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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.

ROYAL BANK OF CANADA ( RY ) is a large-cap value stock in the S&Ls/Savings Banks industry. The rating according to our strategy based on Martin Zweig changed from 69% 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: Royal Bank of Canada ( RBC ), is a diversified financial services company. The Company provides personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, investor services and capital markets products and services on a global basis. The Company serves personal, business, public sector and institutional clients in Canada, the United States and approximately 40 other countries. The Company's business segments include Personal and Commercial Banking, Wealth Management, Insurance, Investor and Treasury Services, Capital Markets. The Company, through its segments, serves various lines of businesses, which include Personal Financial Services, Business Financial Services, Cards and Payment Solutions (Canadian Banking), Caribbean and United States Banking, Canadian Wealth Management, United States and International Wealth Management, Global Asset Management, Canadian Insurance, International Insurance, Corporate and Investment Banking, Global Markets and Other.

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: PASS
LONG-TERM EPS GROWTH: FAIL
INSIDER TRANSACTIONS: PASS

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

SIERRA BANCORP ( BSRR ) is a small-cap value stock in the Regional Banks industry. The rating according to our strategy based on Martin Zweig changed from 69% 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: Sierra Bancorp is a bank holding company for Bank of the Sierra (the Bank). The Bank is a state-chartered bank, which offers a range of retail and commercial banking services. The Bank's products and services are related to the business of lending money and accepting deposits. Its customers have access to electronic point-of-sale payment alternatives around the country through the Pulse Electronic Funds Transfer ( EFT ) network. Its Internet branch provides the ability to open deposit accounts online; an online banking option with bill-pay and mobile banking capabilities, including mobile check deposit; a customer service center that is accessible by toll-free telephone during business hours, and an automated telephone banking system. It offers a range of other banking products and services to complement and support its lending and deposit products, including remote deposit capture and automated payroll services for business customers.

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: FAIL
INSIDER TRANSACTIONS: PASS

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

HOOKER FURNITURE CORPORATION ( HOFT ) is a small-cap value stock in the Furniture & Fixtures industry. The rating according to our strategy based on Martin Zweig changed from 62% to 89% 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: Hooker Furniture Corporation is a home furnishings marketing, design and logistics company offering sourcing of residential casegoods and upholstery, as well as domestically-produced leather and fabric-upholstered furniture. The Company operates through three segments: casegoods furniture, upholstered furniture and all other. The Company's casegoods product categories include accents, home office, dining, bedroom and home entertainment furniture under the Hooker Furniture brand. Its residential upholstered seating companies include Bradington-Young, which is engaged in upscale motion and stationary leather furniture, and Sam Moore Furniture, which is engaged in upscale occasional chairs, settees, sofas and sectional seating with a focus on cover-to-frame customization. It also markets a line of imported leather upholstery under the Hooker Upholstery trade name. All other segment operates under the H Contract and Homeware brands.

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: FAIL
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
TOTAL DEBT/EQUITY RATIO: 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 440.96% vs. 195.11% 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.

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