Archive for 'Zacks'

Stock Index for Auto Business Announced

S-Network Global Indexes LLC announced today the launch of a new index that tracks the performance of the global automotive industry: The S-Network Global Automotive Index(SM) (Ticker: AUTOS). Live intraday calculation of the index begins today May 18, 2011. Daily closing values are available from December 31, 2005.

Said Richard Phillips, Senior Index Analyst of S-Network, “AUTOS is designed to serve as a fair and transparent measure of the performance of the global automotive industry. This index comes to the market as international vehicle sales continue to rebound and several automotive manufacturers have recently posted strong profits.”

The modified capitalization weighted, float-adjusted index incorporates 50 constituents engaged in the automotive industry. To be included in the index a company must generate over 50% of gross revenues from the primary automobile industry. The index is rules-based. Information about AUTOS, including rules and index fact sheet, can be found at http://www.snetautoindex.com.

S-Network Global Indexes LLC is the index publisher for AUTOS.

AUTOS has been licensed by Global X Funds to serve as the underlying index for a US listed ETF (Ticker: VROM).

About S-Network Global Indexes LLC.

S-Network Global Indexes LLC is a publisher and developer of proprietary and custom indexes. S-Network, founded in 1997, has specialized in indexes, indexation, and index-based products, including ETFs. More about S-Network can be found at http://www.snetglobalindexes.com.

Media Contact:
Joseph LaCorte
Jlacorte(at)snetworkllc(dot)com
(646) 467-7927

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

Stocks to Sell Now

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): The Boston Beer Company, Inc. (NYSE: SAM) and Central European Distribution Corp (Nasdaq: CEDC). Further, Zacks announced #4 Rankings (Sell) on two other widely held stocks: United States Steel Corporation (NYSE: X) and Stepan Company (NYSE: SCL). 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 SAM and CEDC 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:

The Boston Beer Company, Inc. (NYSE: SAM) reported first-quarter earnings of 28 cents per share on May 4, which came in nearly 38% short of analysts’ expectations. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year decreased 23 cents to a profit of $2.59 over the past week as 3 analysts out of 4 revised downwards. Next year’s forecast fell 20 cents to $4.21 per share during that period.

Central European Distribution Corp‘s (Nasdaq: CEDC) first-quarter loss of 24 cents per share, announced earlier this month, lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 140%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2010 dropped 4 cents to a profit of $1.04 per share in the last week, which reflected reductions by 1 analyst out of 5. A month ago, the average forecast was pegged at $1.18 per share.

Here is a synopsis of why X and SCL 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;

United States Steel Corporation (NYSE: X) posted a first-quarter loss of 60 cents per share on Apr 26, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 22 cents. The full-year average dipped 1.32 to $2.80 per share from $4.12 in the last 30 days as 8 analysts out of 10 slashed estimates.

Stepan Company’s (NYSE: SCL) first-quarter profit of $1.63 per share, reported earnier this month, was 31 cents worse than analysts’ projections. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2011 stands at a profit of $7.04 per share, 3 cents less than last month’s forecast as one out of the 2 covering analysts pulled back on expectations. Estimate for the following year fell a penny to a profit of $7.28 per share in that time span.

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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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.

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.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339
support@zacks.com
http://www.zacks.com

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

Four Free Stock Picks to Buy Now

Four free stock picks are being made available today on Zacks.com. The industry’s leading independent research firm highlights one Zacks #1 Rank Strong Buy or a Zacks #2 Rank Buy stock for each of the four main styles of investing: Aggressive Growth, Growth & Income, Momentum, and Value.

The four highlighted picks are: Kadant Inc. (NYSE: KAI), Northeast Utilities (NYSE: NU), CARBO Ceramics, Inc. (NYSE: CRR) and Westlake Chemical (NYSE: WLK).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ”Buy” stock recommendations. Four daily picks are offered free. http://at.zacks.com/?id=88

From 1988 through the present – a period that included serious corrections and recessions – the Zacks #1 Rank Stocks have nearly tripled the market with a fully documented average gain of +28% per year.

