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Zacks.com featured expert Kevin Matras highlights: Exterran Holdings, Inc., The St. Joe Company, Lawson Products, Inc., Pandora Media, Inc. and Vulcan Materials Company

CHICAGO, Jan. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Stocks in this week's article include: Exterran Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: EXH), The St. Joe Company (NYSE: JOE), Lawson Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: LAWS), Pandora Media, Inc. (NYSE: P) and Vulcan Materials Company (NYSE: VMC). Kevin Matras screens for companies showing their 'first' profit, and explains why they are ones to watch.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

Screen of the Week written by Kevin Matras of Zacks Investment Research:

With earnings season once again upon us, it's time for me to pull out my 'First Profit' stock screen. The concept for this one is to find companies that have just recently shown their first quarterly profit within the last year.

Some of these companies will be relatively new, so this recent profit may be the only profit in the company's history so far. Others may have a long history of profitability, but haven't seen a profit in a while for whatever reason -- but have finally returned to profitability.

I like this concept because if the trend has been one of improvement, there's a good chance that trend will continue. This is true whether you've been profitable or are just getting profitable.

But some (like myself for example) dislike buying companies that cannot show a profit. And there are many others who won't even consider a stock unless it's making money.

Losing less than the previous quarter is indeed an improvement. And in that respect, by definition, it is growth, i.e., they're growing less unprofitable. And it's even better if the losses are less and less in each sequential quarter.

But there's something entirely different about growth AND being profitable. And those are the stocks that will likely see the best new demand from new investors. People who are now, all of a sudden, willing to take notice of and pay attention to the stock.

And that's what we're screening for today…

For the rest of this Screen of the Week article please visit Zacks.com at:

http://www.zacks.com/commentary/25376/

Sign up now for your free trial today and start picking better stocks immediately. And with the backtesting feature, you can test your ideas to see how you can improve your trading in both up markets and down markets. Don't wait for the market to get better before you decide to do better. Start learning how to be a better trader today: http://at.zacks.com/?id=111

Disclosure: Officers, directors and/or employees of Zacks Investment Research may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material. An affiliated investment advisory firm may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material.

About Screen of the Week

Zacks.com created the first and best screening system on the web earning the distinction as the "#1 site for screening stocks" by Money Magazine.  But powerful screening tools is just the start. That is why Zacks created the Screen of the Week to highlight profitable stock picking strategies that investors can actively use. Each week, Zacks Profit from the Pros free email newsletter shares a new screening strategy. Learn more about it here http://at.zacks.com/?id=112

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leonard Zacks. As a PhD in mathematics Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros.  In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros http://at.zacks.com/?id=113

Follow us on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/ZacksInvestmentResearch

Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.

Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance 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.

Contact: Jim Giaquinto
Company: Zacks.com
Phone: 312-265-9268
Email: pr@zacks.com
Visit: www.Zacks.com

SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

About PR Newswire
Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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