Back to top

Press Releases

Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day Highlights: Agrium, Quality Systems, M&T Bank, Synovus Financial and Popular

AGU QSII MTB SNV BPOP

 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 – August 20, 2012 – Zacks Equity Research highlights Agrium, Inc. (AGU - Analyst Report) as the Bull of the Day and Quality Systems, Inc. (QSII - Analyst Report) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on M&T Bank Corp. (MTB - Analyst Report), Synovus Financial Corp. (SNV - Analyst Report) and Popular Inc. (BPOP - Snapshot 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 retaining our Outperform recommendation on Agrium, Inc. (AGU - Analyst Report) following its strong second-quarter 2012 results. Adjusted earnings of $5.43 per share topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5.36, while profit surged 20% year over year to a record level. Revenues spiked roughly 10% on the back of strong demand for all crop input products.

Agrium stands to benefit from high crop prices and overall strong fundamentals for the agriculture and crop input market. The acquisition of AWB has expanded the company's retail division and provided access to the growing Southeast Asia market. We expect strong global demand for fertilizers and seeds to boost Agrium s results in 2012.

Our long-term Outperform recommendation on the stock indicates that it should exceed the broader market. Our price target of $119 is based on 11.9x our fiscal 2012 earnings estimate.

 

Bear of the Day:

 

We downgrade our recommendation on Quality Systems, Inc. (QSII - Analyst Report) to Underperform with a target price of $17. The company reported earnings per share of $0.26 in the first-quarter of fiscal 2013, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.36.

Quality Systems offers an electronic health record (EHR) product and benefits from the migration of ambulatory and inpatient practices to EHR under the Federal Stimulus. Of late, however, growth of its pipeline metric has been on a falling trend along with a progressively lower number of signed deals on a quarterly basis. The business is crowded with many players operating at the upper end of the market where Quality Systems has traditionally been strong.

The company has undertaken multiple acquisitions to bolster organic growth. These acquisitions are expected to facilitate its entry in the small hospital segment. We are concerned about execution risk emanating from Quality Systems entry into the rural inpatient market.

 

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

 

Treasury to Shed Stake in M&T Bank

 

The U.S. Treasury is offloading its stake in M&T Bank Corp. (MTB - Analyst Report). In this context, yesterday, Treasury announced a public offering of the preferred stock worth $381.5 million it holds in M&T Bank. The move comes as part of its efforts to unwind its bailout program. Public investors will now be able to hold the stock.

The $381.5 million worth of preferred stock comprises 230,000 shares of M&T fixed rate cumulative perpetual preferred stock, Series A, and 151,500 shares of M&T Fixed Rate Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock, Series C. The joint bookrunning managers for the offering are Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated and Sandler O’Neill + Partners, L.P.

Back in 2008, M&T Bank participated in the Treasury’s Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) and took $600 million in bailout funds. In return, preferred stocks were issued to the Treasury. In the meantime, the acquisitions of two TARP recipients, Provident Bankshares Corp. (acquired in 2009) and Wilmington Trust Corp. (2011), have burdened the company with more TARP funds to pay back. M&T Bank already paid back a part of its TARP dues ($700 million) in May 2011 and was left with the remaining $381.5 million in the TARP preferred stock.

Compared to a number of its Wall Street counterparts, the company is making a slow exit from the TARP as it has been quite hesitant in raising capital through common stock offering.  

Our Take

The stake sale by Treasury is a strategic fit. As of now, it could achieve a profit on the whole from bailing out the banks. Also, a number of banks including Synovus Financial Corp. (SNV - Analyst Report) and Popular Inc. (BPOP - Snapshot Report) are yet to repay their TARP dues.  

On the other hand, an exit from TARP is considered a positive for M&T as it would free the company from significant government interventions, pay restrictions and allow financial flexibility. However, the prolonged period of dividend payment has somewhat muted investors’ enthusiasm.

M&T Bank otherwise boasts a solid business model that poises the company well for future growth. Benefits from the Wilmington Trust acquisition are expected to augment its earnings in the years ahead. While the sluggish economic recovery, regulatory issues and low interest rates remain the headwinds for M&T Bank, we believe that a sound capital position, along with a growing core deposit, will uphold it in the long run.

The shares of M&T Bank Corp. retain a Zacks #2 Rank, which translates into a short-term Buy rating. However, considering the fundamentals, we have a Neutral recommendation on the stock.

 

 

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%