Zacks Sell List Highlights: USANA Health Sciences, Conceptus, TPC Group and Stepan Company

Mar 10, 2011, 09:30 ET from Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

CHICAGO, March 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 USANA Health Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: USNA) and Conceptus, Inc. (Nasdaq: CPTS). Further, Zacks announced #4 Rankings (Sell) on two other widely held stocks: TPC Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: TPCG) and Stepan Company (NYSE: SCL). To see the full Zacks #5 Rank List - Stocks to Sell Now visit:


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 USNA and CPTS 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:

USANA Health Sciences, Inc.' (Nasdaq: USNA) fourth-quarter earnings of 75 cents per share, reported on Feb 9, missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by nearly 10%. The last month has seen downward revisions by all the 5 covering analysts, pulling the full-year average forecast down by 43 cents to $2.92 per share. Moreover, the following year's estimate fell 20 cents to $3.45 per share during that time.

Conceptus, Inc. (Nasdaq: CPTS) announced fourth-quarter earnings of 14 cents per share on Feb 24, which was 4 cents short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Gross profit margin was 81.9% of net sales for the fourth quarter of 2010, compared with 82.2% for the fourth quarter of 2009. The year-over-year decrease in gross profit margin was primarily the result of lower international average selling prices due to foreign currency.  The full-year average forecast slid 13 cents to 14 cents per share in the last 30 days as 6 analysts out of 10 cut estimates.

Here is a synopsis of why TPCG and SCL 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;

TPC Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: TPCG) posted a second-quarter profit of 7 cents per share on March 3 that was 70% behind the average forecast. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2011 decreased 36 cents to $1.97 per share over the past week as the only covering analyst cut back on projections.

Stepan Company (NYSE: SCL) On Feb 8, the company reported earnings per share of $1.02, which fell 12% short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate. For the current year, the average forecast moved down 16 cents to a profit of $6.51 per share in the last 30 days as the only covering analyst lowered expectations.

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" is available to provide this insightful background. Download a free copy now to prosper in the years to come at

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 +27%. 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 (-0.9% versus +9%). Thus, the Zacks Rank system allows investors to truly manage portfolio trading effectively.

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