Archive for 'Technology'

Google Tops Mergers & Acquisitions List for 2011

Google Tops Mergers & Acquisitions List for 2011

Google Tops Mergers & Acquisitions List for 2011-Image via CrunchBase

Berkery Noyes, an independent middle market investment bank, today released its Full Year 2011 Mergers and Acquisitions trend report for the Information Industry.

The Information Industry report, which Berkery Noyes defines as all media, software, and online companies, analyzes M&A in 2011 and compares it with activity in 2009 and 2010.

The median revenue multiple increased from 1.7x in 2010 to 2.1x in 2011, while the median EBITDA multiple increased from 10.5x to 12.0x. Total transaction volume in 2011 increased by 17 percent over 2010, from 2639 to 3098.

The most active acquirer for 2011 in the Information Industry was Google with 25 acquisitions, including 5 in the Fourth Quarter: Clever Sense, RightsFlow, Apture, Katango, and SocialGrapple. Overall, Google had 58 Information acquisitions from 2009 to 2011.

“Large tech players were heavily involved in intellectual property M&A,” said James Berkery, Chief Information Officer at Berkery Noyes. “Strong strategic interest in the sector was evident in 2011. For instance, Nortel sold 6,000 wireless patents in July 2011 for $4.5 billion to a consortium that included Microsoft, Research In Motion, Sony, Ericsson, EMC, and Apple.”

In several 2011 transactions, Google acquired a wide range of patents from IBM. Technology companies such as Google are likely to increase their patent portfolios for several reasons, principally to drive product innovation and to hedge against the increasing prevalence of patent litigation. Google’s acquisition of RightsFlow in December 2011, which will help with music licensing concerns on YouTube, shows that the search giant is determined to be a key player in the IP space.

Berkery Noyes specializes in Mergers & Acquisitions advisory services, in addition to structuring debt and equity transactions in the $25 million to $500 million range. Unique among investment banking firms, Berkery Noyes combines independent strategic research and industry intelligence with senior information technology banking expertise. Long having been an innovator in database and research technology in M&A, Berkery Noyes has committed itself to providing more expansive and more current information. The firm’s research teams publish acquisition activity in the respective sectors they follow on MandAsoft.com.

A copy of the FULL YEAR 2011 INFORMATION INDUSTRY MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS REPORT is available at the Berkery Noyes website.

About Berkery Noyes

Berkery Noyes is an independent investment banking advisory firm servicing the information industry. Focused on middle-market corporations and financial sponsors, Berkery Noyes is committed to delivering a comprehensive array of industry-leading advisory services. Since its founding by Joseph W. Berkery in 1983, the firm has worked with corporate clients to grow through acquisition, divest non-core assets, and maximize shareholder returns through strategic transactions and restructurings. For private owners, Berkery Noyes helps create liquidity and execute timely exit strategies that achieve the personal and professional objectives. For more information, visit www.berkerynoyes.com.

­­­Contact Information:
Peter Wilson
Berkery Noyes
646-442-7966
peter.wilson@berkerynoyes.com

Web Site: http://www.berkerynoyes.com

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Deals involving smart mobility and business analytics came on strong in 3Q11, driving two deals each with values above US$10b — the first time two deals of that size occurred in the same quarter since 1Q 2000. Hundreds more transactions were driven by cloud computing, information security, social networking, online and mobile games, health care IT and internet and mobile video. Many deals combined two or more of these trends.

Growth in the aggregate value of private equity (PE) transactions drove the overall sequential increase in value. PE aggregate value increased 82% sequentially to US$14.6b in 3Q11 and increased 86% YOY. PE firms contributed 6 of the 11 3Q11 deals valued above US$1b. Of note, the big-ticket PE deals in the third quarter occurred across a broad spectrum of technologies targeting different industries, including health care, financial services and education.

As they did in 2Q11, big-ticket deals dominated in 3Q11, with the top 11 deals totaling US$40.1b in value, or 71% of all disclosed in the quarter. Average values per deal also climbed – 14% over the previous quarter and 26% YOY – to US$221m, the highest level in 11 years.

