Back to top

Press Releases

Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day Highlights: Amgen, Montpelier Re Holdings, Cisco Systems, Illumina and Roche Holdings

AMGN MRH CSCO ILMN RHHBY

 ZacksTrade Now

This page is temporarily not available.  Please check later as it should be available shortly. If you have any questions, please email customer support at support@zacks.com or call 800-767-3771 ext.  9339.

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – February 9, 2012 – Zacks Equity Research highlights Amgen, Inc. (AMGN - Analyst Report) as the Bull of the Day and Montpelier Re Holdings (MRH - Analyst Report) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Cisco Systems (CSCO - Analyst Report), Illumina (ILMN - Analyst Report) and Roche Holdings (RHHBY - 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:

Amgen, Inc. (AMGN - Analyst Report) reported fourth quarter earnings per share of $1.19, 5 cents below the Zacks Consensus Estimate, but 3.5% above the year-ago period. However, Amgen provided better-than-expected guidance for 2012. The company expects earnings in the range of $5.90 - $6.15 per share on revenues of $16.1 - $16.5 billion.

Amgen also announced its intention to acquire Micromet. We have raised our 2012 earnings estimate by 48 cents to $5.94 per share. The upward revision in earnings estimates has pushed the Zacks Rank for Amgen to #2, which indicates a Buy rating in the short-term.

Based on the strong outlook for 2012, the upward revision in estimates and the Zacks Rank, we are upgrading the stock to Outperform. Share repurchases and cost control should help the company achieve at least the lower end of its guidance range.

Bear of the Day:

We are downgrading Montpelier Re Holdings (MRH - Analyst Report) to Underperform from Neutral based on the company's expectation of incurring operating losses in the fourth quarter. The current pricing environment in the primary insurance market and the stressed economy are expected to restrict top-line growth.

Montpelier has guided fourth-quarter 2011 net operating loss in the range of $0.25-$0.35 per share. Montpelier's fourth quarter loss guidance includes an adverse impact of $40 million arising from floods in Thailand, an adverse impact of $26 million from catastrophe losses and also takes into account favorable prior year loss reserve development of $18 million.

Our six-month target price is $16.00. This price target along with the annual dividend of $0.42 implies a negative return of 10.3% over that period. This is consistent with our Underperform rating.

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

Cisco Impresses in Q2

After the bell Wednesday, Cisco Systems (CSCO - Analyst Report) reported stellar earnings and revenue results that easily beat Zacks Consensus Estimates. The tech giant posted EPS of 43 cents per share (note: at Zacks we do not adjust results for employee stock options) on revenue of $11.5 billion, which bested estimates of 38 cents and $11.23 billion, respectively.

Recall a year ago, when a weak tech environment sent Cisco Systems struggling to gain traction. The company regained focus -- not simply on routers and switches but Enterprise, Commercial, Search and Cloud-based businesses, as well -- and now sees 11% growth and gross margins of 62.4%.

Shares of CSCO have risen off October 2011 lows by more than 30%, and there looks to be more to come in the near-term. After gaining 1% in regular-day trading today, Cisco's impressive earnings beat has shot up 3% since.

Illumina Beats, Spurns Roche Offer

Illumina (ILMN - Analyst Report) reported EPS of 9 cents in the fourth quarter of 2011, well below the year-ago quarter EPS of 25 cents. However, after adjusting for certain one-time items, EPS came in at 35 cents, ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 30 cents and 20.7% higher than the prior-year quarter.

For the full year, adjusted EPS came in at $1.30, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.25 and the year-ago figure of $1.06.

Revenues dipped 4% year over year to $250 million during the quarter. However, it was ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $248 million. This drop was primarily due to a 6.2% decline in product revenues, partly offset by a 25.5% rise in service revenues.

Outlook

Illumina expects fiscal 2012 revenues in the range of $1.10 – $1.175 billion (annualized growth of 4% –11%). The Zacks Consensus Revenue Estimate is close to the lower-end of the expected range. The adjusted gross margin is expected to be 70% for 2012. The company also expects adjusted EPS in the range of $1.40–$1.50 (the Zacks Consensus Estimate is $1.41).

For the first quarter of fiscal 2012, Illumina expects revenues in the range of $250 –$260 million ($258 million) with adjusted EPS of 29 cents–32 cents (31 cents) assuming approximately 133 million shares. Adjusted gross margin guidance for the quarter is 69%.

Illumina Rejects Roche’s $5.7 billion Offer

In separate news, Illumina unanimously declined Roche Holdings’ (RHHBY - Analyst Report) offer of $44.50 per share (aggregate value $5.7 billion) in cash as it considers this offer to be grossly inadequate.

We note that Roche had made multiple efforts in the past to strike a deal with Illumina. However, Illumina was unwilling to participate in substantive discussions. This led Roche to commence a tender offer to purchase Illumina’s outstanding shares.

Presently, Illumina retains a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold) which also corresponds to our Neutral recommendation over the long term.

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.

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today by visiting http://at.zacks.com/?id=7158.

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leonard Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment

Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=4582.

Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Follow us on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339
support@zacks.com

http://www.zacks.com

Please login to Zacks.com or register to post a comment.

New to Zacks?

Start Here

Zacks Investment Research

Close

Are you a new Zacks Member or a visitor to Zacks.com?

Top Zacks Features

Learn more

Start for as little as $4.50 per trade.

My Portfolio Tracker

Is it Time to Sell?

One of the most important steps you can take today is to set up your portfolio tracker on Zacks.com. Once you do, you'll be notified of major events affecting your stocks and/or funds with daily email alerts.

More Zacks Resources

Zacks Rank Home - Evaluate your stocks and use the Zacks Rank to eliminate the losers and keep the winners.

Mutual Fund Rank Home - Evaluate your funds with the Mutual Fund Rank for both your personal and retirement funds.

Stock/Mutual Fund Screening - Find better stocks and mutual funds. The ones most likely to beat the market and provide a positive return.

My Portfolio - Track your Portfolio and find out where your stocks/mutual funds stack up with the Zacks Rank.

Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers for Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers

Company Symbol Price %Chg
LAKE SHORE G LSG 0.77 +6.05%
QUESTCOR PHA QCOR 80.07 +2.47%
VIPSHOP HOLD VIPS 156.35 +1.82%
ENLINK MIDST ENLC 36.29 +1.60%
BNC BANCORP BNCN 17.33 +1.58%