Here is a summary of today’s selected stocks that are now highly rated by Zacks:

Aggressive Growth – Kadant Inc. (NYSE: KAI)

Kadant Inc. continues its impressive streak of topping expectations. The company also guided higher resulting in dramatic upward estimate revisions from analysts.

Zacks Guide to Aggressive Growth Investing (free!) – http://at.zacks.com/?id=4309

Growth & Income – Northeast Utilities (NYSE: NU)

The harsh winter on the East Coast may have frustrated New Englanders, but shareholders of Northeast Utilities aren’t complaining. On May 5, NU reported better than expected first quarter results due in large part to much colder weather.

Zacks Guide to Growth & Income Investing (free!) – http://at.zacks.com/?id=4310

Momentum – CARBO Ceramics, Inc. (NYSE: CRR)

CARBO Ceramics, Inc. recently surged higher into a new all-time high after reporting strong Q1 results that came in ahead of expectations. With an average earnings surprise of 21% over the last four quarters and a bullish growth projection, this Zacks #1 rank stock is a top momentum player.

Zacks Guide to Momentum Investing (free!): http://at.zacks.com/?id=4311

Value – Westlake Chemical (NYSE: WLK)

Westlake Chemical analysts have been significantly raising estimates over the past 3 months. However, shares took a dive on the recent earnings surprise.

Zacks Guide to Value Investing (free!) –  http://at.zacks.com/?id=4312

How to Regularly Access Top Zacks Rank Picks for Free – http://at.zacks.com/?id=7154

Underlying the four free stock picks is a simple truth that first appeared in a Financial Analysts Journal article published in 1979. Leonard Zacks, a Ph.D. from M.I.T. found that “earnings estimate revisions are the most powerful force impacting stock prices.” Zacks #1 Rank is awarded to a stock when analysts sharply upgrade their estimates of what the company will earn.

Today, Zacks is promoting its stock recommendations by offering four daily picks free to those who register here: http://at.zacks.com/?id=7155

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Len Zacks. The company continually processes stock reports issued by 3,000 analysts from 150 brokerage firms.  It monitors more than 200,000 earnings estimates, looking for changes.

Then, when changes are discovered, they’re applied to help assign more than 4,400 stocks into five Zacks Rank categories: #1 Strong Buy, #2 Buy, #3 Hold, #4 Sell, and #5 Strong Sell. This proprietary stock-picking system continues to outperform the market by a nearly 3-to-1 margin.

More Free Stock Picks

Each weekday, new Zacks #1 Rank or Zacks #2 Rank stock picks are released on the free email newsletter, Profit from the Pros. Investors are invited to register for their free subscription here: http://at.zacks.com/?id=91

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.

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.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339
support@zacks.com
http://www.zacks.com

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

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

Resurgence of world markets spurs rapid expansion by global financial services executive search firm

Financial services can be a wild ride – and The WhiteRock Group is enjoying every minute of it.

The veteran Wall Street executive search and placement firm is expanding its domestic and international footprint and deepening its bench to handle soaring demand for experienced financial services executives across a wide variety of disciplines.

“The financial economy is roaring and we are seeing a renewed all-out war for talent,” says Gustavo G. Dolfino, Founder and President of The WhiteRock Group. “In financial centers around the world, major firms are seizing opportunities driven by market dislocation and doing so with a sense of urgency we have not seen in quite a while. As the provider of choice, WhiteRock is there for them.”

The firm – with global headquarters in New York – is expanding aggressively into London, Moscow and Hong Kong.

“We are taking the experience, methodology and vast network of The WhiteRock Group and marrying it with deep local market expertise,” says Dolfino. “The result is an unparalleled capability to serve clients by matching highly qualified candidates with precisely the right opportunity – a win-win for firms and talent alike.”

Dolfino adds: “WhiteRock is a leader in helping senior financial executives take a significant next career step – reinventing themselves, for example, from sell-side to buy-side or from domestic to international. And for our client firms, we actively advise on highly creative compensation packages that ensure all interests are 100% aligned.”

