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Titan Machinery and WW International have been highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – September 7, 2022 – Zacks Equity Research shares Titan Machinery Inc. (TITN - Free Report) as the Bull of the Day and WW International Inc. (WW - Free Report) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Ally Financial Inc. (ALLY - Free Report) and Navient Corp. (NAVI - Free Report) .

Here is a synopsis of all four stocks:

Bull of the Day:

Titan Machinery Inc. is benefiting from the strong agriculture and construction equipment markets in the United States and Europe. This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) posted record quarterly earnings in the second quarter.

Titan Machinery owns and operates full service agriculture and construction equipment dealer locations in North America and Europe. Its locations represent one or more of the CNH Industrial Brands, including Case IH, New Holland Agriculture, Case Construction, New Holland Construction and CNH Industrial Capital.

In the US, its network is located in Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. In Europe, its stores are located in Bulgaria, Germany, Romania and Ukraine.

Ukraine Business "Resilient"

On Aug 25, Titan Machinery reported its fiscal second quarter 2023 results and provided an update on what is happening in Europe, specifically with Ukraine.

"And, within our International segment, our business is proving to be resilient, particularly within our Ukraine market, where the farming industry has forged ahead with great resolve amid a very turbulent environment due to the ongoing conflict," said David Meyer, CEO.

Another Earnings Beat in Q2

Titan Machinery beat again when it reported its fiscal second quarter 2023 results on Aug 25. It reported $1.10 versus the Zacks Consensus of $0.71.

That's a beat of $0.39.

It was the 11th beat in a row. That's an impressive record during the pandemic.

$1.10 was the highest quarterly earnings performance in the company's history.

Revenue jumped 31.5% to $496.5 million from $377.6 million last year. Equipment sales were $375.2 million while parts were $77.7 million. Both were up year-over-year.

Gross profit was $102.7 million from $75 million in Q2 of last year. The gross profit margin rose to 20.7% from 19.9% last year due to stronger equipment margins which were partially offset by revenue mix.

The Agriculture segment continued to perform well. Titan Machinery expects this momentum to continue through the balance of fiscal 2023.

The Construction segment is also experiencing strong equipment demand and strength in parts, service and rental. In Construction, revenue fell year-over-year after divesting stores in Montana and Wyoming, but same-store-sales were up 14.9% year-over-year.

Raised Fiscal 2023 Guidance

With the strong demand continuing, Titan Machinery raised full year earnings guidance to a range of $3.70 to $4.00 from prior guidance of $2.90 to $3.20.

That includes a $0.05 reduction due to the Ukraine War.

The analysts have raised estimates in the last month. 1 estimate has been raised in that time, pushing up the Fiscal 2023 Zacks Consensus Estimate to $3.52 from $3.19 30 days ago.

That's earnings growth of 18.1% as the company made $2.98 last year but it's also still below the company's new guidance.

1 estimate has also been revised higher for fiscal 2024 in the last month, pushing up the Zacks Consensus to $3.79. That's another 7.7% earnings growth.

Shares Are Cheap

Shares of Titan rallied during the initial years of the pandemic, but are down 10.6% year-to-date.

They are cheap, with a forward P/E of 8.6.

The company, a small cap with a market cap of $679 million, does not pay a dividend.

For investors looking for a play on agriculture and construction, Titan Machinery should be on their short list.

Bear of the Day:

WW International Inc. is in a transition year. This Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) recently lowered full year guidance.

WW is a technology company specializing in commercial weight management programs. For nearly six decades, under the name WeightWatchers, it has inspired millions of people to adopt healthy habits for real life.

It provides comprehensive tools, including expert coaches and community, to members.

A Beat in the Second Quarter

On Aug 4, WW reported its second quarter results and beat the Zacks Consensus by $0.04 reporting $0.40 versus the Zacks Consensus of $0.36.

The company said it felt revenue pressure in the quarter.

Revenue fell 10% to $269.5 million from last year. Subscription Revenue fell 8.3% to $240.4 million and Product Sales and Other also fell, by 21.9%, to $29.1 million.

End of the Period Subscribers fell 12.3% to 4.3 million from 4.9 million last year. Digital subscribers were down 16.5% to 3.4 million while Workshops and Digital subscribers was up 10.6% to 0.8 million.

WW has been transforming itself into a digital business with subscription products for several years. But the transition hasn't always been a smooth one.

2022 is expected to be another "transitional" year.

