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Alliance Fiber Optic Products, Rentech, Starbucks, Google and Level 3 Communications highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

AFOP RTK SBUX LVLT

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – August 2, 2013 – Zacks Equity Research highlights Alliance Fiber Optic Products ((AFOP - Snapshot Report)-Free Report) as the Bull of the Day and Rentech ((RTK - Snapshot Report)-Free Report)   as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on the Starbucks Corporation (SBUX - Analyst Report)-Free Report), Google, Inc. -Free Report) and Level 3 Communications (LVLT - Snapshot Report)-Free Report).

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

Alliance Fiber Optic Products ((AFOP - Snapshot Report)-Free Report) recently beat estimates and estimates soared. Following a weak showing in yesterday's session, it is the Bull of the Day as a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

I recently wrote about my "Best Tech Stocks For 2nd Half of 2013" and I opined about how the move to mobile is here. The flood of devices is upon us and that is creating some interesting pain points.

Beyond the obvious plays in the chip space and even Wi-Fi play like Ruckus Wireless, there is the need for a bigger pipe to handle the impending strong demand for broadband internet. Facilitating that demand will be companies like Alliance Fiber Optic Products

AFOP designs and manufactures components, modules, and subsystems that empower dynamic optical network, and facilitates the migration of fiber optics from the long haul through the last mile. That is all industry jargon for they make a fiber optic connection to your business or home a reality.

While the rest of Wall Street saw the most recent quarter as a two cent beat, Zacks has it as a meet. We add back stock option expenses to get better view of what the company truly spent. That higher standard might also play into the earnings meet on the March quarter.

Bear of the Day:

Rentech ((RTK - Snapshot Report)-Free Report) is seeing estimates for 2013 slide deeper and as a result it is a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). It is the Bear of the Day.

Yesterday, the company announced that it will transfer its listing from the NYSE to the NASDAQ Capital Market effective with the start of trading on August 13, 2013. Rentech will continue to trade under its existing ticker symbol "RTK." Rentech's common stock will trade on the NYSE MKT until the close of trading on August 12, 2013.

Rentech engages in the sale of natural-gas based nitrogen fertilizer products in the United States and Brazil. Its products include ammonium sulfate, sulfuric acid, and ammonium thiosulfate used in the production of corn, soybeans, potatoes, cotton, canola, alfalfa, and wheat. Rentech, Inc. was founded in 1980 and is based in Los Angeles, California.

Over the last six earnings reports, the RTK hasn't done so well. I see one beat in for the September 2012 quarter. There were two earnings meets and three earnings misses.

Additional content:

Starbucks Partners Google for Faster WiFi

Starbucks Corporation (SBUX - Analyst Report)-Free Report) recently announced that it has teamed up with Google, Inc. -Free Report) to boost Wi-Fi speed at Starbucks locations.

Both companies will work together to develop the next generation Starbucks Digital Network, in order to facilitate faster Internet speed, effective from Aug 2013. In addition, Starbucks will upgrade their store network and Wi-Fi connection at over 7000 stores over the next 18 months.

Starbucks and Google will collaborate with Level 3 Communications (LVLT - Snapshot Report)-Free Report), an international telecommunications company, in order to execute this Wi-Fi connectivity upgrade at Starbucks stores.

A significant number of customers depend on the Wi-Fi networks in Starbucks stores for their work and other purposes. The network upgrade will serve these customers better and increase traffic in the stores.    

Recently, Starbucks delivered solid third-quarter fiscal 2013 results, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate for both revenues and earnings. Robust increase in global traffic, increasing popularity of its Starbucks loyalty cards, efficiency improvements, cost controls and lower coffee costs boosted profits.

Starbucks’ adjusted earnings of 55 cents per share for the third quarter of fiscal 2013 grew 28% year over year and also beat management’s expectations, driven by solid sales performance and significant margin growth.

Total sales for the third quarter increased 13% year over year to $3.74 billion and also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.72 billion. Strong comps in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific and significant improvement in Europe drove the top line in the quarter.

The company raised earnings expectations for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2013 and also issued an impressive guidance for fiscal 2014.

Starbucks carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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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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