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Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day Highlights: MarkWest Energy Partners, HDFC Bank, BP Plc, Sempra Energy and General Electric

MWE HDB BP SRE GE

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – January 12, 2012 – Zacks Equity Research highlights MarkWest Energy Partners ( (MWE - Analyst Report) as the Bull of the Day and HDFC Bank ( (HDB - Analyst Report) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on BP Plc ( (BP - Analyst Report), Sempra Energy ( (SRE - Analyst Report) and General Electric Co. ( (GE - Analyst 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:

We are upgrading MarkWest Energy Partners ( (MWE - Analyst Report) to Outperform from Neutral, reflecting its promising future prospects. The master limited partnership's (MLP) targeted growth capital investments since 2006 have been driving its strong, long-term volume growth.

We continue to like MarkWest for its high-quality and diverse portfolio of midstream assets, as well as its proven track record of supporting producers in the development of shale plays and the steady improvement in its liquidity/cash flow position. Furthermore, with 192% distribution growth since the IPO in May 2002, we are confident of the partnership's total return potential.

As such, we view MarkWest units as an attractive investment and upgrade it to Outperform. Our $66 price objective reflects a multiple of 21.2X trailing twelve-month cash flow.

Bear of the Day:

HDFC Bank's ( (HDB - Analyst Report) higher operating expenses were the headwind in the company's most recently reported quarter. The company is still exposed to threats related to higher cost of funds. Growing competition in the retail space with the re-entry of peers is an added future concern.

Our six-month target price of $25.00 per ADS equates to about 22.3x our earnings estimate for fiscal 2012. This target price implies an expected negative total return of 7.6% over that period. This is consistent with our long-term Underperform recommendation on the ADSs.

Additionally, the quantitative Zacks Rank for HDFC Bank is currently #5, indicating a significant likelihood of downward pressure on the ADSs over the near term.

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

BP Joins Sempra for Wind Power

U.K. energy major BP Plc ( (BP - Analyst Report) has collaborated with San Diego-based Sempra Energy ( (SRE - Analyst Report) for the development of two wind farms - Mehoopany Wind Farm in Pennsylvania and the Flat Ridge 2 Wind Farm in Kansas. Both the companies together intend to invest in excess of $1 billion for the project.

The facilities, with a combined production capacity of 560 megawatts, were initially developed by BP’s wind-development unit. Later, Sempra Energy acquired a 50% interest in the wind farms. BP will remain the operator of the wind farms when they come online by the end of 2012.

The Pennsylvania unit will have a capacity of 141 megawatt (MW). The U.S. unit of Renewable Energy Systems Ltd. is responsible for the construction of this facility. General Electric Co. ( (GE - Analyst Report) will supply 88, 1.6 MW wind turbines for the wind farm. The facility has already entered into long-term contracts with two electric cooperatives - Old Dominion Electric Cooperative and Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative.

Wind power development has witnessed increased interest in recent times. The Production Tax Credit (PTC) provides an income tax credit of $0.022 cents per kilowatt-hour for the production of electricity and is set to expire by the end of 2012. The PTC will be applicable for the first 10 years of electricity production. Therefore, BP and Sempra are eager to start their wind farms by the end of 2012.

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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