Joe Steger, Global Technology Transaction Advisory Services Leader at Ernst & Young, says:

“In the face of market volatility and macroeconomic uncertainties that are dampening other industries, the megatrends driving global technology M&A so far have continued to push deal values higher. The increase in values is due primarily to the period of hyper-innovation that technology companies are experiencing. Technology companies have been delivering rapid waves of innovation around smart mobility, cloud computing, business intelligence/analytics, social networking, information security and other new technologies. Remaining competitive and transforming that innovation into economically actionable products and services often requires significant M&A activity.”

“Big data” looms large

One focus of technology M&A in 3Q11 was “big data.” As Steger explains, “Business systems, mobile applications, social networking platforms and smart metering systems are generating an ever-increasing mass of data that is getting harder to analyze as it grows exponentially in size. Companies are struggling with what has come to be known as the ‘big data’ problem. Technologies that help companies make sense of it all can provide important customer information and insights.”

There were roughly two dozen deals in this business intelligence/analytics category in the third quarter, including one of the deals above US$10b. The growth in business intelligence/analytics deals appears to be extending into the fourth quarter as well.

Top trends include integration

Cloud computing, smart mobility, information security and social networking continue to dominate deal-driving trends. There were multiple 3Q deals involving security technologies together with cloud, mobile or both. “As time passes, we’re also seeing technologies related to these technology trends integrate with each other – and with just about everything else,” Steger says.

Deal volume ticks down – again

Deal volume dipped 2% for the second consecutive quarter, to 759 deals in 3Q11. “This year’s deal volume plateau comes after a string of eight consecutive quarters without a volume decline from 1Q09 to 1Q11,” Steger says. To put it in context, published reports indicate that 3Q11 deal volume for all industries declined far more – by about 9%, compared with the 2% technology decline. Deal volume level has remained in a range between 700 and 800 deals in each of the last five quarters (beginning with 3Q10). This may be the technology industry’s near-term naturally sustainable level, according to the report.

Cross-border slowdown

Cross-border deals declined 11% each in volume and value in 3Q11, compared with 2Q11. This quarter represented one of the occasional pauses in a generally upward trend that has seen cross-border deals increasing as a percentage of the volume and value of all deals since 2009.

Outlook clouded by global trends

While global technology M&A provided a counterpoint to the global macroeconomic malaise prevalent in the third quarter, the question remains whether such robust values can be maintained in the face of uncertainty and extreme equity market volatility. “Although macroeconomic volatility makes it hard to predict whether M&A transactions will continue to grow or take a pause in the short term, the multiple disruptive technology megatrends occurring now and driven by smart mobility, cloud computing and social networking, make long-term M&A growth a relatively safe bet,” says Steger.

About the report

Global Technology M&A Update, July-September 2011 is based on Ernst & Young’s analysis of FactSet Mergerstat data for July through September 2011. FactSet Mergerstat data was last accessed for this second quarter report on 6 October 2011. Deal activity and valuations may fluctuate slightly based on the date that the FactSet Mergerstat database is accessed. Only disclosed value deals are used in all value analysis.  Full report is available at www.ey.com.

Ernst & Young’s Global Technology Center

The technology industry is in a constant state of change — driven by continuous innovation, shifting markets, converging industries, consumer demand and the need for first-mover advantage. Ernst & Young’s Global Technology Center connects a worldwide team of more than 14,000 technology professionals to help you navigate the challenges of this continuous change. We provide assurance and tax guidance through a network of experienced advisors to help you manage risk, transform business performance and sustain improvement. We can help you deliver cost-effective innovation, balance product portfolios, maintain effective supply chains, and identify, execute and integrate strategic growth transactions. Our global technology network leverages our leading market share position in serving technology companies to provide you with timely, reliable information. Our teams use a cross-discipline, collaborative approach to help you achieve your business objectives. We encourage our people to use their ingenuity and initiative to help you develop approaches, create options and seize opportunities. It’s how Ernst & Young makes a difference.

About Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 152,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.

Ernst & Young refers to the global organization of member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit www.ey.com.

This news release has been issued by EYGM Limited, a member of the global Ernst & Young organization that also does not provide any services to clients.

CONTACT: Tehira Taylor, Ernst & Young Global Media Relations, +44 (0)20 7980 0703, tehira.taylor@uk.ey.com; or Hannah James, Fleishman-Hillard, +1-212-453-2104, Hannah.james@fleishman.com

Web Site: http://www.ey.com

The Editorial Advisory and Securities Review Committee of BetterInvesting Magazine today announced Thoratec Corporation (NDQ: THOR) as its October 2011 “Stock to Study” and Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX) as its October 2011 “Undervalued Stock” for investors’ informational and educational use.

