Tesla Motors, lululemon athletica, AVT, Smart Technologies and CTPartners Executive Search highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day


For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 02, 2014– Zacks Equity Research highlights Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA-Free Report) as the Bull of the Day and lululemon athletica inc. (LULU-Free Report) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on AVT, Inc. (AVTC-Free Report), Smart Technologies Inc. (SMT-Free Report) and CTPartners Executive Search Inc. (CTP-Free Report).
Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

There's been no company, or stock, as hot as Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA-Free Report) over the last year. The luxury automaker is an American success story, complete with a larger than life CEO in the form of Elon Musk.

Tesla manufactures luxury highway capable electric vehicles. It entered production of the Tesla Roadster in 2008, the Model S in 2012 and will deliver the Model X this year.

Tesla is attempting to become the first new successful U.S. automaker in over 50 years. It is off to a hot start.

On Feb 19, Tesla reported fourth quarter results and blew by the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 250%. It sold a record 6,892 Model S vehicles in the quarter. Gross margin was 25%.

Tesla was optimistic about 2014, especially internationally. The Model S will start deliveries in China this spring. If all things go according to plan, it expects Europe and Asia combined sales to be twice that of North America by the end of 2014.

On Mar 28, federal safety regulators announced they were closing their investigation into two fires in the Model S in 2013, deciding that the design of the car was not flawed.

Bear of the Day:

lululemon athletica inc. (LULU-Free Report) is struggling to turn it around after a PR fiasco surrounding its most popular yoga pants sent sales into a tailspin. This Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) is expected to see negative earnings growth for 2014.

lululemon operates retail stores which sell yoga-inspired clothes and accessories in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. It sells one of the most popular women's yoga pants on the market.
On Mar 27, lululemon reported fourth quarter and fiscal 2013 results and beat the Zacks Consensus by 3 cents. Despite its recent troubles, lululemon has managed to string together 5 years worth of consecutive earnings surprises, which is impressive.
However, the holiday quarter was a tough one for many retailers due to excessive promotions and extreme North American weather and lululemon was no exception.

lululemon's comparable store sales fell 2% year over year. But a bright spot was in the total comparable sales, which includes direct to consumer sales. Total comparables rose 4% in the quarter as direct to consumer revenue increased 25% to $97.8 million.

Additional content:

Star Performers of the 1st Quarter

Coming to quarterly performance, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq gained 1.3% and 0.5% respectively. However, the Dow lost 0.7%. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq experienced their fifth successive quarterly increases. At the same time, these were the smallest quarterly gains for both indices since the fourth quarter of 2012.

3 Star Performers of the First Quarter

I ran a screen on Research Wizard for companies with the following parameters:

(Click here to sign up for a free trial to the Research Wizard today):
  1. Percentage price change over the last 12 weeks greater than or equal to 20
  2. Forward price-to-earnings Ratios (P/E) for the current financial year (F1) less than or equal to 25%. This picks out stocks that are good value choices
  3. Expected earnings growth for the current financial year greater than or equal to 20
  4. Zacks Rank less than or equal to 2: This ascertains stocks that have shown above-average returns over the last 26 years.
(See the performance of Zacks’ portfolios and strategies here: About Zacks Performance).

Here are the top 3 stocks among the 42 that made it through this screen:

AVT, Inc.

AVT, Inc. (AVTC-Free Report) produces, develops and is a vending operator of product dispensing solutions. It also produces food product dispensing and food access equipment. The company opened a new unit targeted at automated micro stores in Jan 2013. In January, AVT disclosed that it had set up an investment fund to acquire Marley Coffee Automated Kiosks

Percentage price gain over the last 12 weeks = 175.2%

Expected earnings growth for FY13-14 = 200%

AVT, Inc. holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The stock’s forward price-to-earnings Ratios (P/E) for the current financial year (F1) is 24.57.

Smart Technologies Inc.

Smart Technologies Inc. (SMT-Free Report) is a designer and developer of interactive products and solutions that improve the learning experience. Its principal technology solution offering is an interactive whiteboard product. This enables users to write using digital ink, use computer based applications and log on to the Internet.

Percentage price gain over the last 12 weeks = 97.69%

Expected earnings growth for FY13-14 = 611.1%

Currently the company holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and has a P/E (F1) of 20.02.

CTPartners Executive Search Inc.

Our third choice is CTPartners Executive Search Inc. (CTP-Free Report). This executive search company offers its services globally and focuses on recruitment of high level executives, including board members. The company has 15 offices worldwide. CTPartners purchased Sydney based executive search company Johnson Executive Search in Mar 2014.

Percentage price change over the last 12 weeks = 87.83%

Expected earnings growth for FY13-14 = 200%

Apart from a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), Clayton Williams Energy, Inc. has a P/E (F1) of 22.50.

Quarter’s Momentum Remains

Yellen’s statements indicate that the central bank may step in to provide additional stimulus to the economy if required. This has provided the reassurance investors were looking for and will help to move markets higher in times ahead. The good valuation of these stocks, represented by reasonably low price to earnings ratios, and their strong Zacks Rank make them excellent choices for your portfolios.

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