Zacks Releases Four Powerful ''Buy'' Stocks: ICU Medical, AvalonBay Communities, CVR Energy and Valero Energy

Mar 29, 2011, 09:30 ET from Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

CHICAGO, March 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Four free stock picks are being made available today on The industry's leading independent research firm highlights one Zacks #1 Rank Strong Buy or a Zacks #2 Rank Buy stock for each of the four main styles of investing: Aggressive Growth, Growth & Income, Momentum, and Value.


The four highlighted picks are ICU Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq: ICUI), AvalonBay Communities, Inc. (NYSE: AVB), CVR Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CVI) and Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE: VLO).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Four daily picks are offered free at

Zacks #1 Rank Stocks have nearly tripled the S&P 500 since 1988, producing an average annual return of +26%. Performance has been notable even during volatile and down times. For example, during the last bear market, 2000-2002, the market tumbled -37.6% – but Zacks #1 Rank stocks gained +43.8%.

Here is a summary of today's selected stocks that are now highly rated by Zacks:

Aggressive Growth – ICU Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq: ICUI)

ICU Medical, Inc. has a great earnings history, booking its latest surprise back in January.

Zacks Guide to Aggressive Growth Investing (free!):

Growth & Income – AvalonBay Communities, Inc. (NYSE: AVB)

With homeownership rates declining and rental rates rising, the apartment REIT industry should experience a nice tailwind over the next several years. One such company benefitting from this trend is AvalonBay Communities, Inc.

Zacks Guide to Growth & Income Investing (free!):

Momentum – CVR Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CVI)

CVR Energy, Inc. just blasted into a new multi-year high after reporting a hefty 15% earnings surprise in early March. That sent estimates jumping, providing more upward momentum for this Zacks #1 rank stock.

Zacks Guide to Momentum Investing (free!):

Value – Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE: VLO)

The refiners are seeing boom times. With favorable crude spreads, Valero Energy is expected to grow earnings by double digits in both 2011 and 2012. Yet shares are still attractive at just 10x forward estimates.

Zacks Guide to Value Investing (free!):

How to Regularly Access Top Zacks Rank Picks for Free:

Underlying the four free stock picks is a simple truth that first appeared in a Financial Analysts Journal article published in 1979. Leonard Zacks, a Ph.D. in Mathematics from M.I.T. found that "earnings estimate revisions are the most powerful force impacting stock prices."  Zacks #1 Rank is awarded to a stock when analysts sharply upgrade their estimates of what the company will earn.

Today, Zacks is promoting its stock recommendations by offering four daily picks free to those who register at  

About Zacks 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 continues to outperform the market by a nearly 3-to-1 margin.

More Free Stock Picks

Each weekday, new Zacks #1 Rank or Zacks #2 Rank stock picks are released on the free email newsletter, Profit from the Pros. Investors are invited to register for their free subscription at

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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.

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.

Aggressive Growth Stocks:
Contact: Bill Wilton
Phone: 312-265-9277


Growth & Income Stocks:
Contact: Rob Plaza
Phone: 312-265-9442


Momentum Stocks:
Contact: Michael Vodicka
Phone: 312-265-9226


Value Stocks:
Contact: Tracey Ryniec
Phone: 312-265-9232



Visit for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.