“The committee chose Thoratec because of its historical high growth, strong current fundamentals and continued opportunities for its medical devices for circulatory support,” said Adam Ritt, editor of BetterInvesting Magazine. “For the Undervalued selection, the committee cited Praxair’s attractive business model, which relies on long-term contracts with its industrial-gas customers, and opportunities in emerging markets.” Check BetterInvesting Magazine’s October issue for more details about these selections.

Committee members are Robert M. Bilkie, Jr., CFA; Daniel J. Boyle, CFA; Philip S. Dano, CFA; Donald E. Danko, CFA; Maury Elvekrog, CFA; Walter J. Kirchberger, CFA; Marisa Lenhard, CFA; and Paul McVey, CFA.

As stated, the BetterInvesting committee’s Stock to Study and Undervalued Stock choices are for the informational and educational uses of investors and are not intended as investment recommendations. BetterInvesting urges investors to educate themselves about the stock market so they can make informed decisions about stock purchases. For more information about investment education tools available to individual investors and investment clubs visit www.betterinvesting.org.

BetterInvesting Magazine is published monthly by BetterInvesting.
BetterInvesting is the brand identity of the National Association of Investors Corporation, a national, nonprofit association with members consisting of individual investors and investment clubs. Founded in 1951 and with headquarters in Madison Heights, Mich., BetterInvesting is considered the voice of the individual investor, as well as the pioneer of the modern investment club movement. BetterInvesting is dedicated to providing a sound program of investment education and information to help its members become successful long-term, lifetime investors. For more information about BetterInvesting, visit its website at www.betterinvesting.org or call toll free (877) 275-6242. For additional BetterInvesting data and news releases, visit the Media Center at www.betterinvesting.org/mediacenter.

http://www.betterinvesting.org

Zacks Releases Strong Sell List

Zacks.com releases details on a group of stocks that are currently members of the exclusive Zacks #5 Rank List – Stocks to Sell Now. These stocks are currently rated as a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell): Ameron International Corporation (NYSE: AMN) and Watsco, Incorporated (NYSE: WSO). Further, Zacks announced #4 Rankings (Sell) on two other widely held stocks: Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: REGN) and Amedisys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED).

To see the full Zacks #5 Rank List – Stocks to Sell Now visit: http://at.zacks.com/?id=92

Since inception in 1988, the S&P 500 has outperformed the Zacks #5 Rank List of Stocks to Sell Now by 80% annually (+2% vs. +10%). While the rest of Wall Street continued to tout stocks during the market declines of the last few years, Zacks told investors which stocks to sell or avoid.

Here is a synopsis of why AMN and WSO have a Zacks Rank of #5 (Strong Sell) and should most likely be sold or avoided for the next one to three months. Note that a #5 Strong Sell rating is applied to 5% of all the stocks in the Zacks Rank universe:

Ameron International Corporation (NYSE: AMN) announced second-quarter profit of 11 cents per share on July 8 that missed analysts’ expectations by 81.7%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year slipped to $1.40 per share from $1.95 per share in the last 30 days as next year’s estimate dipped 9 cents per share to $3.45 per share in that time span.

Watsco, Incorporated (NYSE: WSO) posted a second-quarter profit of $1.09 per share on July 26, which came in 21 cents wider than the average forecast. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the full year fell to $2.91 per share from $3.20 per share over the past month. For 2012, analysts expect a profit of $3.59 per share, compared to last month’s projection for a profit of $3.96 per share.

Here is a synopsis of why REGN and AMED have a Zacks Rank of 4 (Sell) and should also most likely be sold or avoided for the next one to three months. Note that a #4 Sell rating is applied to 15% of all the stocks ranked by Zacks;

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: REGN) second-quarter loss of 69 cents per share, posted on July 28, lagged analysts’ projections by 68.29%. Estimate for current year slid 45 cent per share to a loss of $2.33 per share over the past month as next year’s estimate dipped 35 cents per share to a loss of $1.30 per share in that time span.

Amedisys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) reported a second-quarter profit of 67 cents per share on August 2 that fell 2.90% short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The full-year average forecast is currently $2.30 per share, compared with last month’s projection of $3 per share. Next year’s forecast dropped to $2.93 per share from $3.09 per share in the same period.

