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Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day Highlights: Hain Celestial Group, Altera, PepsiCo, Sirius XM Radio and J.P. Morgan

HAIN ALTR PEP SIRI JPM

 ZacksTrade Now

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – February 10, 2012 – Zacks Equity Research highlights Hain Celestial Group (HAIN - Analyst Report) as the Bull of the Day and Altera Corp. (ALTR - Analyst Report) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on PepsiCo (PEP - Analyst Report), Sirius XM Radio (SIRI - Analyst Report) and J.P. Morgan (JPM - 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:

A leader in natural food and personal care products with an array of well-known brands, Hain Celestial Group (HAIN - Analyst Report) offers investors one of the strongest growth profiles in the industry. The company's strategic investments plus continued efforts to contain costs, increase productivity, and enhance cash flows and margins have enabled it to deliver healthy results.

This is quite evident from Hain's second-quarter 2012. The quarterly earnings of $0.52 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.49, and rose 33.3% from the prior-year quarter. The company's top line also grew an impressive 32.1%.

The company continues to expect total revenue between $1,455 million and $1,480 million, and earnings in the range of $1.63 to $1.73 per share for fiscal 2012. Buoyed by better-than-expected results and an optimistic outlook, we continue to maintain our Outperform recommendation on the stock.

Bear of the Day:

Earnings estimates for Altera Corp. (ALTR - Analyst Report) have declined significantly after a weak guidance for the first quarter of 2012. The company expects sales to decline 5%-9% sequentially. As per management, the program timing in the Military section will account for half of the decline.

The company expects revenues from the wireless segment to move lower across multiple geographies due to continued inventory depletion and softening of demand in the second half of 2011. Altera has a large exposure to the telecommunications industry, in particular China.

The recent slowdown in China has adversely impacted the company's business. Therefore, we have downgraded our recommendation to Underperform from Neutral.

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

ECB, Greek Austerity, Jobless Claims & China

In an expected move, the European Central Bank (ECB) left short-term interest rates unchanged at 1% Thursday morning. It also appears that Greek politicians have finally come around to accepting all the demands of the EU/ECB/IMF troika that were a precondition to a fresh bailout for the country.

The major sticking point in the end was the demand for cuts to public sector pension benefits that the Greek leaders were resisting. But the issue appears to have now been decided, though all the details are not out at this stage.

In other news, China’s January inflation numbers were a tad hotter than expected. On the home front, we have another positive report on the labor market front, with weekly Initial Jobless Claims falling more than expected.
 
Initial Jobless Claims dropped a better than expected 15K last week to 358K. The four-week average, which smooths out the week-to-week fluctuation, dropped by 11K to 366.3K, maintaining its downtrend of recent weeks. This key data series witnessed some sharp volatility in recent weeks, but appears to be back on its downtrend. 

China’s inflation numbers accelerated a bit in January from the preceding month, but the increase likely reflected the seasonal impact of the Chinese New Year that results in a temporary bump in demand for essentials. The January increase notwithstanding, the overall trend on the inflation front is favorable, improving the odds that the central bank will remain in an easing mode through lower interest rates and reserve requirements.
 
On the earnings front, PepsiCo (PEP - Analyst Report) came ahead of earnings and revenue expectations, but referred to 2012 as a year of transition where it will be unable to pass on above-average costs through price increases. The company is planning to implement $1.5 billion in additional cost cuts through 2014 and increase its North American advertising budget. Sirius XM Radio (SIRI - Analyst Report) met earnings expectations, but missed modestly on the top-line.

In other news, five major banks appear to be close to announcing a $26 billion settlement on the year-long foreclosure investigation with the government. These banks include J.P. Morgan (JPM - Analyst Report) and Ally Financial, among others.

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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