The firm’s innovation in compensation structuring advisory has received extensive coverage on Wall Street, where comp packages are the focus of ongoing discussion. Star performers have bolted from tightly-controlled sell-side firms in favor of hedge funds and asset management firms. The WhiteRock Group helps firms develop highly creative compensation packages that bring in – and retain – the right people by ensuring they are compensated fairly and appropriately.

Says Dolfino: “It used to be ‘get me a person.’ Now it’s ‘get me a person and find me a way to pay him or her, soon.’ Our value as a global financial services executive search firm goes beyond just our network of who we know – it goes right to the heart of how our clients do business.”

Along with adding offices, The WhiteRock Group is also beefing up its own executive team. Major new hires and promotions include:

  • Amit Matta – Promoted to Partner from Managing Director. Prior to joining WhiteRock, Matta worked in risk at JP Morgan, in hedge funds at Societe Generale and was Head of Risk and Strategy at Nikko Asset Management. At WhiteRock he is head of our industry leading capabilities in the areas of risk management, quantitative research and hedge funds.
  • Caroline McDonald – Managing Director and Head of the Technology and Investment Banking Practices. McDonald’s background includes leading roles at HP as Global Director for Financial Services Business Development and CEO for various private equity and venture capital groups.
  • Lise Burkard-Vacca – Managing Director and Head of Markets.  Burkard-Vacca previously was a convertible sales trader at Furman Selz. Ms. Burkard-Vacca is an experienced search professional having previously run her own financial services executive recruitment firm.
  • Vita Dauksaite – Vice President and Deputy Head of Eastern European Practice. An attorney by training, Dauksaite specializes in M&A and finance and comes to WhiteRock from Lithuania’s top law firm – Lideika, Petraukas, Valiunas & Partners.

Finally, in order to better align the firm with client business lines and candidate areas of expertise, WhiteRock has reorganized into eight practice areas:

  • Research – Equities and Fixed Income
  • Sales and Trading – Equities and Fixed Income, encompassing credit and rates
  • Investment Banking – Corporate Finance, M&A advisory
  • Legal and Compliance
  • Global Asset and Wealth Management
  • Alternative Investments – including Hedge Funds, Private Equity and Venture Capital
  • Technology –  specializing in Financial Markets IT
  • Risk Management and Quantitative Analytics

About The WhiteRock Group

WhiteRock leverages deep sector knowledge and worldwide executive network to find the right individual for every opportunity and create win-win situations for hiring companies and candidates. WhiteRock’s managing directors have direct experience working with global financial services firms. This firsthand sector knowledge provides a measurable competitive advantage over typical “headhunters” and leads to successful placements and productive long-term relationships.

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.

Gustavo Dolfino

http://www.profnetconnect.com/gustavo_dolfino

CONTACT: Lourdes Rodriguez, The WhiteRock Group, +1-212-258-2780, lrodriguez@whiterockgroup.com

Illinois Tool Works (NYSE: ITW $58) has been picked by Standard & Poor’s Equity Research as its Focus Stock of the Week.  ITW carries S&P’s highest investment recommendation of 5-STARS, or Strong Buy.

“We believe Illinois Tool Works will post strong organic growth in both 2011 and 2012,” said Mathew Christy, Industrials Equity Analyst at Standard & Poor’s Equity Research.  “This belief is based on the company’s leverage to global economic growth and industrial activity, both of which we see experiencing further expansion.  In our view, the company’s diversified industrial product platform will likely witness continued growth across its business segments while volume throughput leads to margin improvement.”

Christy also thinks that strategic initiatives will help drive future growth and margin expansion for ITW.  For example, he views favorably the company’s shift and focus toward expanding sales in a number of high-growth emerging market regions, including China, India, Brazil, and Russia.  “The company has altered its decentralized business model in recent years and has centralized some operations, such as product innovation and the sharing of product ideas across its segments, which we think will speed new product development and widen margins,” said Mr. Christy.  “Lastly, ITW plans on expanding a number of new product platforms via organic growth and acquisitions.”

