The following are today's upgrades for Validea's Growth Investor model based on the published strategy of Martin Zweig . This strategy looks for growth stocks with persistent accelerating earnings and sales growth, reasonable valuations and low debt.

ORIGIN BANCORP INC ( OBNK ) is a small-cap growth stock in the Regional Banks industry. The rating according to our strategy based on Martin Zweig changed from 77% to 85% based on the firm's underlying fundamentals and the stock's valuation. A score of 80% or above typically indicates that the strategy has some interest in the stock and a score above 90% typically indicates strong interest.

Company Description: Origin Bancorp, Inc. is a financial holding company that provides products and services in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. The Company provides a range of financial services to small and medium-sized businesses, municipalities, individuals and retail clients. It offers retail deposits, treasury management, commercial deposits, insurance, mobile banking and online banking. It is also engaged in the residential mortgage banking business and servicing of residential mortgage loans for others. It offers a range of personal and commercial property and casualty insurance products. Its banking services include Internet banking and voice response information, mobile applications, cash management, overdraft protection, direct deposit, safe deposit boxes, the United States savings bonds and automatic account transfers. As of December 31, 2017, the Company operated approximately 41 banking centers from Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas across North Louisiana to Central Mississippi.

The following table summarizes whether the stock meets each of this strategy's tests. Not all criteria in the below table receive equal weighting or are independent, but the table provides a brief overview of the strong and weak points of the security in the context of the strategy's criteria.

P/E RATIO: PASS
REVENUE GROWTH IN RELATION TO EPS GROWTH: FAIL
SALES GROWTH RATE: PASS
CURRENT QUARTER EARNINGS: PASS
QUARTERLY EARNINGS ONE YEAR AGO: PASS
POSITIVE EARNINGS GROWTH RATE FOR CURRENT QUARTER: PASS
EARNINGS GROWTH RATE FOR THE PAST SEVERAL QUARTERS: PASS
EPS GROWTH FOR CURRENT QUARTER MUST BE GREATER THAN PRIOR 3 QUARTERS: PASS
EPS GROWTH FOR CURRENT QUARTER MUST BE GREATER THAN THE HISTORICAL GROWTH RATE: PASS
EARNINGS PERSISTENCE: FAIL
LONG-TERM EPS GROWTH: PASS
INSIDER TRANSACTIONS: PASS

For a full detailed analysis using NASDAQ's Guru Analysis tool, click here

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, INC. ( ATVI ) is a large-cap growth stock in the Software & Programming industry. The rating according to our strategy based on Martin Zweig changed from 58% to 85% based on the firm's underlying fundamentals and the stock's valuation. A score of 80% or above typically indicates that the strategy has some interest in the stock and a score above 90% typically indicates strong interest.

Company Description: Activision Blizzard, Inc. is a developer and publisher of interactive entertainment content and services. The Company develops and distributes content and services across various gaming platforms, including video game consoles, personal computers (PC) and mobile devices. Its segments include Activision Publishing, Inc. (Activision), Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (Blizzard), King Digital Entertainment (King) and Other. Activision is a developer and publisher of interactive software products and content. Blizzard is engaged in developing and publishing of interactive software products and entertainment content, particularly in PC gaming. King is a mobile entertainment company. It is engaged in other businesses, including The Major League Gaming (MLG) business; The Activision Blizzard Studios (Studios) business, and The Activision Blizzard Distribution (Distribution) business. It also develops products spanning other genres, including action/adventure, role-playing and simulation.

The following table summarizes whether the stock meets each of this strategy's tests. Not all criteria in the below table receive equal weighting or are independent, but the table provides a brief overview of the strong and weak points of the security in the context of the strategy's criteria.