Truly taking advantage of the Zacks Rank requires the understanding of how it works.  The free special report; “Zacks Rank Guide: Harnessing the Power of Earnings Estimate Revisions” is available to provide this insightful background. Download a free copy now to prosper in the years to come at http://at.zacks.com/?id=93

About the Zacks Rank

Since 1988, the Zacks Rank has proven that “Earnings estimate revisions are the most powerful force impacting stock prices.” Since inception in 1988, #1 Rank Stocks have generated an average annual return of +28%. During the 2000-2002 bear market, Zacks #1 Rank stocks gained +43.8%, while the S&P 500 tumbled -37.6%. Also note that the Zacks Rank system has just as many Strong Sell recommendations (Rank #5) as Strong Buy recommendations (Rank #1). Since 1988, Zacks Rank #5 stocks have significantly underperformed the S&P 500 (2.8% versus +9.7%). Thus, the Zacks Rank system allows investors to truly manage portfolio trading effectively.

Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Zacks “Profit from the Pros” e-mail newsletter offers continuous coverage of Zacks Rank Buy stocks and highlights those stocks poised to outperform the market. Subscribe to this free newsletter today by visiting http://at.zacks.com/?id=94

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Len Zacks. As a PhD from MIT 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 at http://at.zacks.com/?id=95

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OM Group, Inc. (NYSE: OMG) today announced that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of Vacuumschmelze GmbH & Co. KG (VAC) of Hanau, Germany, a global market leader in advanced materials and specialty magnetics, for approximately 700 million Euros, including $50 million in common stock. The company announced its intent to acquire VAC on July 5, 2011.

Founded in 1923, VAC is widely regarded as one of the premier designers, producers and marketers of the world’s most technologically advanced materials and technologies, cores and components, and permanent magnets for electronic equipment markets, including the alternative energy, automotive, electric vehicles, electrical installation, and energy conversion and distribution sectors. Among other things, the company has number-one global market positions in its Materials & Parts and Cores & Components units, and a leading global position in its Permanent Magnets unit.

“We are pleased to add the talented people and innovative technology of VAC to our growing enterprise,” said Joseph Scaminace, chairman and chief executive officer of OM Group. “This is a financially strong, market-leading business with attractive margins and strong cash flow from operations. Among other things, VAC will accelerate our efforts to move closer to end users in a wider range of stable and fast-growing end markets, particularly alternative energy.”

VAC has world-class production facilities in Germany, Slovakia, Finland, China and Malaysia, with sales offices in 16 countries worldwide. The company employs 4,500 people globally – including 160 scientists and engineers. In the 12-month period ending June 30, 2011, VAC, which has historically prepared its financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”), has sales of 423 million Euros and operating profit of 63 million Euros (calculated under IFRS). Excluding one-time items related to the acquisition, OM Group expects the acquisition to be accretive to earnings in fiscal 2011. OMG purchased VAC from One Equity Partners, the private investment arm of JPMorgan Chase & Co.

OMG ENTERS INTO A NEW LONG-TERM FINANCING AGREEMENT

In connection with the acquisition of VAC, the company terminated its existing financing agreement, and entered into a new long-term financing agreement, including a new revolving credit facility and two new term loans. The syndication, led by BofA Merrill Lynch, PNC Capital Markets LLC and BNP Paribas, was oversubscribed.

The new long-term financing includes:

  • a $200 million multi-currency revolving credit facility, due 2016, which is undrawn at closing
  • a $100 million Term Loan A due 2016
  • a $350 million Term Loan B due 2017
  • and a 175 million Euro Term Loan B due 2017

 

ABOUT OM GROUP, INC.

OM Group, Inc. is a leading global solutions provider of specialty chemicals, advanced materials, electrochemical energy storage, magnetic materials and unique technologies crucial to enabling our customers to meet increasingly stringent market and application requirements. The company serves a wide variety of sectors, including rechargeable batteries, electronic devices, cutting tools, petrochemical catalysts, electronics manufacturing, industrial coatings, defense, aerospace, medical devices, alternative energy, automotive, electrical installation, and energy conversion and distribution. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, OM Group operates manufacturing facilities in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. For more information, visit the company’s website at http://www.omgi.com.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

