Zacks #1 Rank Top Performers: Celadon Group, Children's Place, Plum Creek Timber, Emergency Medical Services and Nintendo announces the latest list of top performing Zacks #1 Rank (strong buy) stocks. The stocks on the prestigious list with the highest returns last week were Celadon Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CLDN), The Childrens Place Retail Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLCE), Plum Creek Timber Company, Inc. (NYSE: PCL), Emergency Medical Services Corporation (NYSE: EMS) and Nintendo (OTC: NTDOY). Each of these stocks easily outperformed the S&P 500.

Stocks ranked #1 (Strong Buy) by Zacks have produced an average annual return of +30% since inception in 1988. During the 2000-2002 bear market, Zacks #1 Rank stocks gained 43.8% while the S&P 500 tumbled 37.6%. To learn more about the Zacks Rank, go to

Here is a synopsis of the last weeks best performing Zacks #1 Rank stocks.

Celadon Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CLDN) was able to gain 3.7% during the worst point drop in market history last week; a good indication that the Zacks #1 Rank can pick out winners in even the most difficult of circumstances. The freight service provider is scheduled to report its fiscal first quarter results on Oct 21.

In its fiscal fourth quarter, CLDN announced earnings per share of 10 cents, which declined year over year but was able to surpass the consensus by 4 cents. Revenue advanced 17.4% to $154.6 million. Earnings estimates for this fiscal year, ending June 2009, are up 18.6% from 3 months ago.

The Childrens Place Retail Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLCE) recently announced that same-store sales for September were flat with last years 2% decrease; a strong showing in an industry being pounded by the economic malaise. The result helped the specialty retailer of childrens merchandise gain 1.4% last week, which was enough to make it a top-performing Zacks #1 Rank. Net sales for the month increased 2% to $160.7 million.

Earnings estimates for this fiscal year, ending January 2009, are up almost 30% from 2 months ago. Furthermore, analysts currently expect profit for next fiscal year, ending January 2010, to rise approximately 18% year over year.

Plum Creek Timber Company, Inc. (NYSE: PCL) moved forward by 1% last week, which was an impressive accomplishment during a very rough period. At the moment, analysts expect earnings for this year at $1.17, which is 3.5% higher than 3 months ago. Furthermore, the most accurate estimate for this year is at $1.26, which suggests the potential for upside moving forward.

PCL will report its third-quarter results on Oct 27. In its second quarter, the company reported earnings per share that declined year over year but beat the consensus.

Emergency Medical Services Corporation (NYSE: EMS) made the Zacks #1 Rank Top Performers List last week with a gain of only 0.72%. Earnings estimates for this year and the third quarter are higher than 3 months ago by 7.5% and 7.3%, respectively. Furthermore, analysts currently expect next years profit to improve by about 8.7% over this year.

In its second-quarter report from August, EMS raised its 2008 earnings guidance to between $1.70 and $1.75, compared to its earlier outlook of $1.57 to $1.63. For the quarter, earnings per share of 43 cents advanced from the prior years 35 cents. It also marked a surprise of almost 10.3% over the consensus. Net revenue advanced 10.5% to $571.1 million.

Nintendo (OTC: NTDOY) has watched earnings estimates for this fiscal year, ending March 2009, rise by 14.3% over the past 3 months and 2.3% over the past 30 days. Expectations for next fiscal year are up 11.4% and 2.2%, respectively, in those time frames. In addition, analysts currently expect profit for next fiscal year to be approximately 3.3% better than this fiscal year. NTDOY moved higher by almost 0.4% last week, which was enough to make the Zacks #1 Rank Top Performers List.

Thanks in part to the Wii and DS game players, Nintendo raised its profit and sales guidance for this fiscal year in late August. The company announced that profit should improve approximately 26% from its previous outlook.

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 +30%. 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 underperformed the S&P 500 by 81% annually (+2 % vs. +11%). Thus, the Zacks Rank system allows investors to truly manage portfolio trading effectively.

To view the current Zacks #1 Rank List and to see additional Zacks Rank resources, go to

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

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.

Jim Giaquinto, 312-265-9268

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