The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Tesla Motors, General Motors, Ford Motor, Honda Motor and Chubb


For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – December 30, 2013 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include the Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA-Free Report), General Motors Company (GM-Free Report), Ford Motor Co. (F-Free Report), Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (HMC-Free Report) and Chubb Corporation (CB-Free Report).
Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Tesla to Be Acquired by GM?
Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA-Free Report) might become an acquisition target in 2014, if media reports are to be believed. According to market speculation, one of the “Big Three" Detroit automakers may purchase the electric carmaker. One veteran trader reportedly said that General Motors Company (GM-Free Report) might acquire Tesla in 2014.

However, the news remains mere speculation as none of the automakers have clarified these rumors. In fact, it is yet to be confirmed whether Tesla CEO Elon Musk is willing to sell the company. Moreover, the high valuation of Tesla is likely to prove a hitch.

However, the acquisition of Tesla can be a good strategic move for General Motors. While the latter is one of the largest automakers in the world, it has not been very successful in terms of selling electric cars. General Motors’ Chevy Volt had sales volume of less than 19,000 units in the first 10 months of 2013. This implies a year-over-year decline of 3%. Moreover, the car has been experiencing fire-related problems.

Meanwhile, Tesla’s Model S car has been immensely popular. In fact, the demand for the car exceeds supply despite no advertising by the company. On the other hand, both General Motors and Ford Motor Co. (F-Free Report), the manufacturer of Ford Focus Electric vehicles, spend significant amounts on discounts to attract buyers. Yet, Ford’s electric car has monthly sales volume of less than 200 units.

Tesla currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell), while General Motors carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However, a better-ranked stock in the automobile market worth considering is Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (HMC-Free Report), carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Chubb Corp. Upgraded to Strong Buy
Zacks Investment Research upgraded The Chubb Corporation (CB-Free Report) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) on Dec 27, 2013.
Why the Upgrade?
Chubb Corporation witnessed upward estimate revisions on the back of solid earnings results. This property and casualty insurer delivered positive earnings surprises in the last 4 quarters with an average beat of 49.5%. Moreover, the company provided an enhanced guidance for full-year 2013.
In the last reported quarter, Chubb Corporation’s operating earnings per share came in at $2.06, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 12%. The earnings also improved 4% year over year. Earnings were primarily aided by solid growth in premiums written and a decrease in losses and loss expenses. 
Other important metrics like combined ratio showed an improvement of 60 basis points and book value improved 1.7% year over year during the quarter. The company also continued with its share repurchases and boosted investor confidence on the stock.
Based on its progress over the first nine months of 2013, Chubb Corporation raised its earnings per share projection for full-year 2013 to $7.90–$8.00 from $7.30–$7.50. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for full-year 2013 is pegged at $7.96 per share, which lies within the company guided range. This estimate also reflects a year-over-year improvement of 52.1%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for full-year 2014 increased nearly 1% to $7.40 per share as many estimates were revised higher over the last 60 days. The long-term expected earnings growth rate for this stock is 10.4%    
Chubb Corporation is scheduled to release its fourth-quarter 2013 results on Jan 30, 2014. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the fourth quarter is pegged at $1.99 per share, representing an enormous year-over-year improvement of 1146%.
Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

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