The foregoing discussion may include forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are based upon specific assumptions and are subject to uncertainties and factors relating to the company’s operations and business environment, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond the control of the company. These uncertainties and factors could cause actual results of the company to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements contained in the foregoing discussion. Such uncertainties and factors include: the ability to successfully integrate the acquisition of Vacuumschmelze GmbH & Co. KG; the recent natural disasters in Japan and disruptions to the business environment in that country; the operation of our critical business facilities without interruption; the effect of non-currency risks of investing and conducting operations in foreign countries, including political, social, economic and regulatory factors; the availability of competitively priced supplies of raw materials, particularly cobalt; the speed and sustainability of price changes in cobalt; the potential for lower of cost or market write-downs of the carrying value of inventory necessitated by decreases in the market price of cobalt or the selling prices of the company’s finished products; the direction and pace of our strategic transformation, including identification of and the ability to finance potential acquisitions; the potential impact that a deterioration in global economic and financial market conditions may have on our business and operations, including future goodwill impairments; the impact on pension accounting if actual results differ from actuarial assumptions; the effect of changes in domestic or international tax laws; the effect of fluctuations in currency exchange rates on the company’s international operations; the demand for metal-based specialty chemicals and products in the company’s markets; the impact of environmental regulations on our operating facilities and the impact of new or changes to current environmental, health and safety laws on our products and their use by our customers; the general level of global economic activity and demand for the company’s products; and the finalization of the company’s financial statements for the quarter ended June 30, 2011.

http://www.omgi.com

Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. (TSX: BNC) (ASX: BNC), a research-based, technology-driven Canadian biopharmaceutical company, today announced that it will not  proceed with the proposed acquisition comprising the business and assets of Plasvacc Holdings Limited (Plasvacc) as previously announced on July 4, 2011. The parties have failed to reach agreement on definitive transaction documents and have terminated discussions under their letter of intent in connection with the transaction.

“We are disappointed that we could not successfully conclude this acquisition,” said Graeme McRae, Chairman, President & CEO of Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. “However, this outcome does not affect our intentions to selectively acquire rights to commercially-important animal health products and technologies, one of the stated uses of proceeds for our C$28.9 million concurrent financings in Canada and Australia completed earlier this year. A number of other potential acquisitions are currently under consideration.”

About Bioniche Life Sciences Inc.

Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. is a research-based, technology-driven Canadian biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, manufacturing, and marketing of proprietary products for human and animal health markets worldwide. The fully-integrated company employs more than 200 skilled personnel and has three operating divisions: Human Health, Animal Health, and Food Safety. The Company’s aims to develop and commercialize proprietary and innovative products for human and animal health.

The Animal Health division – Bioniche Animal Health – develops, manufactures and markets animal health biopharmaceutical products worldwide. It has product development, manufacturing and marketing facilities in Belleville, Ontario, Canada; marketing and production facilities in Athens, Georgia, U.S.A.; Pullman, Washington, U.S.A.; and Armidale, New South Wales, Australia. The Australian business is conducted from two sites: Melbourne, Victoria, where sales and marketing, customer support and technical service are located; and Armidale, New South Wales, where production (manufacturing facility, farm/research and development facility) is located.

Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. has been named one of the Top 50 Best Small and Medium-Sized Employers in Canada for 2010. For more information, please visit www.Bioniche.com.

Except for historical information, this news release may contain forward-looking statements that reflect the Company’s current expectation regarding future events. These forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainties, which may cause, but are not limited to, changing market conditions, the successful and timely completion of clinical studies, the establishment of corporate alliances, the impact of competitive products and pricing, new product development, uncertainties related to the regulatory approval process, and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company’s ongoing quarterly and annual reporting.

 

Verizon Wireless Owners to Get $10 Billion

Verizon Wireless Owners to Get $10 Billion

Verizon Wireless Owners to Get $10 Billion-Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Verizon Wireless today announced that its Board of Representatives has declared a distribution to its owners, payable on Jan. 31, 2012, in proportion to their partnership interests on that date, in the aggregate amount of $10 billion.

Verizon Wireless is a joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc., which owns 55 percent of the partnership, and Vodafone Group Plc, which owns 45 percent of the partnership.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s fastest, most advanced 4G network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 106.3 million total wireless connections, including 89.7 million retail customers.  Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 83,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD).  For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
http://www.verizonwireless.com

Gold Prices Rise on Russian Gold Purchase


The price of gold is expected to increase $6 to $10 a day until an agreement is reached by the House of Representatives according to Regal Assets. While most investors remain optimistic that there will be a deal reached by the deadline, the topic is causing other areas of the US economy to be exposed such as state debt and bank closures.