To view a video of Mr. Christy discussing ITW, paste the following link into your browser.

http://link.delvenetworks.com/media/?mediaId=6dbc2ab6e6464db5be3f4f6782a6aa35&width=480&height=411&playerForm=DelvePlayer&autoplay=true

About Standard & Poor’s Equity Research Services

As one of the world’s largest producers of independent equity research, Standard & Poor’s licenses its research to global institutions for their investors and advisors.  Standard & Poor’s team of experienced U.S., European and Asian equity analysts use a fundamental, bottom-up approach to assess a global universe of equities across industries worldwide.  Follow Standard & Poor’s equity analysts’ U.S. market commentary each day at http://www.equityresearch.standardandpoors.com/.

Standard & Poor’s keeps certain activities of its business units separate from each other in order to preserve the independence and objectivity of their respective activities. As a result, certain business units of Standard & Poor’s may have information that is not available to other Standard & Poor’s business units. Standard & Poor’s has established policies and procedures to maintain the confidentiality of certain non-public information received in connection with each analytical process. Standard & Poor’s does not trade for its own account.  The analytical and ethical conduct of Standard & Poor’s equity analysts is governed by the firm’s Research Objectivity Policy, a copy of which may also be found at www.standardandpoors.com or by clicking here.

For more information contact:

Marc Eiger, Communications, Tel.: 212-438-1280
marc_eiger@standardandpoors.com

All information provided by Standard & Poor’s is impersonal and not tailored to the needs of any person, entity or group of persons.  Past performance is no indication of future results. Standard & Poor’s and its affiliates provide a wide range of services to, or relating to, many organizations, including issuers of securities, investment advisers, broker-dealers, investment banks, other financial institutions and financial intermediaries, and accordingly may receive fees or other economic benefits from those organizations, including organizations whose securities or services they may recommend, rate, include in model portfolios, evaluate or otherwise address.

This material is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or other financial instrument. Securities, financial instruments or strategies mentioned herein may not be suitable for all investors. Any opinions expressed herein are given in good faith, are subject to change without notice, and are only current as of the stated date of their issue. Prices, values, or income from any securities or investments mentioned in this report may fall against the interests of the investor and the investor may get back less than the amount invested. Where an investment is described as being likely to yield income, please note that the amount of income that the investor will receive from such an investment may fluctuate. Where an investment or security is denominated in a different currency to the investor’s currency of reference, changes in rates of exchange may have an adverse effect on the value, price or income of or from that investment to the investor. The information contained in this report does not constitute advice on the tax consequences of making any particular investment decision. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situations or needs and is not intended as a recommendation of particular securities, financial instruments or strategies to you nor is it considered to be investment advice. Before acting on any recommendation in this material, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and, if necessary, seek professional advice.

This material is based upon information that we consider to be reliable, but neither S&P nor its affiliates warrant its completeness, accuracy or adequacy and it should not be relied upon as such. With respect to reports issued to clients in Japan and in the case of inconsistencies between the English and Japanese version of a report, the English version prevails. With respect to reports issued to clients in German and in the case of inconsistencies between the English and German version of a report, the English version prevails. Neither S&P nor its affiliates guarantee the accuracy of the translation. Assumptions, opinions and estimates constitute our judgment as of the date of this material and are subject to change without notice. Neither S&P nor its affiliates are responsible for any errors or omissions or for results obtained from the use of this information. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.
http://www.equityresearch.standardandpoors.com

Dice Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: DHX) today announced a public offering of 8,000,000 shares of common stock by certain stockholders, including affiliates of General Atlantic LLC and Quadrangle Group LLC. The Company will not receive any of the proceeds from the offering of shares by the selling stockholders.

Credit Suisse is acting as the sole underwriter for the offering.

