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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – December 30, 2011 – Zacks Equity Research highlights: AGCO Corporation (AGCO - Free Report) as the Bull of the Day and HSBC Holdings plc - ADS  as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on The Wendy’s Co. (WEN - Free Report) , Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc.  and McDonald’s Inc. (MCD - Free Report) .

Full analysis of all these stocks is available at

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

Driven by strong global demand for agricultural equipment, AGCO Corporation (AGCO - Free Report) reported third quarter EPS of $0.87 versus $0.66 in the year-earlier quarter, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.75. For fiscal 2011, AGCO expects EPS of $4.30.

Global industry sales are anticipated to grow in 2011. With a full product line of farm equipment and a wide network of dealers and distributors, we believe AGCO is well positioned over the long term to capitalize on the need for increased food production, which is being driven by worldwide population growth.

Moreover, the company is also looking to expand operations in high-growth emerging markets, which bode well for future operating performance. We maintain our Outperform recommendation with a target price of $51.00, based on a P/E of 11.7 and our fiscal 2011 earnings estimate.

Bear of the Day:

We retain our Underperform recommendation on HSBC Holdings plc - ADS  with an Underperform recommendation. Our primary concern is the harsh impact from the deepening Eurozone crisis. Moreover, the company is suffering from weak revenue growth in its mature markets due to ongoing low interest rates and regulatory restrictions.

The company's cost containment measures will help it deal with economic pressures to a great extent. But we expect high inflation in some key Asian markets, slothful loan growth, insufficient core operating performance and high wage inflation to restrict the company's growth, at least in the near term.

Our six-month target price of $36.00 per ADS equates to about 8.5x our earnings estimate for fiscal 2011. This target price implies an expected negative total return of 9.0% over that period. This is consistent with our long-term Underperform recommendation on the ADSs.

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

Wendy’s Debuts in Japan

The Wendy’s Co. (WEN - Free Report) recently announced the opening of its first restaurant in Tokyo, Japan. The new restaurant has come up in the Omotesando area in Tokyo and is a part of Wendy’s collaboration deal with Higa Industries Co. Ltd.  Earlier, in March this year, the company entered into a development agreement with Higa Industries Co. Ltd. to open approximately 100 Wendy’s units in Japan. Per the deal, Higa Industries will develop and operate Wendy’s restaurants across the country in the coming years.

The Japanese deal estimates the long-term market potential to be about 700 restaurants. Wendy’s Japan will specifically focus on locally relevant menu, including the Avocado Wasabi hamburger and the Truffle and Porcini Grilled Chicken sandwich.

Higa Industries, led by Ernest Higa, boasts superior local market knowledge and has a proven track record of venturing into industries as diverse as lumber, medical and restaurant, within the Japanese market.

The latest restaurant opening in association with Higa Industries marks Wendy’s return to the Japanese market after it discontinued its franchise agreement in the country back in 2009. Wendy’s had decided against renewing its contract, citing the franchiser’s tardy development. This resulted in the closure of 71 restaurants in that country.

The recent deal with Higa affirms management’s intention of making Japan one of the prime markets for international expansion, considering its recovering economy and status of being the second largest quick-service restaurant market in the world. The company seeks to fully capitalize on the country’s potential.

Japan has emerged as one of the prime targets for several other restaurant companies. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc.  also entered into a development agreement with its Japanese franchisee, Krispy Kreme Doughnut Japan Co. Ltd., to set up and operate 73 new restaurants in Japan within the next five years. Another peer McDonald’s Inc. (MCD - Free Report) with a much wider scale of operation enjoys a prominent presence in Japan. 

In an attempt to strengthen its international presence, Atlanta-based Wendy’s consistently enters into long-term development agreements with franchisees in the Middle East and North Africa, Singapore, Turkey, Russia, Argentina, the Philippines and the Eastern Caribbean. Additionally, the company is exploring growth opportunities in China, Brazil and other key international markets.

Wendy’s currently retains a Zacks #2 Rank, which translates into a short-term ‘Buy’ rating. We also maintain our long-term “Neutral” recommendation on the stock.

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.

About the Analyst Blog

Updated throughout every trading day, the Analyst Blog provides analysis from Zacks Equity Research about the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous analyst coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

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