"I joined WeightWatchers with a clear-eyed vision that building a digital community around a shared interest of health and weight loss is the key to member success and subscriber growth. I am now even more confident that it is the right path forward," said Sima Sistani, CEO.

"2022 will be a transition year while we execute on a number of initiatives to simplify the business and build a foundation for profitable growth," she added.

Full Year Guidance is Cut

Revenue was cut to the range of $1.05 billion to $1.09 billion from a range of $1.09 billion to $1.14 billion. The Zacks Consensus is calling for $1.1 billion, but that's down 9.6% from $1.21 billion last year.

Earnings guidance was also cut and that means the analysts also lowered.

5 estimates have been cut in the last 60 days pushing the Zacks Consensus down to $0.83 from $0.96 over that time. That's an earnings decline of 39.4% as the company made $1.37 last year.

Shares Are Cheap But Beware

WW shares have fallen 67% in 2022.

They're cheap, with a forward P/E of just 6.2. But as the earnings estimates are cut, it means that the stock could be a value trap.

In 2022, with a volatile market, investors might want to stay on the sidelines with any company that says it's in a "transition" year.

Additional content:

2 Consumer Loan Stocks with Solid Dividends to Watch

The Zacks Consumer Loans industry has been bearing the brunt of muted consumer sentiments, mainly attributable to record-high inflation and geopolitical matters. These have raised the fear of economic slowdown and even recession over the next few months. Hence, the demand for consumer loans is likely to fall and hamper the industry players' top-line growth. Weakening asset quality as economic growth continues to slow down is another major near-term headwind.

Also, the consumer loan industry has widely underperformed the S&P 500 Index and Zacks Finance sector so far this year. The stocks in this industry have collectively lost 26% while the Zacks S&P 500 composite and Zacks Finance sector have declined 18.3% and 16.3%, respectively.

Do these challenges imply investors should avoid the stocks from this industry? Well, the answer to this is a resounding no. We believe that solid dividend-paying consumer loan stocks – Ally Financial Inc. and Navient Corp. – should remain on investors' radar despite near-term concerns. Apart from robust dividend yield, these two companies have solid fundamentals to help them navigate current headwinds.

To choose these consumer loan providers, we ran the Zacks Stocks Screener to identify stocks with a dividend yield in excess of 3% and a dividend payout ratio of less than 30%. Also, both stocks currently carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here

Let's discuss the above-mentioned consumer loan stocks in detail:

Detroit, MI-based Ally Financial is a diversified financial services company providing a broad array of financial products and services, primarily to automotive dealers and their customers. It operates as a financial holding company and a bank holding company. Ally Bank is an indirect, wholly-owned banking subsidiary of Ally Financial.

Strong origination volumes, retail loan growth, rising rates and an increase in deposit balances are expected to keep supporting Ally Financial's revenues. Further, as part of its plan to diversify revenues, the company has forayed into the mortgage business, and its efforts in wealth management and online brokerage related to credit card offerings are commendable. Acquisitions of Fair Square Financial (a credit card provider), TradeKing and Health Credit Services (a point-of-sale payment provider) will likely help improve ALLY's product offerings.

The stock has a dividend yield of 3.67% and a five-year annualized dividend growth of 19%. Further, ALLY's payout ratio is 15% of earnings at present. Check Ally Financial's dividend history here.

Navient, headquartered in Wilmington, DE, is a leading provider of education loan management and business processing solutions for education, healthcare and government clients at the federal, state and local levels. As of Jun 30, 2022, the company had total assets of $78.05 billion, FFELP loans of $49.21 billion and private education loans of $19.66 billion.

Navient's business risk reduction and simplification efforts bode well. Following the receipt of all necessary approvals in October 2021, the company transferred all of its the Department of Education loan servicing contracts to Maximus. With this move, NAVI eliminated an operationally-risky business and amplified its focus on domains outside government student loan servicing. Decent economic growth and the historically low unemployment rate should further drive growth in the Private Education Refinance Loan portfolio and enhance the company's business prospects.

The company has a dividend yield of 4.35%. Currently, NAVI's payout ratio is 28% of earnings. Check Navient's dividend history here.


Furnishing one's portfolio with dividend stocks shows prudence, as these provide a source of a steady income and a cushion against market risks. Despite the benefits of dividend stocks, it is true that not every company can maintain its dividend-paying steak. So, investors must be judicious while picking dividend stocks for steady returns.

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