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Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day Highlights: Mueller, Cirrus Logic, Nektar Therapeutics, Novartis and Cubist Pharmaceuticals

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – June 6, 2013 – Zacks Equity Research highlights Mueller & Co ((MWA - Free Report) ) as the Bull of the Day and Cirrus Logic, Inc. ((CRUS - Free Report) ) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR - Free Report) , Novartis (NVS - Free Report) and Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. .

Full analysis of all these stocks is available at

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

I remember when Evian launched their ad campaigns here in the US in 80s, selling water for what then seemed like astronomical prices.

In the United States, a liter of bottled water can cost up to $3 per bottle, while a similar volume of tap water costs less than one cent. According to a NRDC study over 12 years ago, U.S. consumers paid between 240 and 10,000 times more per unit volume for bottled water than for tap water.

To make things even more complicated, bottled water and tap water are regulated by different federal agencies: the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates bottled water and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees the quality of tap water.

Several studies have found that the enforcement and monitoring of water quality is irregular and inconsistent for both tap water and bottled water. But contrary to popular belief, Tap water contamination incidents must be reported promptly to the public, while the same is not true for bottled water.

A tap water renaissance would be wonderful for today’s Bull of the Day, but more realistic are the improvements to American water infrastructure. It’s a trend that’s both needed and demanded by the people.

Water is essential to our daily lives and not everyone can afford to stock bottled water or install a reverse osmosis system. Many of us also enjoy taking showers in clean water…

Water, water everywhere…

…but getting it to where it’s needed can be a problem.

The truth is that Mueller & Co ((MWA - Free Report) ) is not the company that is filtering your water for drinking or capitalizing on a shift from bottles back to the tap. Mueller is one of the largest manufacturers of fire hydrants, butterfly valves and iron gate valves in the U.S. and Canada and offers the broadest product line of valves for residential water and gas systems.

Bear of the Day:

Cirrus Logic, Inc. ((CRUS - Free Report) ), which supplies many of Apple's iDevices. Between April 16 and April 18 of this year, the stock tanked by more than 17%, and it lost about 20% on May 23.

Why? Well, about 90% of its revenue is tied to Apple Inc., and Apple's position in the stock market today isn't what it used to be with Steve Jobs gone, growth slowing, and margins being pressured.

In mid-April, Cirrus warned of disappointing upcoming results, and got punished for it. In May, management cited profit-margin pressures of its own, along with competition and a maturing smartphone environment.

 Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

Nektar Presents Data on Oncology Candidates

Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR - Free Report) recently presented encouraging preclinical data on NKTR-214 at the 2013 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Nektar is developing NKTR-214 (targets the IL-2 receptor complex) as a potential treatment for multiple forms of cancer.

The preclinical data revealed that NKTR-214 was more effective and exhibited greater tolerability compared to Novartis (NVS - Free Report) /Prometheus Laboratories’ Proleukin (aldesleukin). The company mentioned in its press release that NKTR-214 was more effective compared to Proleukin in spite of being dosed with 20-fold less in total cytokine or being dosed only once every fourteen days. NKTR-214 is also under development in other pre-clinical toxicological and efficacy studies.

Nektar also presented a series of target-specific biomarkers that were being developed in a phase III study on its etirinotecan pegol for the treatment of breast cancer at the ASCO annual meeting. The randomized, open-label, international BEACON (BrEAst Cancer Outcomes with NKTR-102) phase III study is evaluating etirinotecan pegol in patients who have received an anthracycline, a taxane and capecitabine (ATC) in comparison to a comparator arm which consists of an active single agent treatment of physician's choice.

Nektar stated in its press release that multiple assays for target-specific pharmacodynamic biomarkers for etirinotecan pegol have been established. They are being measured under the BEACON study. These biomarkers were identified from Circulating Tumor Cell (CTC) samples, which were collected before patient treatment, during treatment (at regular intervals) and also at the end of treatment.

The primary objective of the BEACON study is overall survival. The study will also evaluate progression-free survival and objective tumor response rates of etirinotecan pegol.

Nektar, a biopharmaceutical company, presently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other biopharma stocks such as Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. currently look better positioned. Cubist Pharma carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Get the full analysis of all these stocks by going to

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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