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Louisianan Pacific, Ascena Retail, Alphabet, Twitter and Facebook highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – October 12, 2016 – Zacks Equity Research highlights Louisianan Pacific (NYSE:(LPX - Free Report) - Free Report) as the Bull of the Day and Ascena Retail (NASDAQ:(ASNA - Free Report) - Free Report) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:(GOOGL - Free Report) -Free Report),Twitter (NYSE:(TWTR - Free Report) -Free Report) andFacebook (NASDAQ:(FB - Free Report) - Free Report).

Here is a synopsis of all the five stocks:

Bull of the Day :

Hurricane Matthew roared its way through Haiti, bashed the Bahama Islands, and did some significant damage from Florida all the way up through North Carolina. Currently, thousands of people are still without power, and flooding is wreaking havoc throughout the region. Due to the severity of the damage, thousands of homes, schools, and other structures will need to be rebuilt across several states. This is where our Bull of the DayLouisianan Pacific (NYSE:(LPX - Free Report) - Free Report) comes into play.

This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company manufactures building materials and engineered wood products in the United States, Canada, Chile and Brazil. The Company's products are used by homebuilders and light commercial builders. Louisiana-Pacific's products include oriented strand board sheathing, flooring, radiant barrier panels, siding and trim, I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, laminated strand lumber and interior decorative moldings.

Recent Earnings

In their most recent earnings report, the company beat both the Zacks consensus earnings and revenue estimates (LPX has beaten the Zacks earnings estimates for three consecutive quarters). On a year over year basis, management saw sales increase +18.1%, and net income came in at $32 million, ahead of a net loss of $20 million (in Q2 2015).

Also, LPX has 4 major segments, all of which saw year over year net sales improvements. The Oriented Strand Board (OSB) segment up +19.9%, Siding Segment improved by +26.2%, Engineered Wood Products (EWP) segment reported a +8% increase, and the South American segment improved +5.1%.

Management’s Take

According to Curt Stevens, CEO, “ This was an outstanding quarter for LP as every one of our segments helped drive net income of more than $30 million. OSB had adjusted EBITDA of $59 million and our Siding segment had nearly $50 million of adjusted EBITDA. These results were due to higher OSB pricing, slightly improved housing starts and lower production costs across our system .”

 

Bear of the Day:

 

Brick and mortar retail apparel companies have been under pressure over the past several quarters due to increased competition from online retailers. Customers are utilizing online retailers more frequently, which has put an immense strain on the traditional store’s same store sales, comparable sales, and margins. These are some of the reasons why Ascena Retail (NASDAQ:(ASNA - Free Report) - Free Report) is the Zacks Bear of the Day.

This Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) company operates as a specialty retailer of apparel, shoes, and accessories for women and tween girls in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The company operates through six segments: ANN, Justice, Lane Bryant, Maurices, Dressbarn, and Catherines. It creates, designs, and develops a range of merchandise, including apparel, accessories, footwear, and intimates; lifestyle products comprising cosmetics, bedroom furnishings, and electronics; and wear-to-work, casual sportswear, footwear, and social occasion apparel. The company also offers casual clothing, career wear, dressy apparel, and active wear, as well as special occasion and classic apparel.

Recent Earnings Data

Ascena reported Q4 16 results in the middle of September where they significantly missed the Zacks Consensus Earnings estimate ($0.08 vs. expected $0.17), but they did beat the Zacks Consensus Revenue estimate. The most glaring issue was same store sales, which fell by -5.0% overall. On the year over year basis comparable sales declined in almost every segment; ANN fell by -6.0%, Justice dropped -4%, Maurices plummeted down -9%, Dressbarn fell by -7%, and Catherines was down -5%. On the positive, Lane Bryant improved +1%.

The biggest drags on Ascena were Maurices, and Dressbarn, both of whom saw large comparable sales declines combined with contacting EBITDA margins (more than 200 basis points). To make matters even more difficult, Dressbarn’s CEO recently left the company.

Management’s Take

According to David Jaffe, President and CEO, “ Fiscal 2016 was a challenging year for ascena, characterized by a highly competitive selling environment and significant store traffic headwinds. While we are seeing good customer demand during peak periods, off-peak demand has been inconsistent, and fourth quarter financial performance fell well below our expectations ."

Additional content:

YouTube Crushes TV Debate Viewership

People have been talking about the potential for online streaming to dismantle the television industry for years now, but the latest viewership data from Sunday’s presidential debate indicates that this change could be coming sooner than we may have expected.

According to a new report from Wired, debate content accumulated a total of 124 million views on Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ:(GOOGL - Free Report) - Free Report) YouTube video platform. In comparison, the debate saw about 63 million television viewers.

For whatever reason, viewers are becoming more and more interested in consuming content like the presidential debates in the formats that YouTube offers. Wired points out that the average viewer watched YouTube’s debate livestream for 25 minutes, and it should be noted that YouTube watchers can easily consume short clips and highlights too.

Altogether, viewers watched a total of 2.5 million hours of YouTube’s livestream, Wired reports. On top of this, 3.2 million people tuned into Twitter’s (NYSE:(TWTR - Free Report) - Free Report) livestream, while Facebook’s (NASDAQ:(FB - Free Report) - Free Report) broadcast garnered about 7.4 million views.

In many ways, the increased online viewership makes a ton of sense. Speaking personally, I tuned into the debate on PBS, but I had my phone out almost the entire time. Interacting with both friends and strangers on Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit adds another layer of immersion to the viewing experience; it doesn’t seem like much of a leap to start going to these sources to actually stream the debate too.

Of course, YouTube’s total figures will also include international viewers, which skews the data a bit, but the overall point remains true: consumers no longer have to turn on their TVs to keep up with live events like the presidential debates.

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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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