A shelf registration statement relating to the offering of the common stock has previously been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and has become effective. The offering is being made only by means of a prospectus supplement and accompanying prospectus, forming an effective part of the registration statement. Before investing, you should read the prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus for information about Dice Holdings, Inc., the selling stockholders and this offering.

This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of such jurisdiction. A copy of the prospectus relating to the offering may be obtained from Credit Suisse, Attn: Prospectus Dept., One Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010, telephone:  800-221-1037.

About Dice Holdings, Inc.

Dice Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: DHX) is a leading provider of specialized career websites for professional communities, including technology and engineering, financial services, energy, healthcare, and security clearance. Our mission is to help our customers source and hire the most qualified professionals in select and highly skilled occupations, and to help those professionals find the best job opportunities in their respective fields and further their careers. For more than 20 years, we have built our company by providing our customers with quick and easy access to high-quality, unique professional communities and offering those communities access to highly relevant career opportunities and information. Today, we serve multiple markets primarily in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on those statements because they are subject to numerous uncertainties and factors relating to our operations and business environment, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond our control. Forward-looking statements include information concerning our possible or assumed future results of operations, including descriptions of our business strategy. These statements often include words such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “estimate” or similar expressions, including without limitation statements under the heading “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” These statements are based on assumptions that we have made in light of our experience in the industry as well as our perceptions of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors we believe are appropriate under the circumstances. Although we believe that these forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, you should be aware that many factors could affect our actual financial results or results of operations and could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, competition from existing and future competitors in the highly competitive developing market in which we operate, failure to adapt our business model to keep pace with rapid changes in the recruiting and career services business, failure to maintain and develop our reputation and brand recognition, failure to increase or maintain the number of customers who purchase recruitment packages, cyclicality or downturns in the economy or industries we serve, the failure to attract qualified professionals to our websites or grow the number of qualified professionals who use our websites, the failure to successfully identify or integrate acquisitions, U.S. and foreign government regulation of the Internet and taxation, our ability to borrow funds under our revolving credit facility or refinance our indebtedness and restrictions on our current and future operations under our credit facility. These factors and others are discussed in more detail in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010, under the headings “Risk Factors,” “Forward-Looking Statements” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and which is incorporated by reference into the prospectus.

You should keep in mind that any forward-looking statement made by us herein, or elsewhere, speaks only as of the date on which we make it. New risks and uncertainties come up from time to time, and it is impossible for us to predict these events or how they may affect us. We have no obligation to update any forward-looking statements after the date hereof, except as required by federal securities laws.

Investors & Media Contact:

Dice Holdings, Inc.
Jennifer Bewley, 212-448-4181
Director, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications
ir@dice.com
http://www.diceholdingsinc.com

Zacks Releases Analyst Blog

Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Fortune Brands Inc. (NYSE: FO), Diageo plc (NYSE: DEO), Brown-Forman Corporation (NYSE: BF.B), Masco Corporation (NYSE: MAS) and Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE).

Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5513

Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

Fortune Brands Beats Estimates

Fortune Brands Inc.‘s (NYSE: FO) adjusted earnings of 59 cents a share for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 beats the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 51 cents and rose 20.4% from the prior-year quarter. Earnings, on a GAAP basis, were 52 cents per share compared with 47 cents per share posted in the year-ago quarter.

Higher volumes, new spirits distribution agreement in Australia and favorable currency translations helped the company to report better-than-expected first-quarter 2011 results. However, gains from these items were partially offset by higher commodity costs, divestitures and increased investment in brand creation.

Guidance

The company expects to sustain its growth momentum into fiscal year 2011. Fortune Brands anticipates earnings to grow in the range of high-single-digit to high-teens despite higher commodity costs and investments to support long-term growth.

Besides, management expects the second quarter results to face challenging comparisons against 2010 results. Moreover, management believes that natural disaster in Japan and sale of Cobra in 2010 will affect the second-quarter results by 5 cents.

