For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – February 13, 2012 – Zacks Equity Research highlights: Tractor Supply Co. (NasdaqGS:TSCO - News) as the Bull of the Day and Sears Holdings Co. (NasdaqGS:SHLD - News) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX - News), Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI - News) and LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD - News).
Full analysis of all these stocks is available at http://at.zacks.com/?id=2678.
Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:
Tractor Supply Co.'s (NasdaqGS:TSCO - News) fourth-quarter 2011 earnings of $0.96 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.92 and surged 43.3% from the prior-period earnings on the heels of strong same-store sales, improved merchandise mix and prudent inventory management.
On the back of perked-up results and brighter sales trends, the company is expecting earnings in the range of $3.38 to $3.46 per share for fiscal 2012, reflecting year-over-year growth of 12% - 15%. Moreover, the company has set a long-term target of generating 25% of sales from private label brands and 13% from strategic direct sourcing.
The economy is showing signs of stability in the housing market as consumer spending on small projects are witnessing considerable growth. Currently, we are maintaining a long-term Outperform recommendation on the stock.
Sears Holdings Co. (NasdaqGS:SHLD - News) continues to disappoint with its overall performance. The company's third-quarter 2011 adjusted loss of $2.57 per share was wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $2.14 as well as prior-year quarter loss of $1.71, attributable to sluggish top-line performance.
Moreover, Sears received a setback as the company reported a decline of 5.2% in its comparable store sales during the busiest shopping period of the year. Management's cost cutting initiatives for boosting profits also did not bear fruit, rather improvement in merchandise mix and customer services would have been a better option.
Intense competition and exposure to adverse foreign currency translations may further undermine the company's future operating performance. Currently, we are maintaining a long-term Underperform recommendation on the stock.
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Greek Drama Continues
If you thought the Thursday announcement of a Greek deal would be the last word on the issue, then you were wrong. It seems that we are back to square one again this morning, as a meeting of Eurozone finance ministers in Brussels asked Greece to jump through an extra hoop before it can expect to get a fresh bailout.
The Thursday deal announcement was among Greek political leaders who had finally agreed to the very onerous fresh austerity measures demanded of them. The fact that the political leaders have to face the electorate in the next few months in fresh elections made it all the more difficult for them to agree to the measures.
But now the Europeans are demanding some more cuts and also that the deal needed to be enacted through an act of parliament. The interim government of Prime Minister Loukas Papademos enjoys the support of a big majority in parliament. But with public unions on a 48-hour strike throughout Greece, this new development has the potential of producing last-minute surprises that could unsettle the markets.
On the home front, we have a relatively quiet economic and earnings calendar today. The December trade deficit number came essentially in-line with expectations, meaning that trade will not cause a major revision to the fourth quarter GDP estimate later this month that was originally reported at 2.8%.
We also have the preliminary University of Michigan consumer sentiment data for February on deck for release a little later. The expectation is for the measure to shrink a bit from the late-January level of 75.
On the earnings front, NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX - News), the operator of New York Stock Exchange, met EPS expectations, but modestly missed on the top-line. The exchange operator, who was recently rebuffed by European regulators from merging with Deutche Boerse on anti-trust grounds, plans to focus on its trading technology business to grow going forward.
Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI - News) beat EPS expectations by a penny, but missed on the revenue side and guided towards lower production volumes. LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD - News) came in with better-than-expected results after the close on Thursday and guided higher.
Get the full analysis of all these stocks by going to http://at.zacks.com/?id=2649.
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