For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – June 6, 2012 – Zacks Equity Research highlights Whirlpool Corporation (WHR - Analyst Report) as the Bull of the Day and Tessera Technologies (TSRA - Analyst Report) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Toyota Motor Corp. (TM - Analyst Report), Ford Motor Co. (F - Analyst Report) and Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA - 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:
Whirlpool Corporation (WHR - Analyst Report) is one of the largest manufacturers of home appliances in the world. The company did well in improving its margins by initiating cost and capacity reduction measures. It also expects to benefit from expansion in emerging markets such as Latin America and focus on research and development activities.
The company reported adjusted income of $1.41 per share in the first quarter of 2012, exceeding the Zacks Consensus Estimate by $0.29. However, revenues in the quarter dropped slightly to $4.35 billion from last year's $4.40 billion, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.37 billion. For 2012, Whirlpool expects adjusted earnings of $6.50 to $7.00 per share.
Based on the above conditions, we have upgraded our recommendation on the stock to Outperform from Neutral and set a target price of $73.00. The company currently enjoys a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy).
Bear of the Day:
Tessera Technologies (TSRA - Analyst Report) is a provider of back-end technology for semiconductor manufacturing. Protection of intellectual property (IP) for a company this small is a challenge, as are the inherent pricing pressures in the sluggish DRAM market.
There is significant near-term risk to revenue, leading us to downgrade the shares to Underperform. First, Micron -- a major customer -- was due to renew its license in May, but there is still no news that this has been done. Tessera is also in legal battles with other big customers, such as Amkor and Powertech.
We therefore have an Underperform rating on TSRA shares. Our target price of $13.00 (34.2X P/E) is a discount to the peer group. It carries a Zacks #4 Rank (Sell) currently.
Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:
Toyota Prius 3rd Highest-Selling Car
Toyota Motor Corp.’s (TM - Analyst Report) popular hybrid vehicle Prius became the third best-selling car in the world during the first quarter of the year following its own brand Corolla and Ford Motor Co.’s (F - Analyst Report) Focus.
In the quarter, Toyota sold 247,230 units of Prius. This compared with 300,800 units of Corolla and 277,000 units of Focus.
Toyota occupied the top spot in hybrid offerings after introducing Prius in 1997. Since then, the automaker sold more than 3.5 million hybrid vehicles. It expects to launch as many as 10 more gasoline-electric models by 2015 and offer a fuel-sipping option across its entire line-up by 2020.
In May last year, Toyota introduced Prius Alpha hatchback wagon, which is derived from the third generation Prius model, as Prius V (5-seater) in Japan. The vehicle is priced at ¥2.35 million ($29,000) and is equipped with nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries like its predecessor.
In late-2011, Toyota also signed a memorandum of understanding with Ford on the equal product development collaboration in order to manufacture a gas-electric hybrid engine for pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs). It has also partnered with Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA - Analyst Report) to collaborate on producing electric vehicles based on its small SUV RAV4.
Recently, Toyota raised its 2012 sales forecast for the U.S. due to improving consumer confidence, rising gasoline prices and strong pent-up demand on the back of aging vehicles on road (average age of a vehicle on U.S. roads is 10.8 years).
The Japanese automaker expects to boost sales by 15% to 1.89 million vehicles in the U.S. during the year. The company believes rising gasoline prices would raise the demand for its fuel-efficient lineups.
Toyota, a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stock, posted a 30.5% decline in profits to ¥283.56 billion ($3.7 billion) or ¥90.20 ($1.17) per share in its fiscal year ended March 31, 2012 compared with ¥408.18 billion or ¥130.16 in the prior fiscal year. With this, the company has missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.52 per share for the year.
Consolidated revenues in the year dipped marginally by 2% to ¥18.58 trillion ($241.59 billion). Total unit sales increased 0.6% to 7.35 million units during the fiscal year. Higher unit sales in Japan (8%), Europe (0.3%) and Asia (6%) were significantly offset by lower sales in North America (8%) and Other reporting regions (2%).
The decrease in revenues and profits was attributable to challenges faced by the company owing to the earthquake in Japan and severe flooding in Thailand in 2011 as well as unprecedented strength of the yen.
Get the full analysis of all these stocks by going to http://at.zacks.com/?id=2649.
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