The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Fastenal, Ryland Group, DR Horton and Home Depot

CHICAGO, July 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Fastenal Company (Nasdaq: FAST-Free Report), Ryland Group Inc. (NYSE: RYL-Free Report), DR Horton Inc. (NYSE: DHI-Free Report) and The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE: HD-Free Report).

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Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

Earnings Preview: Fastenal

Fastenal Company (Nasdaq: FAST-Free Report) is set to report second quarter 2013 results before the opening bell on Jul 10. Last quarter it posted in-line results. Let's see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Factors to Consider

Fastenal's daily sales growth rates have declined sharply in the last 3 - 4 quarters due to end market slowdown. Also, daily sales growth rates in the first quarter of 2013 were hurt by unfavorable weather conditions in January and February and an extended holiday shutdown in January. Daily sales growth of 4.8% in April was also disappointing.

Moreover, on June 5, Fastenal reported drastic year-over-year decline in daily sales for May 2013. Fastenal's daily sales growth rates came in at 5.3% for the month of May, significantly down from 13.1% in the corresponding prior-year month.

The declining daily sales rates have been due to lower sales of its fasteners product line, overall weak non-residential construction market and the uncertainty in U.S economic policy.

Following the release of its disappointing May sales information, Fastenal witnessed downward movement of estimates in the past 30 days. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2013 declined 0.6% to $1.59 over the last 30 days whereas the same for fiscal 2014 declined 0.5% to $1.85 over the same time frame.

Earnings Whispers? Our proven model does not conclusively show that Fastenal is likely to beat earnings this quarter. That is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method ) and a Zacks Rank of #1, 2 or 3 for this to happen. That is not the case here as you will see below.Negative Zacks ESP:

The stock has a negative ESP of -2.44%.

Zacks Rank #4 (Sell ): Fastenal's Zacks Rank #4 when combined with a negative ESP makes positive surprise prediction difficult. We caution against stocks with Zacks Ranks #4 and #5 (Sell rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions momentum.

Other Stocks to Consider With the overall housing market improving steadily, there are many companies that are likely to beat earnings this quarter. Here are some other companies you may want to consider as our model shows that they have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:Ryland Group Inc.

(NYSE:

RYL

-

Free Report

), Earnings ESP of + 4.69% and Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

DR Horton Inc. (NYSE: DHI-Free Report), Earnings ESP of + 8.57% and Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

The Home Depot, Inc.

(NYSE:

HD

-

Free Report

), Earnings ESP of +1.68% and Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.



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