CHICAGO, May 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com releases details on a group of stocks that are currently members of the exclusive Zacks #5 Rank List – Stocks to Sell Now. These stocks are currently rated as a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell): XL Group plc (NYSE: XL) and StoneMor Partners L.P. (Nasdaq: STON). Further, Zacks announced #4 Rankings (Sell) on two other widely held stocks: NIKE, Inc. (NYSE: NKE) and The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT). To see the full Zacks #5 Rank List - Stocks to Sell Now visit: http://at.zacks.com/?id=92
Since inception in 1988, the S&P 500 has outperformed the Zacks #5 Rank List of Stocks to Sell Now by 80% annually (+2% vs. +10%). While the rest of Wall Street continued to tout stocks during the market declines of the last few years, Zacks told investors which stocks to sell or avoid.
Here is a synopsis of why XL and STON have a Zacks Rank of #5 (Strong Sell) and should most likely be sold or avoided for the next one to three months. Note that a #5 Strong Sell rating is applied to 5% of all the stocks in the Zacks Rank universe:
XL Group plc's (NYSE: XL) first-quarter loss per share of 52 cents, announced on May 3, decreased nearly 18% on a year-over-year basis. This apart, earnings missed analysts' expectations also by 18%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the full year declined to a profit of 7 cents per share from $1.37 over the past week as 9 out of the 15 covering analysts reduced expectations. Next year's forecast slipped 6 cents to $2.15 per share in the same time span.
StoneMor Partners L.P. (Nasdaq: STON) posted a fourth-quarter loss of 20 cents per share on March 29, which came in 8 cents wider than the average forecast. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the full year fell to a loss of $0.17 per share from $0.04 over the past month as 1 out of the 2 covering analysts slashed forecasts. For 2012, analysts expect a loss of $0.12 per share, compared to last month's projection for a profit of $0.03 per share.
Here is a synopsis of why NKE and NYT have a Zacks Rank of 4 (Sell) and should also most likely be sold or avoided for the next one to three months. Note that a #4 Sell rating is applied to 15% of all the stocks ranked by Zacks;
NIKE, Inc. (NYSE: NKE) announced third-quarter earnings per share of $1.08 on Mar 17 that lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate by nearly 4%. The full-year average forecast moved down 14 cents to a profit of $4.32 per share in the last 60 days, Estimate for next year dipped 25 cents to $4.76 per share in the same period.
The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) reported first-quarter earnings of 2 cents per share on Apr 21, which was 33% short of the average forecast. The diluted earnings per share fell 50% as compared to results of last year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2011 declined 4 cents to 50 cents per share over the past month as 4 out of the 5 covering analysts revised downward. Next year's estimate slid 4 cents to 66 cents per share during the same period.
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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 +28%. 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 significantly underperformed the S&P 500 (2.8% versus +9.7%). Thus, the Zacks Rank system allows investors to truly manage portfolio trading effectively.
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SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.