Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Diamond Offshore, Transocean, Valero and Joy Global announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Diamond Offshore (NYSE: DO), Transocean Offshore (NYSE: RIG), Valero (NYSE: VLO) and Joy Global (Nasdaq: JOYG).

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Here are highlights from Thursdays Analyst Blog:

Looking Back on Seven for 07

We were right to overweight the Energy area, with two of the seven picks (28.6% of the portfolio vs. 11.3% of the S&P). Diamond Offshore (NYSE: DO) was the biggest winner, up 72.05%. We still love this stock. The world desperately needs to find and develop more large oil fields, and the most likely place they will be found is in deep water. The worlds supply of rigs capable of doing this is largely in the hands of tow firms DO and Transocean Offshore (NYSE: RIG). We like them both, and at this point we would slightly favor RIG due to a very good merger with Global Santa Fe and slightly lower valuation.

Valero (NYSE: VLO) was the second energy pick. Refining margins were exceptionally strong early in the year but have since faded as crude prices have skyrocketed but gasoline prices have been stagnant or down since the spring. Long-term, we think its a good stock to own, but is no longer one of our top picks in the sector. Joy Global (Nasdaq: JOYG) was up 28.94%. It was the only holdover from the "Six for '06" list. It is doubtful that it will make it to the "Eight for '08" list, but still worth holding on to, or even adding to on weakness, but it is no longer a top pick.

See the latest posts to the Analyst Blog by visiting

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The performance of the Zacks Rank portfolios shown above for annual and year-to-date periods are the linked monthly total returns (price changes + dividends) of equal weighted hypothetical portfolios, consisting of those stocks with the indicated Zacks Rank, assuming monthly rebalancing and zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios. The hypothetical portfolios were created at the beginning of each month from Jan 1988 forward based on the values of the Zacks Rank available to Zacks' clients before the beginning of each month. The portfolios created monthly from 1988 through September 2006 exclude ADRS and are comprised of stocks that have the indicated Zacks Rank and were covered by at least two analysts at the time of the stocks inclusion in the portfolio. Starting in October 2006 and going forward, the portfolios are comprised of all stocks with the indicated Zacks Rank and do not exclude ADRs, which is more reflective of the list of stocks that customers will find on the Zacks web sites. 2007 returns are for the period of Jan 1 Jun 30, 2007. These performance numbers have been audited from 1995 through 2003 by Autschuler Melovan, a division of American Express Financial.

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