According to the FDIC three banks were closed on Friday by the regulators taking the count of U.S. bank closures in 2011 to 58 averaging about 8 per month. The 157 bank closures in 2010 was up from 140 in 2009, and more than six times of the 25 bank failures in 2008. Only three banks failed in 2007.

The stress of US local debt to the national debt has international investors demanding gold bullion over the US dollar. The Central Banks of the Russian Federation keep about 50 percent of its reserves in United States dollars released its official international reserves statement showing a net accumulation of more than 200,000 ounces of gold.

Tyler Gallagher of Regal Assets says “Russia’s gold behavior is grounded in the country’s hard-learned lessons about commodity markets”. Since its financial crisis in 1998, Russia has enacted policies intended to counterbalance the historical cycles of commodity prices to protect the economy during downturns. China, which is facing high inflation, has a 10-year gold buying plan for its central banks.

Regal Assets is encouraging American investors to keep pace with global investment strategies. Regal offers gold in 1 oz gold bars or gold bullion coins that are internationally recognized. Americans can buy gold and silver online and have it shipped direct to their home for physical delivery by calling 1-877-962-1133 or online http://www.RegalGoldCoins.com

 


Zacks Equity Research highlights El Paso Corporation (NYSE: EP) as the Bull of the Day and The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis Skyworks Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq: SWKS), Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T (NYSE: T).

Full analysis of all these stocks is available at http://at.zacks.com/?id=2678.

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

El Paso Corporation’s (NYSE: EP) high-grade E&P assets and large inventory of pipeline projects offer significant value in the long run. The company benefits from hedging a substantial portion of its future production, which offers operating clarity and cash-flow visibility even when energy prices remain volatile.

We believe the competence of management and the company’s access to financing will enable successful execution of El Paso’s industry-leading pipeline backlog going forward. We upgrade our recommendation for EP shares to Outperform based on the company’s announcement to split its business into two strong stand-alone entities, as well as its raised 2011 guidance.

We believe the separation will enable further balance sheet improvement and greater operational transparency for the new company. El Paso possesses a Zacks #1 Rank, indicating a Strong Buy.

Bear of the Day:

The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) reported second quarter 2011 earnings per share of $1.85, significantly below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.29 per share. Coupled with global macroeconomic concerns, the results deteriorated driven by a decrease in revenue and poor performance in the Institutional Client Services division.

Further, the Investing and Lending division also recorded lower revenues. After reviewing the results, we are maintaining our Underperform recommendation on the shares.

Our six-month price target of $117.00 equates to about 9.3x our earnings estimate for 2011. Combined with the $0.35 per share dividend, the price target implies an expected negative total return of 8.4% over that period, which is consistent with our Underperform recommendation.

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

Skyworks Beats Expectations

Skyworks Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq: SWKS) reported revenues of $356.1 million, which surpassed management’s guidance of $345 million. The reported figure includes $6.5 million of revenue from the acquisition of SiGe semiconductor (which closed on June 10, 2011).

Excluding the SiGe contribution, revenue would’ve been $350 million, up 27% year-over-year organically.

Skyworks posted a net income of $51.5 million or $0.27 per diluted share compared to a net income of $34.7 million or $0.19 per diluted share in the year-ago quarter. Excluding acquisition-related charges but including stock-based compensation expense, Skyworks reported a net income of $0.41 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny.

Guidance

Going forward, Skyworks projects revenues of $400 million, with a $20 million – $25 million from the SiGe acquisition. Gross margin is expected around 44.6% – 45.0%.  Excluding stock-based compensation expenses and restructuring charges, EPS is expected at $0.53.

Skyworks continues to benefit from strong underlying demand in the mobile Internet market driven by market share gains and new product ramps. Broadband mobile subscriptions continue to grow in leaps and bounds.

The advent of cloud computing is expected to take the trend further with the ever-growing need for wireless connectivity. The products from Skyworks support all smartphone and tablet operating systems, including Android, Symbian, Windows Mobile and others.

Skyworks continues to gain traction on the network infrastructure side of the mobile Internet connection as operators install new base stations, new routers, and back-haul equipment to expand coverage of data services and prepare for next generation LTE deployments.

