S&P STARS Portfolio Celebrates 15th Year Selecting High Quality Stocks 'Buy List' Outperforms S&P 500 Eleven Times

Jan 09, 2002, 00:00 ET from Standard & Poor's

    NEW YORK, Jan. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Standard & Poor's, a global
 leader in financial data and investment analysis, today announced that its
 model portfolio of stocks ranked 5-STARS (strong buy) ended the year ahead of
 the S&P 500, outperforming the well known index for the eleventh time since
 its inception 15 years ago.  Although capital appreciation for both 5-STARS*
 and the S&P 500 declined in 2001 (-10.9% and -13.0 % respectively), 5-STARS
 measures favorably against the year's -21.1 % performance for the NASDAQ
 Composite and -11.0% for the Dow Jones Index Composite, demonstrating, once
 again, its ability to minimize losses, if not prevail, in a difficult
 investment climate.
     Standard & Poor's Stock Appreciation Ranking System (STARS) was introduced
 on December 31, 1986 and reflects the opinions of Standard & Poor's equity
 analysts on the price appreciation potential of approximately 1,100 stocks for
 the next 6-12 month period.  Rankings range from 5-STARS (strong buy) to
 1-STAR (sell).  STARS are currently used as the basis for a number of
 investment vehicles sold by third-party brokerage firms and may be followed in
 both Standard & Poor's weekly investment newsletter, The Outlook, as well as
 MarketScope, Standard & Poor's real-time investment news and advisory service
 for brokers and investment managers.  At any one time, there are approximately
 100 stocks in the S&P 5-STARS Portfolio.
     "Since inception, STARS' performance has been spectacular. Stocks ranked
 as 4-STARS and 5-STARS have soundly beaten the performance of the S&P 500
 Index for the past 1, 3, 5, 10 and 15 year periods." said Kenneth Shea,
 Managing Director, Equity Research, Standard & Poor's.  "If, for example, an
 investor had placed $10,000 in an equal-weighted portfolio comprised of all
 Standard & Poor's 5-STARS stocks in 1986 and continued to follow Standard &
 Poor's 5-STAR recommendations over the next fifteen years, that investment
 would have been worth $125,200 at the end of 2001.  The same initial
 investment tied to the to the S&P 500 over the same period would have been
 worth $47,408."
     Demonstrating the ability of Standard & Poor's analysts also to warn
 investors about potentially poorly performing securities, stocks which the
 firm has labeled as 1-STARS and 2-STARS (sell and avoid) have, as a group,
 significantly under-performed the S&P 500 over the past 5, 10 and 15 years.
 Of the many recommendations Standard & Poor's analysts made on approximately
 1,100 equities in 2001, over 10% were clearly communicated as stocks to "sell"
 or "avoid", a very high percentage compared to most Wall Street research
     Standard & Poor's is not engaged in any underwriting activities and is one
 of the few truly independent research houses on Wall Street.  In addition,
 Standard & Poor's Equity Research department operates independently of the S&P
 Index Committee that creates and maintains the S&P 500 and Standard & Poor's
 other proprietary equity indices.
     Currently, more than $8 billion in assets are managed in portfolios based
 on Standard & Poor's proprietary, non-index strategies, rankings and
 recommendations.  Standard & Poor's investment advice is widely used by
 brokerage firms, mutual funds, insurance companies, retirement plans,
 financial planners, and other financial services professionals.  Standard &
 Poor's Investment Advisory Services leverages the strengths of the entire
 Standard & Poor's organization to offer the financial community objective,
 analytical, disciplined advice.
     Standard & Poor's, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE:   MHP),
 provides independent financial information, analytical services, and credit
 ratings to the world's financial markets.  Among the company's many products
 are the S&P 1200, the premier global equity performance benchmark, the S&P
 500, the premier U.S. portfolio index, and credit ratings on more than
 220,000 securities and funds worldwide.  With more than 5,000 employees
 located in 18 countries, Standard & Poor's is an integral part of the global
 financial infrastructure.  For more information, visit
     *It should not be assumed that recommendations made in the future will be
 profitable or will equal past performance. The above performance calculations
 for STARS do not take into account reinvestment of dividends, capital gains
 taxes or brokers commissions and fees.  A complete list of STARS
 recommendations made in the last year is available from Standard & Poor's upon
 request.  STARS are published by Standard & Poor's Equity Research department,
 which operates independently from, and has no access to information obtained
 by, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, which may in the course of its
 operations obtain access to confidential information.
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SOURCE Standard & Poor's