Orient-Express Hotels, Ulta Beauty, Yahoo, Google and Facebook highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

Zacks

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – December 10, 2013 – Zacks Equity Research highlights Orient-Express Hotels Limited (OEH-Free Report) as the Bull of the Day and Ulta Beauty (ULTA-Free Report) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on the Yahoo Inc. (YHOO-Free Report), Google (GOOG-Free Report) and Facebook (FB-Free Report).
 
Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

Orient-Express Hotels Limited (OEH-Free Report) is cashing in on the upsurge in travel. This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) is expected to grow earnings by the triple digits this year.

Orient-Express owns or manages 45 luxury hotels, a restaurant, a tourist train which goes to Machu Picchu in Peru and river cruises in 22 countries.

On Oct 31, Orient-Express reported third quarter results and surprised on the Zacks Consensus by 4 cents. Earnings were 18 cents compared to the Consensus of 14 cents. It was the third big beat in a row.

Revenue jumped 19% to $191.2 million from $161 million in the third quarter of last year. Both owned hotels and trains and cruises performed well in the quarter.

Revenue from owned hotels jumped 22% to $159.2 million while revenue from trains and cruises rose 5% to $26 million.

There were across-the-board increases at the Orient-Express' European hotels and Charleston Place, in South Carolina, is having a record year. Conde Nast recently names Charleston as one of the top cities to visit in North America for the second straight year.

Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was finally fully operational after undergoing a renovation. The hotel celebrated its 90th anniversary in September with a celebratory gala which got a lot of press attention.
 
Bear of the Day:
 
Ulta Beauty (ULTA-Free Report) missed the Zacks Consensus for the first time in 5 years last week. Investors have punished this Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) by crushing its shares by about 30%. Is it really that bad at Ulta?

Ulta operates 664 beauty retail stores across the United States and an e-commerce web site. It offers 20,000 affordable cosmetics and beauty products, as well as full-service salon capabilities.
If there was one thing to count on, it was Ulta's earnings track record. It hadn't missed the Zacks Consensus in 5 years.

But on Dec 5, that streak came to a sudden end as Ulta reported earnings of $0.72, two cents under the Zacks Consensus.

Sales rose 22.4% to $618.8 million from $505.6 million in the year ago quarter. Comparable store sales gained 6.8%.

The redesign of the web site was finally completed this quarter. This was a large part of the company's strategy and appears to be paying off as e-commerce sales grew 74.4% and represented 170 basis points of the 6.8% same store sales increase.

Ulta also opened 55 new stores in the quarter compared to 49 new stores in the third quarter of 2012.
But the earnings miss loomed large.
 
Additional content:
 
Yahoo Acquired Evntlive
 
Yahoo Inc. (YHOO-Free Report) recently announced that it has acquired Evntlive, an online platform for live concerts. The financial details of the deal have not been made public.

California-based Evntlive was founded in 2012 and launched its beta version in Apr 2012. The company allows viewers to stream live concerts and events on their computer, tablet and other mobile devices.

Per the deal, Evntlive will shut down its existing service and its team will join Yahoo’s video unit to work on Yahoo Screen and Yahoo Music. With this acquisition, Yahoo! seems to continue with its strategy of refocusing its offerings on its video business. As a means of achieving the aforesaid target, it is acquiring small firms with some strategic value.

According to a comScore report, as of Aug 2013, Google’s (GOOG-Free Report) YouTube topped the list with 167.0 million unique viewers, followed by AOL, Inc. with 71.2 million. Facebook (FB-Free Report) has 62.2 million unique viewers while Yahoo has 45.0 million. Yahoo still has some way to go in this segment. The acquisition could strengthen Yahoo’s position and extend its reach, which could increase its position among advertisers.

With this acquisition, Yahoo! has taken its year-to-date acquisition tally to 25. The company acquired microblogging platform Tumblr in June, followed by the acquisition of mobile advertising specialist AdMovate a month later. It recently acquired natural language processing firm, SkyPhrase, and mobile photo and video editing app Ptch.

In the third quarter of 2013 alone, Yahoo purchased eight companies, including Lexity, Rockmelt and Xobni, with the net cash impact of those purchases totaling $163 million.

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