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Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day Highlights: ZOLL Medical, Vistaprint NV, Corning, Apple and Google

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – January 27, 2012 – Zacks Equity Research highlights ZOLL Medical Corp. as the Bull of the Day and Vistaprint NV (VPRT - Analyst Report) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Corning (GLW - Analyst Report), Apple (AAPL - Analyst Report) and Google .

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 retain our Outperform recommendation on ZOLL Medical Corp. following its forecast-topping first quarter results. Revenues and earnings for the quarter beat the Zacks Consensus Estimates, driven by strong sales from the company's LifeVest and temperature management businesses.

The company witnessed healthy sales across the North American hospital and pre-hospital markets. We are pleased with ZOLL's solid fundamentals and its broad product range. Moreover, its significant international presence should also drive growth.

The company has completed multiple acquisitions and is seeking more such lucrative transactions to aid growth. Management's outlook for fiscal 2012 is encouraging with sales are expected to grow at a healthy double-digit clip on the strength of the company's core defibrillator business.

Bear of the Day:

Vistaprint NV's (VPRT - Analyst Report) earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 were well ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, we believe that the slow pace of the economic recovery, coupled with huge investments in 2012 and 2013 to attract customers, will restrict improvements in its top as well as bottom lines.

The new set of initiatives also involves increased risk and lack of visibility toward return on investments at the current level. Substantial exposure to international markets also makes the company vulnerable to currency fluctuation risks. In fact, huge concentration in the European market remains a cause of concern owing to the Euro-zone debt crisis.

Our six-month target price of $28.00 equates to 24.6x our earnings estimate for fiscal 2012. This price target implies an expected total negative return of 8.1% over that period. Hence, we downgrade the stock from a Neutral to Underperform recommendation.

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

Corning’s Net Slides in Q4

Corning’s (GLW - Analyst Report) fourth quarter 2011 earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 8 cents, or 26.5%. However, shares gained just 0.77% after the company reported, despite losing 10.74% during the day, reflecting continued challenges in the company’s display and specialty materials businesses.

Guidance

Corning did not shed much light on the Display business for the upcoming first quarter, simply stating that significant price declines maybe expected to continue. It also expects volumes in the wholly-owned business grow in line with the market, while volumes at SCP comes in flat to down double-digits, depending on negotiations with a key customer.

Telecom segment sales are expected to be up 5-10% sequentially, due to continued strength in demand for FTTH, enterprise networks and wireless products. Environmental Technologies sales are expected to be up just slightly. 

Corning expects the Specialty Materials sales to be up slightly, due to increased Gorilla Glass demand for tablets from Apple (AAPL - Analyst Report) and Google partners, as well as handheld IT devices, partially offset by continued yield improvements at customers and price declines.

Corning expects the Life Sciences business to be up 10% sequentially, helped by the Mediatech acquisition that was completed towards the end of the last quarter.

The gross margin is expected to shrink one percentage points, mainly due to aggressive pricing in Display. SG&A and R&D will be consistent on a sequential basis.

Other income is expected to be half that in the fourth quarter due to lower royalty revenue. Equity earnings will be down 5-20% and equity earnings in Dow Corning will be down 35%. This would impact Corning’s net income.

The tax rate is expected to be 20%.

Our Take

Corning’s fourth quarter results were satisfactory, considering the issues in its two key segments.

The uncertainty in TV demand is impacting glass volumes and Corning expects supply chain inventories to decline. The other concern is glass pricing, where Corning intends to continue with its pricing actions for another quarter at least. The lower utilization rates and greater efficiency at customers are additional negatives.

Gorilla Glass, the other important product line and the second best in terms of gross margin, is also facing challenges. Adoption looks slower on platforms such as TVs and tablets from its customers have proved slow to take off. Although management's tone was positive going forward, it was apparent that the first quarter and the rest of the year were not going to be as strong as previously expected.

Dow Corning is also underperforming, which will impact the other income line.

Net-net, it looks as if Corning too has become subject to economic pressures that are impacting consumer sentiment. Therefore, near-to-mid-term results are unlikely to be exciting.

We also think that there will be more investment in the business (new technologies, China), which will drive up costs. The higher costs and higher tax rate will negatively impact the bottom line.

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

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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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