For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – March 24, 2014– Zacks Equity Research highlights Gain Capital Holdings (GCAP-Free Report) as the Bull of the Day and Vail Resorts (MTN-Free Report) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Johnson & Johnson (JNJ-Free Report), Alkermes (ALKS-Free Report) and Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN-Free Report).
Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:
Bull of the Day:
Gain Capital Holdings (GCAP-Free Report) has been posting some impressive positive earnings surprises lately and they have shown some significant revenue growth. Analysts have moved estimates higher and that makes this stock a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy), and today it is the Bull of the Day.
There has been a healthy amount of data pointing to the return of the retail customer. The market alienated a lot of people when it imploded on itself a few years ago during the financial crisis, but they look to be coming back.
GCAP has seen some steady progress in the growth of funded customer accounts lately and is poised to see more growth. What is really key is over the last two quarters, where account growth slowed, asset growth picked up. The translation here is that the customers have been making money... or adding cash to their accounts.
Gain Capital Holdings provides trading services and solutions to retail and institutional customers worldwide. It specializes in global over-the-counter (:OTC) markets, including spot foreign exchange (forex), precious metals, and contracts-for-difference (CFDs). The company operates FOREX.com, which enables its retail customers to access global OTC financial markets, including forex, precious metals, and CFDs on commodities and indices.
Has been crushing the number lately. The last three quarters have seen positive earnings surprises of 69%, 44% and 85% respectively. Those are some solid beats of the Zacks Consensus Estimate.
What really caught my eye was the positive revenue surprises. Not only is the company beating the bottom line in impressive fashion, but they are doing the same thing on the top line too. The last three quarters have seen positive revenue surprises of 25%, 21% and 14% respectively.
Bear of the Day:
Vail Resorts (MTN-Free Report) has only one beat of the Zacks Consensus Estimate over the last five quarters. Recently a big miss on top and bottom has pushed analysts to lower earnings estimates. That has made this stock a Zacks #5 Rank (Strong Sell), and today it is the Bear of the Day.
This has been a heck of a winter. Lots of snow and lots of cold. Those super cold stretches might have actually hurt ski resorts more than they helped them. Yes, there was plenty of snow, but when the mercury falls that low, people tend to stay inside.
Vail Resorts, Inc. operates in three segments: Mountain, Lodging, and Real Estate. The Mountain segment operates eight ski resort properties, including the Vail Mountain, Breckenridge Ski, Keystone, Beaver Creek, Heavenly Mountain, Northstar, Kirkwood Mountain, and Canyons resorts. Vail Resorts, Inc. was founded in 1997 and is based in Broomfield, Colorado.
As noted already, MTN has missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in four of the last five quarters. The most recent miss was a big one, coming in $0.31 light of the mark for a 16% negative earnings surprise. The company also missed on the topline too.
Good News for Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ-Free Report) halted an early phase III study (n=509) on a three-month formulation of Invega Sustenna (paliperidone palmitate) on recommendation of an Independent Data Monitoring Committee (:IDMC). The IDMC also recommended Johnson & Johnson to unblind data from the study based on certain positive efficacy results.
The international, randomized, multicenter, double-blind study was evaluating the efficacy of the three-month formulation of Invega Sustenna in delaying time to first occurrence of relapse of symptoms of schizophrenia in adults compared to placebo. The patients in the study were initially randomized with the one-month formulation of Invega Sustenna after which they received the three-month formulation.
We note that the one-month formulation of Invega Sustenna is already approved for the treatment of schizophrenia. The one-month formulation utilizes Alkermes' (ALKS-Free Report) proprietary NanoCrystal technology enabling solubility of poorly water-soluble compounds.
The IDMC’s recommendation was based on certain pre-specified criteria from the phase III study. Invega Sustenna achieved a statistically significant difference in delaying time to relapse based on the interim analysis after 60% (42 events) of the projected relapses occurred compared to placebo.
Johnson & Johnson intends to file a New Drug Application (:NDA) in the U.S. for the three-month formulation of Invega Sustenna by year end following final analysis of the study results and discussions with the U.S. regulatory body.
We note that Johnson & Johnson is already well established in the schizophrenia market with products like the one-month formulation of Invega Sustenna and Risperdal Consta. The products together contributed around $2.6 billion in 2013. In the event of the three-month formulation of Invega Sustenna getting approved, Johnson & Johnson will strengthen its position in the market further.
Johnson & Johnson currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks include Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN-Free Report), which carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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