As carriers like Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T (NYSE: T) accelerate their LTE plans, Skyworks expects a solid opportunity for growth in the coming years with its broad product portfolio.

Get the full analysis of all these stocks by going to http://at.zacks.com/?id=2649.

About the Bull and Bear of the Day

Every day, the analysts at Zacks Equity Research select two stocks that are likely to outperform (Bull) or underperform (Bear) the markets over the next 3-6 months.

About the Analyst Blog

Updated throughout every trading day, the Analyst Blog provides analysis from Zacks Equity Research about the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous analyst coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Zacks “Profit from the Pros” e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today by visiting http://at.zacks.com/?id=7158.

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leonard Zacks. As a PhD from MIT 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

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Zacks Enters Long Term Partnership With WRDS

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Zacks Investment Research, Inc. a leading provider of research, historical market data and workflow solutions announced today that Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) will now carry the Zacks data on its platform. The select datasets consist of earnings, sales estimates and surprises, pre-announcements, analyst ratings, and target prices for all listed and non-listed issues. WRDS is the leading, comprehensive, internet-based data research service used by academic, government, and corporate firms.  The Zacks database will be hosted on the powerful WRDS Cloud, optimized to effectively meet research needs for the extraction and analysis of financial and economic data.

“Zacks is proud and honored to commence this long-term partnership with WRDS,” said Ausra Di Raimondo, EVP of Academic/Non-Profit data services at Zacks. “This type of data plays a critical role in in-depth academic equity trading research and corporate analytics and back-testing strategies. We are excited to be recognized by WRDS as a valuable data partner in fulfilling its mission to continue to be the leading business intelligence tool for a global research community.”

Robert Zarazowski, WRDS Senior Director, added, “”WRDS is delighted to announce this partnership with Zacks Investment Research. Their data enhances the depth and breadth of analyst databases available through WRDS, and allows us to complement our existing products to meet the needs of academic researchers and commercial clients. The value of Zacks data have been proven over the years, as research work using Zacks’ data have been published in both premier academic journals and widely circulated practitioner oriented publications.”

About WRDS

Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) is the leading, comprehensive, internet-based data research service used by academic, government, non-profit institutions, and corporate firms. WRDS provides the user with one location to access over 200 terabytes of data across multiple disciplines including Finance, Marketing, and Economics. WRDS provides flexible data delivery options including a powerful web query method that reduces research time.  WRDS provides flexible data delivery options including a simple but powerful web query method, and provides Researchers with the ability to reduce their research time and execute strategy development on the powerful WRDS Cloud.  Developed in 1993 to support faculty research at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, WRDS has since evolved to become the standard tool for a global research community of 30,000 users at over 300 institutions in 27 countries. http://wrds.wharton.upenn.edu

About The Wharton School

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania — founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school — is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. The most comprehensive source of business knowledge in the world, Wharton bridges research and practice through its broad engagement with the global business community. The School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 annual participants in executive education programs; and an alumni network of 88,000 graduates.

About Zacks

Zacks Investment Research, based in Chicago, Ill., has been a leading provider of research, market data, and quantitative models to institutional investment management firms in the US and Canada for over 30 years. Recognized for quality, consistency and reliability, Zacks provides institutional and individual investors with the analytical tools and financial information necessary to the success of their investment process. Founded in 1978, Zacks’ early contribution to investment analysis was the discovery that earnings per share estimate revisions are the most powerful force affecting stock prices. This discovery is built into the Zacks Rank proprietary methodology for predicting stock price performance. The Zacks Rank has produced average annual returns in excess of 28% since 1988. The premier source of analysts’ earnings forecasts, today Zacks produces data feeds for estimates, ratings, earnings report data, fundamental data, and institutional holdings for US and Canadian traded equities, as well as investment research reports and research software tools for investors. For more Zacks expertise, look for Dr. Zacks “The Handbook of Equity Market Anomalies: Translating Market Inefficiencies into Effective Investment Strategies” which will be in bookstores on October 4th, 2011. To learn more about performance information, please go to http://www.zacks.com/performance/.

Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) Contact:
Robin Gold – 877-438-9737, wrds@wharton.upenn.edu

Zacks Contact:
Ausra Di Raimondo – (312) 265-9214, adiraimondo@zacks.com

http://www.zacks.com

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