All Star Analysts Portfolio highlights: Diamond Offshore Drilling, Hersha Hospitality Trust, Rowan Cos. and Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Zacks.com just released its latest additions and deletions to its proprietary All Star Analyst portfolio. Members on this exclusive list include Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. (NYSE: DO), Hersha Hospitality Trust (AMEX: HT), Rowan Companies, Inc. (NYSE: RDC) and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT). 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:

Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. (NYSE: DO) reported second-quarter earnings per share of $1.81 on revenue of $648.9 million. A year ago, the contract drilling services company announced EPS of $1.27 on revenue of $512.2 million. The earnings result also marked a positive surprise of approximately 3.4% over the consensus. Diamond Offshore Drilling stated that the international markets for its floater and jack-up equipment remained strong through the quarter, leading to four of its semisubmersibles receiving commitments into the early part of the next decade and a new term commitment for one of its jack-up rigs. The company remains a member of the All Star Analyst Portfolio.

Hersha Hospitality Trust (AMEX: HT) announced solid second-quarter results earlier this week, including adjusted funds from operations of 42 cents that advanced 20% year over year. It also surpassed expectations. Furthermore, consolidated revenue per available room (RevPAR) increased by approximately 17%. Hersha Hospitality Trust also updated its full year financial guidance and now expects adjusted funds from operations between $1.16 and $1.18, compared to its prior guidance of between $1.14 and $1.18. The self-advised real estate investment trust is a recent addition to the All Star Analyst Portfolio.

Rowan Companies, Inc. (NYSE: RDC) reported second quarter results earlier this month, which included revenue growth of approximately 32% year over year to $507 million, compared to $382.9 million. Earnings per share also advanced from the previous year and inched past the consensus. The company said it is proud of the continuing progress made by its manufacturing businesses in expanding product lines, growing external revenues and improving profitability. Rowan Companies, which remains on the All Star Analyst Portfolio, is a major provider of international and domestic contract drilling services.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) announced, during its second-quarter report, that it expects full year earnings per share, before items, of $2.78, which was above analyst expectations at the time. The company remains one of the All Stars favorite hotels companies. For the quarter, Starwood reported earnings per share from continuing operations, excluding special items, of 82 cents, which beat the consensus by as much as 30% and surpassed the year-ago result of 74 cents. Furthermore, worldwide systemwide revenue per available room (RevPAR) was up 8.4%.

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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