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Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day Highlights: Lincoln Electric, Avery Dennison, Viacom, Time Warner and Sony

LECO AVY TWX SNE

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – January 4, 2012 – Zacks Equity Research highlights Lincoln Electric (LECO - Analyst Report) as the Bull of the Day and Avery Dennison (AVY - Analyst Report) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Viacom Inc , Time Warner Inc (TWX - Analyst Report) and Sony Corporation (SNE - Snapshot Report).

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:

Lincoln Electric (LECO - Analyst Report) recently reported fiscal 2011 third quarter adjusted EPS of $0.66, versus $0.39 in the year-earlier quarter. Total revenue increased 35.0% year over year to $702.0 million.

Lincoln Electric is pursuing a strategy to become more cost competitive by building manufacturing facilities in the low-cost bases of Eastern Europe, besides acquiring companies, which will complement its operations. Lincoln Electric is also implementing various cost-control measures.

Further, the demand for its products is on the rise, leading us to believe that Lincoln Electric will post strong growth on the heels of an economic recovery and investments in the emerging markets. We reiterate our Outperform recommendation with a target price of $46.00.

Bear of the Day:

Avery Dennison's (AVY - Analyst Report) third quarter adjusted EPS of $0.48 fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.59 and the $0.62 in the year-ago quarter. Avery Dennison has reduced its fiscal 2011 EPS guidance to between $2.15 and $2.30 due to apprehensions of continued weakness in volumes.

The Office and consumer products segment s volumes and sales have shown continued weakness due to weak end market demand and increased competition in the label category. Margins have been affected due to increased investment in demand creation, consumer promotions, and innovation, as well as lower volume.

Given lower volume expectations, higher tax rate and weak results in two of its largest businesses -- Pressure-Sensitive Materials and Retail Branding and Information Solutions -- we downgrade our recommendation from Neutral to Underperform with a target price of $26.00.

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

Viacom Rides on Movie Success

Paramount Pictures Corporation, the film division of Viacom Inc ended 2011 with a whopping $5.17 billion worldwide box office collection and in the process nudged aside Time Warner Inc’s (TWX - Analyst Report) film division group Warner Bros.

Warner Bros., had topped the North American box office chart from 2007 to 2010. However, in 2011, Paramount Pictures outperformed Warner Bros. for the top spot.

Paramount generated a record $1.96 billion from the North American market, and the remaining $3.21 billion came from the international box office. Paramount Picture’s success in the year 2011 is primarily credited to the movie "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" that earned a massive $ 1.1 billion worldwide and was placed in the second position in terms of box-office collections. Warner Bros’ "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II" emerged as the top grossing film of 2011 with a staggering $1.25 billion in box office receipts.

Last year, Paramount released 16 movies globally, out of which six movies did extremely well at the box office.

U.S. box office generated $9.9 billion in revenues in 2011, of which Paramount holds a staggering 19.5% market share followed by Warner Bros. 18.2% and Sony Corporation’s (SNE - Snapshot Report) film division Sony Pictures with 12.6% market share.

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.

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