Business Restructuring

Recently, Fortune Brands announced its intention to split the company into three standalone units, giving investors pure plays in golf, home products and alcoholic drinks. After the separation, the ongoing company will be re-named as Beam Inc. The company’s home products business will retain its name of Fortune Brands Home & Security.

Moreover, the company revealed that it would spin-off its home and security business to shareholders in a tax-free transaction. Fortune Brands’ Golf business will also retain its name, Acushnet Company. The company also plans to either spin-off or sell its golf business.

Consequent to the spin-off, the company will continue to subsist as a publicly traded manufacturer of distilled spirit. This unit has parented brands like Jim Beam bourbon, Courvoisier cognac and Sauza tequila. Fortune Brands looks forward to pull off this strategic restructuring within the next several months.

Besides, the company faces intense competition from well-established players in the market such as Diageo plc (NYSE: DEO) and Brown-Forman Corporation (NYSE: BF.B) in its spirits business and Masco Corporation (NYSE: MAS) in its home and hardware business.

Fortune Brands also encounters competition from Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) in the golf business. Further, global competitive conditions have also been intensified. Consequently, risk associated with operating in such a competitive environment may undermine the company’s future operating performance.

Currently, Fortune Brands has a Zacks #4 Rank, implying a short-term ‘Sell’ rating on the stock. Besides, the company retains a long-term ‘Neutral’ recommendation.

Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5515.

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 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: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5517

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leon 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=5518.

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

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

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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.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339
support@zacks.com
http://www.zacks.com

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

Zacks Releases Latest 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): Knight Transportation (NYSE: KNX) and The Advisory Board Company (Nasdaq: ALEX). Further, Zacks announced #4 Rankings (Sell) on two other widely held stocks: Landauer, Inc. (Nasdaq: LDR) and Harbin Electric, Inc. (Nasdaq: KRBN). 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 KNX and ALEX 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:

Knight Transportation (NYSE: KNX) announced first -quarter earnings of 12 cents per share on April 20 that missed analysts’ expectations by 29%. This apart the earnings missed the previous year’s earnings results by 3 cents. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year slipped 7 cents to 82 cents per share in the last 30 days as 21 out of the 25 covering analysts reduced estimates. Next year’s estimate dipped 6 cents to $1.02 per share in that time span.

The Advisory Board Company (Nasdaq: ALEX) posted a first-quarter profit of 20 cents per share yesterday, which came in 24 cents wider than the average forecast. The diluted earnings per share fell 7 cents to a profit of 3 cents on March 2011 as compared to results of March 2010. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the full year fell 22 cents to a profit of $1.76 per share from $1.98 over the past couple of months. For 2012, analysts expect a profit of $2.41 per share, compared to projections of a profit of $2.46 per share in a span of 60 days.

Here is a synopsis of why LDR and HRBN 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;

Landauer, Inc.‘s (Nasdaq: LDR) second-quarter profit of 63 cents per share, posted on May 3, lagged analysts’ projections by nearly 6%. For 2011, the Zacks Consensus Estimate moved down a penny to a profit of $2.69 per share in the last 7 days as 1analyst out of 3 cut back on forecasts. Estimate for next year slid 6 cents to a profit of $2.96 per share during that time period.

Harbin Electric, Inc. (Nasdaq: KRBN) reported a fourth-quarter profit of 50 cents per share on March 16 that fell 17% short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The full-year average forecast is currently $3.02 per share, compared to projections of $3.04 made 60 days back. Next year’s forecast dropped 1 cent to $3.52 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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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.

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.

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Zacks Recent Buy Picks

Four free stock picks are being made available today on Zacks.com. The industry’s leading independent research firm highlights one Zacks #1 Rank Strong Buy or a Zacks #2 Rank Buy stock for each of the four main styles of investing: Aggressive Growth, Growth & Income, Momentum, and Value.

The four highlighted picks are: Arrow Electronics Inc (NYSE: ARW), TransAlta Corporation (NYSE: TAC), Manpower, Inc. (NYSE: MAN) and Parker Hannifin (NYSE: PH).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ”Buy” stock recommendations. Four daily picks are offered free. http://at.zacks.com/?id=88

From 1988 through the present – a period that included serious corrections and recessions – the Zacks #1 Rank Stocks have nearly tripled the market with a fully documented average gain of +28% per year.