P/E RATIO: PASS
REVENUE GROWTH IN RELATION TO EPS GROWTH: PASS
SALES GROWTH RATE: PASS
CURRENT QUARTER EARNINGS: PASS
QUARTERLY EARNINGS ONE YEAR AGO: PASS
POSITIVE EARNINGS GROWTH RATE FOR CURRENT QUARTER: PASS
EARNINGS GROWTH RATE FOR THE PAST SEVERAL QUARTERS: PASS
EPS GROWTH FOR CURRENT QUARTER MUST BE GREATER THAN PRIOR 3 QUARTERS: PASS
EPS GROWTH FOR CURRENT QUARTER MUST BE GREATER THAN THE HISTORICAL GROWTH RATE: PASS
EARNINGS PERSISTENCE: FAIL
LONG-TERM EPS GROWTH: PASS
TOTAL DEBT/EQUITY RATIO: PASS
INSIDER TRANSACTIONS: PASS

For a full detailed analysis using NASDAQ's Guru Analysis tool, click here

BANKWELL FINANCIAL GROUP INC ( BWFG ) is a small-cap value stock in the Regional Banks industry. The rating according to our strategy based on Martin Zweig changed from 46% to 85% based on the firm's underlying fundamentals and the stock's valuation. A score of 80% or above typically indicates that the strategy has some interest in the stock and a score above 90% typically indicates strong interest.

Company Description: Bankwell Financial Group, Inc. is a bank holding company. The Company offers a range of financial services through its banking subsidiary, Bankwell Bank (the Bank). The Bank is a Connecticut state non-member bank. The Bank provides a range of banking services to commercial and consumer customers, concentrated in the Fairfield and New Haven Counties region of Connecticut. The Bank's commercial lending products include owner-occupied commercial real estate loans, commercial real estate investment loans, commercial loans (such as business term loans, equipment financing and lines of credit) to small and mid-sized businesses, and real estate construction and development loans. The Bank's retail lending products include residential mortgage loans, home equity lines of credit and consumer installment loans. Its depository products include checking, savings, money market, certificates of deposit, noninterest-bearing demand, negotiable order of withdrawal ( NOW ) and time deposits.

The following table summarizes whether the stock meets each of this strategy's tests. Not all criteria in the below table receive equal weighting or are independent, but the table provides a brief overview of the strong and weak points of the security in the context of the strategy's criteria.

P/E RATIO: PASS
REVENUE GROWTH IN RELATION TO EPS GROWTH: PASS
SALES GROWTH RATE: PASS
CURRENT QUARTER EARNINGS: PASS
QUARTERLY EARNINGS ONE YEAR AGO: FAIL
POSITIVE EARNINGS GROWTH RATE FOR CURRENT QUARTER: PASS
EARNINGS GROWTH RATE FOR THE PAST SEVERAL QUARTERS: PASS
EPS GROWTH FOR CURRENT QUARTER MUST BE GREATER THAN PRIOR 3 QUARTERS: PASS
EPS GROWTH FOR CURRENT QUARTER MUST BE GREATER THAN THE HISTORICAL GROWTH RATE: PASS
EARNINGS PERSISTENCE: FAIL
LONG-TERM EPS GROWTH: PASS
INSIDER TRANSACTIONS: PASS

For a full detailed analysis using NASDAQ's Guru Analysis tool, click here

BBVA BANCO FRANCES S.A. (ADR) ( BFR ) is a mid-cap value stock in the Regional Banks industry. The rating according to our strategy based on Martin Zweig changed from 77% to 92% based on the firm's underlying fundamentals and the stock's valuation. A score of 80% or above typically indicates that the strategy has some interest in the stock and a score above 90% typically indicates strong interest.

Company Description: BBVA Banco Frances S.A. (the Bank) is a provider of financial services to large corporations, small and medium-size companies (SMEs), as well as individual customers. The Bank is focused on the financial sector, through its activities related to banking/financial, pension fund manager and insurance. The Bank has all its operations, property and customers located in Argentina. As part of its business, the Bank conducts capital markets and securities operations directly in the over-the-counter market and indirectly in Bolsa de Comercio de Buenos Aires (BCBA). Its corporate banking is divided by industry, such as consumer, heavy industries and energy. The Bank's business lines include Retail Banking, Enterprise Banking, and Corporate and Investment Banking. Enterprise Banking offers both short- and long-term financing. The Corporate and Investment Banking business line is concerned with foreign trade transactions, and advice in mergers and acquisitions and in capital market transactions.

The following table summarizes whether the stock meets each of this strategy's tests. Not all criteria in the below table receive equal weighting or are independent, but the table provides a brief overview of the strong and weak points of the security in the context of the strategy's criteria.

