All Star Analysts Portfolio Highlights: Cephalon, Diamond Offshore Drilling, PPD and Rowan Companies

Zacks.com just released its latest additions and deletions to its proprietary All Star Analyst portfolio. Members on this exclusive list include

Cephalon, Inc. (NASDAQ: CEPH), Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. (NYSE: DO), PPD, Inc. (NASDAQ: PPDI) and Rowan Companies, Inc. (NYSE: RDC). View the entire list of stocks on the All Star Analyst portfolio at http://at.zacks.com/?id=510

This exclusive portfolio represents all stocks with a Strong Buy rating from at least four analysts with a 5-Star All Star ranking. These are the brokerage analysts whose stock recommendations proved to be the most profitable for investors. Since July 2002, this portfolio has generated an annualized return of 7.53%. Here is a synopsis of why these stocks are in the All Star Analysts Portfolio:

Cephalon, Inc. (NASDAQ: CEPH) announced earlier this month that it received approval from the FDA to market NUVIGIL Tablets for the treatment of excessive sleepiness associated with three disorders. NUVIGIL is a non-amphetamine wake-promoting agent associated with obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome, narcolepsy and shift work sleep disorder. The company said it is excited about the future of NUVIGIL and has initiated additional clinical work to explore its potential in a wide range of medical disorders. Cephalon remains a favorite drugmaker among the All Stars. More recently, the company announced that it expects to submit a new drug application for TREANDA® earlier than previously expected. The company plans a third-quarter 2007 filing for this treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. (NYSE: DO), a contract drilling services company, is scheduled to report its second-quarter results on July 26. The first quarter proved solid for this All Star Analyst Portfolio company. Earnings per share reached $1.64 on revenues of $608.2 million. The earnings result bettered the consensus by approximately 11.6% and improved from $1.06 a year earlier. Revenues advanced from $447.7 million. According to Zacks Research Digest, analysts believe that Diamond Offshore is well positioned to increase earnings and cash flow similar to the premium ultra deepwater players in the sector.

PPD, Inc. (NASDAQ: PPDI) remains one of the All Stars favorite names in its industry. According to Zacks Research Digest, analysts believe that PPDIs expertise in streamlining Phase I, II and III clinical trials, along with providing post-marketing consulting services, places the company in a favorable competitive position. Furthermore, many refer to PPDI as delivering the best-in-class consulting and outsourcing service, which leads to a strong business development track record. For its first quarter, the company announced year-over-year revenue growth of 11% to $332.3 million, with earnings per share of 35 cents that matched the consensus.

Rowan Companies, Inc. (NYSE: RDC), a major provider of international and domestic contract drilling services, remains on the All Star Analyst Portfolio. Demand for jack-ups in the Middle East and many other foreign markets remained strong in the first quarter, according to the company. Furthermore, Rowan plans to continue aggressively pursuing long-term opportunities abroad. In the quarter, revenues reached a record $462.3 million, compared to $410.9 million sequentially and $299.8 million year over year. Earnings per share also improved on a year-over-year basis.

Discover all the current All Star Analyst rankings and top analyst recommendations at http://at.zacks.com/?id=511

About Zacks All Star Analyst Survey

To learn which brokerage analysts are the best in their field and what stocks they're recommending today, see the Zacks All Star Analyst survey. This exclusive survey, created with Fortune Magazine, reveals the "Best-of-Breed" brokerage analysts. They are the select group of winners from the universe of brokerage analysts - the ones who consistently beat the street - the few you should be following now. Visit the Zacks All Star Survey to find the best analysts and their top stock recommendations at http://at.zacks.com/?id=512

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