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Troy, J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Beyond Meat and Del Taco highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – July 30, 2019 – Zacks Equity Research Shares of Helen of Troy Limited (HELE - Free Report) as the Bull of the Day, J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. (JBHT - Free Report) asthe Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Beyond Meat (BYND - Free Report) and Del Taco (TACO - Free Report) .

Here is a synopsis of all four stocks:

Bull of the Day:

Helen of Troy Limited is seeing strong results from its turnaround strategy. This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) recently raised fiscal 2020 guidance.

Helen of Troy is a consumer products company with various popular brands in the houseware, health and home and beauty segments including OXO, Hydro Flask, Vicks, Braun, Honeywell, PUR and Hot Tools.

Another Beat in the Fiscal First Quarter

On July 9, Helen of Troy reported fiscal first quarter of 2020 and crushed the Zacks Consensus by 38 cents. Earnings were $2.06 versus the Zacks Consensus of $1.68.

This extended the company's excellent earnings surprise track record. It hasn't missed since Zacks data began in 2016.

Net sales rose 6.1% to $376.3 million up from $354.7 million a year ago due to a gain in its core business of 6.8%.

The core was helped by an increase in brick and mortar sales in the Housewares segment, growth in consolidated online sales and an increase in appliance sales in the Beauty segment.

The Leadership Brand category saw net sales jump 7.4%. Online sales grew by the double digits and now make up 23% of consolidated sales.

International sales in the Health & Home segment, however, moved lower and it saw a decline in the Personal Care sales within the Beauty segment.

Raised Fiscal 2020 Guidance

Given the strength of the quarter, it's not a surprise the company moved to raise its guidance.

It now expects net sales in the range of $1.59 to $1.62 billion, which is growth of 1.7% to 3.6%. That's higher than the prior guidance of 1% to 3% for the year.

Housewares is now expected to grow 6% to 8%, up from prior guidance of 4% to 6%. Health & Home and Beauty are expected to remain the same as the prior guidance with Health & Home sales growth of 2% to 3% and Beauty to see a decline in the low-single digits.

Earnings are now expected to be in the range of $8.40 to $8.65, up from the prior forecast of $8.25 to $8.50.

Analysts are Bullish

Not surprisingly the analysts have been raising estimates with 2 estimates for fiscal 2020 rising to $8.53 from $8.36 in the last 90 days.

That's earnings growth of 5.8% as the company made $8.06 last year.

The analysts are also bullish about fiscal 2021 as those estimates have also moved higher over the last 3 months, jumping to $9.05 from $8.77 during that period. That's a gain of 6.1%.

Shares at New 2-Year Highs

Another earnings beat gave a boost to the shares, which are now up 35% over the last 2 years.

Helen of Troy is no longer cheap. It's trading with a forward P/E of 17.8.

But it's shareholder friendly as the company announced a new $400 million share buyback program in May 2019 which is expected to be good for 3 years.

For investors looking to buy a consumer products company with strong brands, Helen of Troy is one to keep on the short list.

Bear of the Day:

J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc.saw a decline in several of its key segments in the second quarter. This Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) is expected to see declining earnings this year.

J.B. Hunt Transport provides supply chain solutions throughout North America, utilizing intermodal, dedicated, refrigerated, truckload, less-than-truckload, flatbed, single source, final mile and more.

The company went public in 1983 and is a component of the Dow Jones Transportation Average.

A Beat in the Second Quarter

On July 15, J.B. Hunt reported its second quarter results and beat the Zacks Consensus by 2 cents. Earnings were $1.37 versus the consensus of $1.35.

Revenue rose 6% to $2.26 billion from $2.14 billion a year ago. Revenue growth was mainly due to a 19% in revenue producing trucks and an 8% increase in truck productivity in Dedicated Contract Services (DCS), partially offset by an 8% decline in volume in Intermodal (JBI), a 7% decline in volume in Integrated Capacity Solutions (ICS) and fewer tractors operating in Truck (JB) compared to the prior year.

Intermodal is its largest segment. Revenue fell 1% to $1.15 billion.

Dedicated Contract Services jumped 28% to $680 million while Integrated Capacity Solutions and Truck both fell. Integrated fell 4% to $334 million while Truck declined 2% to $99.6 million.

Shares Trail in 2019

It's been a tough year for the shares of J.B. Hunt Transport as they're up just 9.5% year-to-date, which trails the NASDAQ which is up 25% over the same period.

It is shareholder friendly, as it purchased $190 million in shares in the second quarter and has $181 million left, as of June 30, 2019, under its buyback authorization.

J.B. Hunt Transport also pays a dividend, currently yielding 1%.

Additional content:

The IPO darling of 2019, plant-based burger meat substitute Beyond Meat, which had grown 780% since its initial public offering in early May, has reported a wildly mixed Q2 earnings report after Monday's close: -24 cents per share was three times lower than the Zacks consensus, while sales of $67.3 million outperfomed expectations by 13%. Shares of the Zacks Rank #3 (Hold)-rated company had been bobbing between negative and positive levels in the late session before falling hard 10%.

Revenue guidance for fiscal year 2019 was posted as $240 million -- well ahead of the $219.45 million our analysts had been considering. This would stand to reason that demand for the meat substitute is expected to remain strong throughout the rest of the year. Questions of scaling up production to meet demand will no doubt be addressed in the company's upcoming call.

Mid-morning Monday, shares took a dive beneath $207 per share for a spell, indicating some cautious profit-taking ahead of the company's report. At 60x forward revenues, this has quickly become a very expensive stock to own. Prior to the release, the Zacks Value-Growth-Momentum (VGM) score for the stock was D: F for Value, B for Growth, C for Momentum.

SoCal-based Del Taco met earnings estimates for its Q2 earnings report at 13 cents per share. Revenues came in slightly above estimates to $121.5 million in the quarter. The company kept its full-year guidance intact, which fits with the Zacks consensus 50 cents per share. However, shares are trading down 5% on the news. post-market. For more on TACO's earnings, click here.

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