P/E RATIO: PASS
REVENUE GROWTH IN RELATION TO EPS GROWTH: PASS
SALES GROWTH RATE: FAIL
CURRENT QUARTER EARNINGS: PASS
QUARTERLY EARNINGS ONE YEAR AGO: PASS
POSITIVE EARNINGS GROWTH RATE FOR CURRENT QUARTER: PASS
EARNINGS GROWTH RATE FOR THE PAST SEVERAL QUARTERS: PASS
EPS GROWTH FOR CURRENT QUARTER MUST BE GREATER THAN PRIOR 3 QUARTERS: PASS
EPS GROWTH FOR CURRENT QUARTER MUST BE GREATER THAN THE HISTORICAL GROWTH RATE: PASS
EARNINGS PERSISTENCE: PASS
LONG-TERM EPS GROWTH: PASS
INSIDER TRANSACTIONS: PASS

For a full detailed analysis using NASDAQ's Guru Analysis tool, click here

CAMDEN NATIONAL CORPORATION (CAC) is a small-cap value stock in the Regional Banks industry. The rating according to our strategy based on Martin Zweig changed from 77% to 85% based on the firm's underlying fundamentals and the stock's valuation. A score of 80% or above typically indicates that the strategy has some interest in the stock and a score above 90% typically indicates strong interest.

Company Description: Camden National Corporation is a bank holding company. The Company is a diversified financial services provider. The primary business of the Company and its subsidiary, Camden National Bank (the Bank), is to attract deposits from, and to extend loans to, consumer, institutional, municipal, non-profit and commercial customers. The Company, through the Bank, offers commercial and consumer banking products and services, and through Camden Financial Consultants and Camden National Wealth Management, divisions of the Bank, brokerage and insurance services, as well as investment management and fiduciary services. The Bank is a national banking association. The Company had 61 banking centers, 84 automated teller machines and three lending offices as of December 31, 2016. The Company operates and manages the Bank's business within Maine's various regions, including Mid Coast, Southern, Central, Bangor and Downeast. Healthcare Professional Funding Corporation is a subsidiary of the Bank.

The following table summarizes whether the stock meets each of this strategy's tests. Not all criteria in the below table receive equal weighting or are independent, but the table provides a brief overview of the strong and weak points of the security in the context of the strategy's criteria.

P/E RATIO: PASS
REVENUE GROWTH IN RELATION TO EPS GROWTH: PASS
SALES GROWTH RATE: PASS
CURRENT QUARTER EARNINGS: PASS
QUARTERLY EARNINGS ONE YEAR AGO: PASS
POSITIVE EARNINGS GROWTH RATE FOR CURRENT QUARTER: PASS
EARNINGS GROWTH RATE FOR THE PAST SEVERAL QUARTERS: PASS
EPS GROWTH FOR CURRENT QUARTER MUST BE GREATER THAN PRIOR 3 QUARTERS: FAIL
EPS GROWTH FOR CURRENT QUARTER MUST BE GREATER THAN THE HISTORICAL GROWTH RATE: PASS
EARNINGS PERSISTENCE: FAIL
LONG-TERM EPS GROWTH: PASS
INSIDER TRANSACTIONS: PASS

For a full detailed analysis using NASDAQ's Guru Analysis tool, click here

Since its inception, Validea's strategy based on Martin Zweig has returned 437.39% vs. 184.98% for the S&P 500. For more details on this strategy, click here

About Martin Zweig : During the 15 years that it was monitored, Zweig's stock recommendation newsletter returned an average of 15.9 percent per year, during which time it was ranked number one based on risk-adjusted returns by Hulbert Financial Digest. Zweig has managed both mutual and hedge funds during his career, and he's put the fortune he's compiled to some interesting uses. He has owned what Forbes reported was the most expensive apartment in New York, a $70 million penthouse that sits atop Manhattan's Pierre Hotel, and he is a collector of all sorts of pop culture and historical memorabilia -- among his purchases are the gun used by Clint Eastwood in "Dirty Harry", a stock certificate signed by Commodore Vanderbilt, and even two old-fashioned gas pumps similar to those he'd seen at a nearby gas station while growing up in Cleveland, according to published reports.

About Validea : Validea is an investment research service that follows the published strategies of investment legends. Validea offers both stock analysis and model portfolios based on gurus who have outperformed the market over the long-term, including Warren Buffett, Benjamin Graham, Peter Lynch and Martin Zweig. For more information about Validea, click here



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of NASDAQ, Inc.