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For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – July 11, 2011 – 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: Caterpillar ( CAT - Analyst Report ) , Foster Wheeler ( FWLT - Analyst Report ) , Apple ( AAPL - Analyst Report ) , iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index ETF ( IBB - ETF report ) and VeriFone Systems Inc ( PAY - Analyst Report ) .
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Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:
Slowdown Looks Entrenched
There is always so much confusion about the economy and the stock market and what government should or shouldn’t be doing to facilitate their growth. I am not confused and I think I can help, so I am going to quickly describe some of my views of the markets and the economy in very simple terms.
Fair warning: I will use general observations over statistics, which will actually make it easier for you to argue against my ideas if you disagree with them. It’s often harder to argue with a misused piece of data.
Mine is an optimistic view that is also conservative. In other words, while I think some things are structural problems that will continue to haunt -- and there are always compromises to be made between ideals and the realities of human nature -- I am bullish overall on American ingenuity, productivity and capital markets.
There is nothing wrong with the economy. It is working amazingly well, and mostly because the global economy is still humming and emerging markets (EM) have sustained demand for American products and know-how. Even though the U.S. is still a powerhouse engine of global demand and growth, our up and coming peers in Asia, Europe, South America and Africa were not derailed in their middle-class dreams just because of our crisis.
Who really thought in the spring of 2009 that we would see the recovery and growth we have seen for the last two years?
As an arm-chair economist and trader, I thought so, and a few real economists and large fund managers I pay attention to did. In the spring of 2009, I told investors in interviews on CNBC and FOX Business and Bloomberg that what we had before us was a systemic, generational banking crisis that just handed us a generational market buying opportunity.
EM vs. QE
I knew I had an extraordinary opportunity to advise investors at the recession lows of 2009 to buy long-term positions in cyclicals, energy, technology and biotech, recommending Caterpillar ( CAT - Analyst Report ) at $40, Foster Wheeler ( FWLT - Analyst Report ) at $19, "buying all the dips" in Apple ( AAPL - Analyst Report ) and backing up the truck on the iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index ETF ( IBB - ETF report ) at $65 and "putting it away." The IBB recommendation was a conservative, long-term, no-brainer to me. Little did I know how big the biopharma M&A tsunami of 2009-10 would be as well over $100 billion in deals were done!
Later in 2009, as the animal spirits of our economy caught fire again from the EM, I became interested in buying materials and commodity stocks again, especially as I grew to understand the global dynamics of population growth, urbanization and food demand.
Not even Warren Buffett was so optimistic (of course, that’s not saying much since his “long-term is so much longer than anyone else’s). Most investors were not so optimistic, I think because they had so much guilt about quantitative easing (QE) and its explosion of debt. Or they just wanted to be able to say “I told you so! if another unsustainable credit bubble emerged.
We needed QE and the TARP program and everything else that Bernanke and Paulson did in 2008 and 2009 to stave off financial collapse. As I’ve said for nearly three years, in the midst of a fear-driven credit crisis where contagion could spread systemic breakdowns in all sorts of financial institutions, it was always about confidence first and foremost.
VeriFone Reports In Line
VeriFone Systems Inc ( PAY - Analyst Report ) reported revenues of $292 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2011, up 21% year over year and up 3% sequentially, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $283 million.
Based in San Jose, California, VeriFone designs, markets and services a transaction automation system that facilitates electronic payments between consumers, merchants and financial institutions.
On a segment basis, System Solutions generated revenues of $235.3 million, up 19.0% year over year. The company saw strong demand in its petroleum business as sites continue to upgrade for PCI-compliance. Services revenues grew 38.7% year over year to $57.1 million.
North America delivered a 14% year-over-year growth. Revenue from international markets grew 28% year over year. Latin America grew 11%, Europe grew by 41% and Asia increased by 25%.
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