Here is a summary of today’s selected stocks that are now highly rated by Zacks:

Aggressive Growth – Arrow Electronics Inc (NYSE: ARW)

Arrow Electronics Inc  shot to all-time highs after a recent earnings surprise, yet shares are still a great value.

Zacks Guide to Aggressive Growth Investing (free!) – http://at.zacks.com/?id=4309

Growth & Income – TransAlta Corporation (NYSE: TAC)

TransAlta Corporation carried its momentum into the first quarter of 2011 and delivered a 16% positive earnings surprise. This marked the company’s second consecutive earnings beat.

Zacks Guide to Growth & Income Investing (free!) – http://at.zacks.com/?id=4310

Momentum – Manpower, Inc. (NYSE: MAN)

Manpower, Inc. just reported a great quarter that lifted shares to a new multi-year high. With an average earnings surprise of 39% over the last four quarter and bullish 35% growth projection, this Zacks #1 rank stock is a momentum keeper.

Zacks Guide to Momentum Investing (free!): http://at.zacks.com/?id=4311

Value – Parker Hannifin (NYSE: PH)

Parker Hannifin continues to operate on all cylinders. This Zacks #2 Rank (buy) recently reported record quarterly sales, raised its dividend by 16% and kept its earnings surprise streak alive.

Zacks Guide to Value Investing (free!) –  http://at.zacks.com/?id=4312

How to Regularly Access Top Zacks Rank Picks for Free – http://at.zacks.com/?id=7154

Underlying the four free stock picks is a simple truth that first appeared in a Financial Analysts Journal article published in 1979. Leonard Zacks, a Ph.D. from M.I.T. found that “earnings estimate revisions are the most powerful force impacting stock prices.” Zacks #1 Rank is awarded to a stock when analysts sharply upgrade their estimates of what the company will earn.

Today, Zacks is promoting its stock recommendations by offering four daily picks free to those who register here: http://at.zacks.com/?id=7155

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Len Zacks. The company continually processes stock reports issued by 3,000 analysts from 150 brokerage firms.  It monitors more than 200,000 earnings estimates, looking for changes.

Then, when changes are discovered, they’re applied to help assign more than 4,400 stocks into five Zacks Rank categories: #1 Strong Buy, #2 Buy, #3 Hold, #4 Sell, and #5 Strong Sell. This proprietary stock-picking system continues to outperform the market by a nearly 3-to-1 margin.

More Free Stock Picks

Each weekday, new Zacks #1 Rank or Zacks #2 Rank stock picks are released on the free email newsletter, Profit from the Pros. Investors are invited to register for their free subscription here: http://at.zacks.com/?id=91

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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.

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.

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

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

Zacks Releases Todays Bulls and Bears

Zacks Releases Todays Bulls and Bears

Zacks Releases Todays Bulls and Bears-Image via Wikipedia

Zacks Equity Research highlights:  Priceline.com (Nasdaq: PCLN) as the Bull of the Day and Genworth Financial (NYSE: GNW) the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Google, Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG), Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Supervalu Inc. (NYSE: SVU).

View Full analysis of all these stocks

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:
Bull of the Day:

Priceline.com (Nasdaq: PCLN) is one of the leading online travel companies in the world. Priceline’s fourth quarter earnings beat the Zacks Consensus and management expects strong double-digit bookings growth in the next quarter, with international growing much faster than domestic.

The secular growth trend in the online travel space, Priceline’s own business momentum, international growth opportunities, good execution, prudent marketing strategy and strong financial position are likely to drive upside to the shares. While occupancy tax-related litigation remains an overhang, it is likely to have the same impact on all peer companies.

With demand strengthening considerably following the recession, we remain optimistic. We therefore have an Outperform rating on PCLN shares.

