Zacks Equity Research highlights: Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) as the Bull of the Day and Sara Lee Corp. (NYSE: SLE) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis Hologic (Nasdaq: HOLX), McDonalds (NYSE: MCD) and Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF).

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:

Caterpillar Inc.‘s (NYSE: CAT) strong brand name, pricing power and global dealer network enable it to take advantage of the growing need for infrastructure development worldwide. Caterpillar’s plans of opening new facilities and expanding existing operations, particularly in the emerging markets, will boost its long-term potential.

The Bucyrus acquisition will position Caterpillar as the #1 mining equipment manufacturer in the U.S. The company s fiscal 2010 adjusted EPS almost doubled to $4.15 and revenues jumped 31% to $42.6 billion, driven by an ever-increasing demand for mining and construction equipment. The sales momentum was also maintained in its January results, giving 2011 a good start.

We have thus upgraded our rating from Neutral to Outperform as Caterpillar’s estimates are undergoing positive revisions following the earnings release with a target price of $122.

Bear of the Day:

Sara Lee Corp. (NYSE: SLE) a global manufacturer as well as marketer of high-quality brand products and possesses a formidable portfolio of well-established brands. However, as the company uses different commodities and raw materials, cost-push inflation remains a key risk factor.

Further, with the intense competition prevailing in the branded food market, Sara Lee is constantly under pressure to maintain its position. In addition, after the resignation of Sara Lee’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brenda Barnes and the divestiture of its North American bakery business, there are big questions going forward.

Sara Lee is considering a sell-off itself to JBS, a Brazilian company. We currently downgrade the shares of Sara Lee from Neutral to Underperform.

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

Hologic In for Some Major Publicity

Hologic (Nasdaq: HOLX), a leading player in meeting the healthcare needs of women, has taken a step forward for promoting several new and innovative breast health and medical imaging products. It is participating in the 21st Annual National Interdisciplinary Breast Center Conference (NCBC), Las Vegas, during 12th to 16th March 2011 with its Selenia Dimension’s next-generation 3D digital mammography system which has received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in February 2011.

Also the company will exhibit some new and improved technologies in imaging like Affirm upright breast biopsy guidance system, ImageChecker 3D Calc computer-aided detection and MultiCare Platinum breast biopsy table. Moreover, with Hologic’s acquisition of Canada-based Sentinelle Medical in August 2010, a leading provider of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) breast coils, tables and visualization software, the company will be able to demonstrate a range of MRI tools in NCBC.

Hologic operates through four segments – Breast Health, Diagnostics, GYN (Gynecology) Surgical and Skeletal Health. The breast health being the largest segment (contributing 45% of Hologic’s total revenue with a growth of 9% year over year during the last reported quarter) provides a complete Mammography suite.

Jobs Report in Depth, pt. 2

In the overall big picture, men have fared far worse than women in this downturn. There are two possible reasons for that. The first is that the industries that have been particularly hard hit in this downturn tend to be far more male dominated than the industries that have skated though this recession more or less unscathed. The most glaring example of this would be the construction industry versus the health care industry (more on the industry breakdowns below).

The second explanation is that on average, women tend to still be paid far less than men, and employers might be more prone to let their relatively high priced male employees go first before their cheaper female employees. The industry effect is probably the bigger one, but the two are not mutually exclusive and both might be playing a role. The more recent weaker performance for women might also have to do with the industry mix. Women dominate teaching, particularly at the elementary school level. As we have seen in Wisconsin, teachers are on the firing line right now.

Teens, regardless of gender, have had a very hard time of it in this recession. Just go to a McDonalds (NYSE: MCD) and you will see this for yourself. Normally the blemishes you see on the cashier’s face is acne, not wrinkles as is the case now. We saw a bit of improvement in February as the teen unemployment rate fell to 23.9% from 25.7% in January, and is down from 25.0% a year ago. The improvement, both from last month and from a year ago, is mostly an illusion.

The improvement is due to a falling participation rate, which dropped to 33.5% from 34.6% in January, and 35.1% a year ago. The percentage of teens that actually have a job was just 25.5%, down from 25.7% in January and 26.3% a year ago. While, for the most part, the earnings from teen jobs tend to go towards clothes from Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: AFN) and other teen clothing stores, for many it is a significant part of paying for college. Also, when teens work they learn important job skills, such as the importance of actually showing up and doing so on time. The extremely low levels of teens working is not a good sign for the future.

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.

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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.

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