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For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – October 15, 2012 – Zacks Equity Research highlights Hibbett Sports, Inc. ( HIBB - Analyst Report ) as the Bull of the Day and Weatherford International Ltd. ( WFT - Analyst Report ) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Apple Inc. ( AAPL - Analyst Report ) , Google Inc. ( GOOG - Analyst Report ) and Nokia Corporation ( NOK - 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:
Backed by strong sales growth coupled with operational efficiencies, Hibbett Sports, Inc.'s ( HIBB - Analyst Report ) earnings of $0.30 per share for second-quarter fiscal 2013 surged 42.9% from the prior-year quarter, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.27. Buoyed by better-than-expected results, the company raised its expectations for fiscal 2013.
The company now forecasts earnings in the range of $2.57-$2.67 per share, up from $2.50-$2.65 forecasted earlier. Management also remains committed to expand its store network by 55 to 60 new stores in fiscal 2013. Moreover, Hibbett's sharp focus on mid-sized and smaller markets and strategic mix of branded as well as localized merchandise provide it with an edge over its competition.
The company has a healthy balance sheet with no debt. Currently, we are maintaining a long-term Outperform recommendation on the stock.
We are maintaining our recommendation on Weatherford International Ltd. ( WFT - Analyst Report ) at Underperform following the delay in the reporting of income taxes due to the material weakness in internal controls. Weatherford expects weather-related issues in Canada and a poor-margin Iraqi contract to hurt operations and lower average output in 2012.
Low gas prices also remain a concern. Other risks faced by Weatherford are geopolitical, commodity and financial market risks. Given these headwinds, we expect shares of Weatherford to be under pressure in the near future.
Considering these factors, we see little reason for investors to own the stock and therefore we are maintaining our recommendation at Underperform. Our $11 price objective is based on 10.8x our 2012 EPS estimate.
Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:
Samsung Intros Galaxy SIII Mini
Samsung Electronics Co. – the world’s largest handset maker has unveiled a smaller version of its flagship Galaxy SIII smartphones, which has received huge success worldwide. The latest galaxy range of smartphones is expected to bring stiff competition for Apple Inc.’s ( AAPL - Analyst Report ) iPhone 5. However, the price and launch date are yet to be declared by the company.
Samsung SIII Mini is powered by a dual-core 1 GHz processor along with 8/16 GB internal storage options and possesses a 5MP camera instead of an 8MP camera in its bigger siblings. The most notable feature of the phone is that it has a smaller 4-inch super AMOLED screen instead of a 4.8 inch screen of its predecessor and runs on Google Inc.’s ( GOOG - Analyst Report ) latest Android offering Jelly Bean.
On September 12, this year, Apple, the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, launched iPhone 5 with a 4-inch screen instead of a 3.5 inch screen in its bigger version. Reducing its screen size is a strategic decision by Samsung to make it a much more handy set thereby putting it in direct competition with Apple’s latest offering as these two are the biggest smartphone players in the U.S.
According to research firm IDC at the end of the second quarter of 2012, Samsung shipped 50.2 million smartphones and has a market share of 32.6% as compared to Apple’s 26 million shipments with a market share of 16.9%. Nokia Corporation ( NOK - Analyst Report ) , which is facing market share slide due to increased completion from iPhone and other Android-based smartphone manufacturers, comes at a distant third position with a market share of 6.6%.
This is the first real attempt by the South Korean giant to compete with Apple’s iPhone 5 after its much-hyped launch. We believe that Samsung which has recently lost a crucial patent battle to Apple could price the SIII Mini attractively it could really put the tech giant into some discomfort. However, unlike iPhone 5, SIII Mini doesn’t support LTE, which could be a major downside for the phone as the data hungry customers nowadays expect fastest network on premium smartphones.
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.
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