Highlighted stocks include Ross Stores, Inc. (ROST), Nordson Corporation (NDSN), SEI Investments Co. (SEIC), McDonald’s Corporation (MCD) and China Life Insurance (LFC).

Ross Stores, Inc. (ROST), the off-price retailer that operates Ross Dress for Less stores and dd’s Discounts stores in over 27 states, raised its second quarter earnings per share forecast after June sales jumped.

On July 9, the company reported June sales climbed 6% with same store sales gaining 1% in the month. For the first five months of the year, ending July 4, 2009, total sales rose 8% year over year. Same stores sales increased 3% compared to the first five months a year ago.

Dresses and Shoes were the strongest merchandise categories during June, while the best performing regions were the Southeast and the Mid-Atlantic.

Guidance Raised

The company’s value-oriented advertising is appealing to consumers who are looking for bargains. Ross Stores is bullish on the second quarter, which ends Aug 1. July sales are already trending slightly higher than expected.

It raised EPS guidance to a range of 73 to 75 cents from its previous forecast of 60 to 63 cents per share.

Ross Stores is a Zacks #1 Rank (strong buy) stock. Analysts expect year over year earnings growth of 16.27%.

Read the June 12 article.

Update to Previous Growth & Income Zacks Rank Buy Stocks

Nordson Corporation (NDSN), the manufacturer of dispensing equipment, is using cost cutting to ride out the global slowdown. It has surprised on estimates 3 out of the last 4 quarters. The company continues to pay a healthy dividend far above others in its industry. Read the full article.

SEI Investments Co. (SEIC) continues to battle through a challenging environment, beating estimates in its last reported quarter, sending estimates higher. Read the full article.

McDonald’s Corporation (MCD) continues to rack up impressive gains, distinguishing itself as a steady player in a very choppy market. Read the full article.

China Life Insurance (LFC) saw first quarter income rise 55% and is expected to grow earnings by 39.19% in 2009. Read the full article.

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