Bear of the Day
:

Genworth Financial’s (NYSE: GNW) fourth-quarter operating loss lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate led by a substantially higher year-over-year loss at the U.S. Mortgage Insurance segment, which was partially offset by better results at Retirement & Protection and at International. We expect an elevated unemployment rate will continue pressuring its mortgage insurance business.

Though the business is showing signs of improvement, the mortgage line is still experiencing losses. Additionally, improvements in its other business lines are expected to be slow, given the economy’s sluggish recovery.

Our six-month target price of $11.00 equates to 10.0x our earnings estimate for 2011. This is consistent with our Underperform recommendation on the shares.

Latest Posts on the Zacks Stock Analysis Blog

Google Misses on Bottom Line

Search engine giant Google, Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) reported first quarter 2011 earnings after the closing bell today. Google’s earnings of $7.04 per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a dime, but revenues for the quarter came in at a healthy $6.54 billion — higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $6.29 billion and even the most recent estimate of $6.38 billion.

Google shares had been up slightly in regular-day trading on Thursday ($2.23 per share, or 0.39%), but in the after-market have slid badly, over 5% and more than $29 per share. Even with net revenue gains of 29% year over year, the miss on the bottom line must be raising red flags to traders.

Over the past month, there has been downward pressure on Google shares, with 5 analysts having lowered estimate revisions for the 1st quarter, and 4 downward revisions for the 2nd quarter and fiscal 2011, as well. The $7.14 per share Zacks Consensus Estimate had come down 5 cents in just the past month, and the company couldn’t even come close to hitting that mark.

Other challenges pertaining to Google’s success in the coming quarters include a changing of the guard from CEO Eric Schmidt to Larry Page, the company’s involvement (or lack thereof) and its burgeoning competition in the Chinese market, and disruptions due to recent catastrophic developments in Japan.

This is now the second earnings miss for Google in the past four quarters. And being that it is the first earnings announcement with Page at the helm, questions may begin to swirl about the company on the management side. But one should not lose sight of the fact that Google has come a very long way in a short amount of time, and will continue to be a stalwart in the industry for a long time to come.

That said, the big question is: will Larry Page be able to find a new goldmine somewhere in its vast expanse of different kinds of business the way Schmidt was able to do with Internet search a few years ago? If so, it will mark another major tier in the relatively brief history of the company. If not, perhaps Google is destined to become another Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), ultimately still successful but unable to capture that elusive “next wave.”

Supervalu Reports Weak 4Q

Supervalu Inc. (NYSE: SVU) one of the largest grocery chains in the United States, reported fourth-quarter 2011 earnings. The quarterly earnings of 44 cents a share outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 34 cents by 29.4%. However, on a year-over-year basis earnings plunged 29.0%

The company now expects fiscal 2012 GAAP earnings to be in the range of $1.20 to $1.40 per share, which is above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.17.

Revenue and Margins

Supervalu’s total sales dipped 5.9% to $8,673 million in the quarter, compared with $9,205 million in the prior-year period. The reported revenue fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $8,751 million.

Supervalu’s gross margin was almost flat year-over-year contracting 10 basis points to 23.3% on account of a shift in business segment mix and rise in promotional expenditure.

Segment Details

Net sales at Retail Food (77.0% of the total sales in the quarter) slipped 7.1% to $6,694 million in the quarter compared to $7,206 million in the prior-year quarter. Results followed an identical store sales decline of 5.0% and the adverse impact of retail market exits.

Retail square footage dipped 1.7% year over year in the quarter. However, excluding the impact of market exits and store closures, retail square footage grew marginally by 1.7% in the quarter.

Net sales at Supply Chain Services (23.0% of the total sales in the quarter) increased 1.6% to $1,966 million in the quarter compared with $1,999 million in the prior-year quarter.

Get the full analysis of all these stocks

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 Stock 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

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 InvestmentResearch 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.

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

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

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

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/ZacksInvestmentNews

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.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research
http://www.zacks.com
800-767-3771 ext. 9339
support@zacks.com

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

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