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Zacks Buy List Highlights: Monsanto Company, Airgas, Inc., The GEO Group, Inc. and Oil States International, Inc. releases the latest list of Zacks Rank Buy Stocks. Everyday on, four stocks are selected based on how well they match the criteria for the four main schools of investing: Aggressive Growth, Growth & Income, Momentum and Value. The four Zacks Rank Buy stocks highlighted today are Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON), Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG), The GEO Group, Inc. (NYSE: GEO), and Oil States International, Inc. (NYSE: OIS).

Stocks ranked #1 (Strong Buy) by Zacks have produced an average annual return of +31.9% 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 see the full Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) List, or the rank for any other stock, visit:

Here is a synopsis of todays Zacks Rank Buy Stocks:

Aggressive Growth Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON)

Monsanto is a company in the right spot at the right time. Surging corn prices have allowed it to beat earnings estimates in seven out of the past eight quarters. Five analysts have raised their estimates for this year. This year's estimates have jumped 21 cents to $1.81 per share over the past 90 days. The stock has an ROE of 12%, above the industry average of 7%.

Growth & Income Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG)

Airgas, Inc., which was last presented as a Growth & Income pick on Dec 1, exceeded analysts earnings expectations for eight consecutive quarters. The company recently raised its first-quarter profit guidance to between 61 cents and 63 cents per share. As a result of ARGs bullish guidance, analysts have been upping their earnings estimates. On May 8, the Board of Directors increased the companys quarterly cash dividend to nine cents per share from seven cents.

Momentum The GEO Group, Inc. (NYSE: GEO)

On May 1, The GEO Group, Inc. reported first-quarter earnings of 22 cents per share, up from 16 cents last year and two cents above expectations. Looking forward, the company increased its full-year 2007 profit forecast to between $2.02 and $2.15 per share, up from prior guidance of $1.96 to $2.11. The stock is currently trading at record highs, above the 21-day, 50-day and 200-day moving averages.

Value Oil States International, Inc. (NYSE: OIS)

Oil States International, Inc., a Zacks #1 Rank stock, topped the Streets earnings estimate for nine straight quarters by an average margin of 15.3%. Consensus earnings estimates for both this year and next are up over the past week. OIS has a price-to-book ratio of 2.3, compared to 4.5 for the market and 4.1 for the industry. Its return on equity surpasses that of the industry average24% compared to 22%.

Truly taking advantage of the Zacks Rank requires the understanding of how it works. The free special report, Zacks Rank Guide: Harnessing the Power of Earnings Estimate Revisions, provides an insightful background about this wealth-building tool. Download your free copy of the report now to prosper in the years to come by visiting

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 +31.9%. 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 132% annually (+5.1% vs. +11.9%). Thus, the Zacks Rank system allows investors to truly manage portfolio trading effectively.

Zacks Rank performance is the total return (price changes + dividends) of equal weighted portfolios, consisting of those stocks with the indicated Zacks Rank, assuming zero transaction costs. These returns are not the result of a backtest; these are actual returns since 1988. The stocks in the Zacks Rank portfolios were available to Zacks clients before the beginning of each month (monthly rebalancing). Performance results from 1988 through September 2006 are based on a subset of all Zacks Rank stocks that excludes stocks covered by only one analyst and ADRs.

Zacks Profit from the Pros e-mail newsletter offers continuous coverage of Zacks Rank Buy stocks and highlights those stocks poised to outperform the market. Subscribe to this free newsletter today by visiting

About Zacks 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

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.

The S&P 500 Index is a well-known, unmanaged index of the prices of 500 large-company common stocks, mainly blue-chip stocks, selected by Standard & Poor's. The S&P 500 Index assumes reinvestment of dividends but does not reflect advisory fees. An investor cannot invest directly in an index.

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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