensus: +10% Lumber Liquidators is the largest specialty retailer of hardwood flooring in North America. It is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock. Meritage Homes (NYSE:MTH) EPS Surprise: +32% Revenue Surprise: +6% 4-Week Change in 2013 Consensus: +17% Meritage Homes is a U.S. homebuilder. It is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock. Everest Re Group (NYSE:RE) EPS Surprise: +36% Revenue Surprise: +16% 4-Week Change in 2013 Consensus: +10% Everest Re Group is a property and casualty insurer/reinsurer based in Bermuda. It is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock. Potlatch Corporation (Nasdaq:PCH) EPS Surprise: +46% Revenue Surprise: +2% 4-Week Change in 2013 Consensus: +21% Potlatch Corporation is a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) with approximately 1.4 million acres of timberland in Arkansas, Idaho and Minnesota. It is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock. The Bottom Line This earnings season has been decent, but these four companies each reported outstanding quarters and are well-positioned to run higher over the coming weeks. About Zacks Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Len Zacks. The company continually processes stock reports issued by 3,000 analysts from 150 brokerage firms. It monitors more than 200,000 earnings estimates, looking for changes. Then when changes are discovered, they're applied to help assign more than 4,400 stocks into five Zacks Rank categories: #1 Strong Buy, #2 Buy, #3 Hold, #4 Sell, and #5 Strong Sell. This proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, 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. 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Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights: Lumber Liquidators, Meritage Homes, Everest Re Group and Potlatch
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