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Zacks Sell List Highlights: FirstEnergy, Gymboree, Goodyear Tire & Rubber, and Yahoo

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 16, 2003--Zacks.com releases details on a group of stocks that are part of their exclusive list of Stocks to Sell Now. These stocks are currently rated as a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). Note that since 1988 the S&P 500 has outperformed the Zacks #5 Ranked stocks by 166.7% annually (11.3% vs. 4.2% respectively). While the rest of Wall Street continued to tout stocks during the market declines of the last few years, we were telling our customers which stocks to sell in order to save themselves the misery of unrelenting losses. Among the #5 ranked stocks today we highlight the following companies: FirstEnergy Corporation (NYSE:FE) and The Gymboree Corporation (NASDAQ:GYMB). Further they announced #4 Rankings (Sell) on two other widely held stocks: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE:GT) and Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO). To see the full Zacks #5 Ranked list of Stocks to Sell Now then visit: http://stockstosellprbw.zacks.com/

Here is a synopsis of why these stocks have a Zacks Rank of 5 (Strong Sell) and should most likely be sold or avoided for the next 1 to 3 months. Note that a #5/Strong Sell rating is applied to 5% of all the stocks we rank:

FirstEnergy Corporation (NYSE:FE) provides electricity and natural gas services and a wide array of energy-related products and services. Earlier this month, FirstEnergy announced the commencement of a public offering of its common stock, and then said the issuance is expected to result in dilution to the company's 2003 earnings per share by about 2.5%. FirstEnergy said it now expects earnings of $2.61 to $2.81 per share on a non-GAAP basis. The result compares to its previous expectation of a range between $2.68 and $2.88. That range had also been previously lowered. In August, FirstEnergy posted second quarter non-GAAP earnings of 52 cents per share of common stock, which missed the consensus by two cents. Earnings estimates for this year and next remain below levels from three months ago, while analysts have pulled down expectations by about 7 cents and 3 cents over the past seven trading days. FirstEnergy should be in a better position once it passes though this tough time. Meanwhile, investors may want to play it safe and wait for its earnings estimates to improve before adding or deepening a position in the company.

The Gymboree Corporation (NASDAQ:GYMB) is a leading specialty retailer of high quality apparel and accessories for children ages newborn to preteen. Earlier this month, Gymboree reported net sales from retail operations for August of $42.8 million, which was an increase of +2% from last year. However, same-store sales in the period declined by -3%, versus a +3% increase in the same period from last year. In addition, Gymboree expects same-store sales in September to be flat to the prior year. Last month, the company posted a second fiscal quarter loss of 4 cents per diluted share, which matched the consensus and the year-ago result. Gymboree said its boy business is its biggest challenge, as some strategic decisions turned out to be unsuccessful. Earnings estimates for this year and next are approximately -11% and -7% below levels from three months ago respectively. Despite its difficulties, Gymboree said that its girl and newborn businesses continue to grow, and expects to see positive results from the adjustments of the boy assortment early in the fourth quarter. Therefore, it may be best to wait a bit longer on a position in Gymboree for its earnings estimates to gain more upside momentum.

Below is a synopsis of why these two stocks have a Zacks Rank of 4 (Sell) and should also most likely be sold or avoided for the next 1 to 3 months. Note that a #4/Sell rating is applied to 15% of all the stocks we rank:

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE:GT) is one of the world's largest tire companies. The company manufactures tires, engineered rubber products and chemicals in facilities in numerous countries. Over the past three months, analysts have widened their expected loss for this year by approximately 34 cents, while pulling back on its next year's profit expectation by about 7 cents in that timeframe. In its most recently reported quarter from late July, Goodyear posted a loss that was wider than both the year-ago performance and the consensus. The company stated that an increase in raw material costs was the most important factor impacting its operating performance. Nevertheless, Goodyear remains optimistic about a turnaround, and recently got a push in the right direction when the United Steelworkers of America ratified a three-year contract with the company. As the company's turnaround plan is seen to fruition, and as conditions in its industry improve, this well-recognizable company should be able to fulfill its potential. Right now though, it may be best for investors to wait a bit longer on a position in Goodyear for its earnings estimates to get back on track.

Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) is a global Internet communications, commerce and media company that offers a comprehensive branded network of services. In July, Yahoo reported solid second quarter numbers, with earnings of 8 cents per share advancing from last year on net revenue that improved by +42% to $321.4 million. However, that earnings result was a penny shy of the consensus, or about -11%. Several analysts have been unable to push the button when it comes to Yahoo, concerned about aspects such as valuation. Its earnings estimates, in general, for this year have been steady over the past three months. A majority of the analysts most recent revisions for this year have been to the downside. As the most recognized name in the space, Yahoo is building on several positives in the quarter. But in this still-uncertain environment, it may be prudent for investors to hold off a bit longer on opening or strengthening a position in Yahoo until its earnings estimates begin to rise along with other computer software services companies.

To truly take advantage of the Zacks Rank, you need to first understand how it works. That's why we created the free special report; "Zacks Rank Guide: Harnessing the Power of Earnings Estimate Revisions." Download your free copy now to prosper in the years to come. http://freezrguidebw.zacks.com/

About the Zacks Rank

For over 15 years the Zacks Rank has proven that "Earnings estimate revisions are the most powerful force impacting stock prices." Since 1988 the #1 Ranked stocks have generated an average annual return of +33.6% compared to the (a)S&P 500 return of only +11.3%. Plus this exclusive stock list has generated average gains of +13.3% during the last 3 years; a substantial return compared to the large losses suffered by most investors during that time frame. Also note that the Zacks Rank system has just as many Strong Sell recommendations (Rank #5) as Strong Buy recommendations (Rank #1). And since 1988 the S&P 500 has outperformed the Zacks #5 Ranked stocks by 166.7% annually (11.3% vs. 4.2% respectively). Thus, the Zacks Rank system can truly be used to effectively manage the trading in your portfolio.

For continuous coverage of Zacks #1 and #5 Ranked stocks, then get your free subscription to "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter where we highlight stocks to buy and sell using our time tested stock evaluation model. http://zacksrankprbw.zacks.com/

The Zacks Rank, and all of its recommendations, is created by Zacks & Co., member NASD. Zacks.com displays the Zacks Rank with permission from Zacks & Co. on its web site for individual investors.

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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.

Terry Batey, 312-630-9880 x 307
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