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IBEX and Sony have been highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – July 19, 2022 – Zacks Equity Research shares IBEX Ltd. IBEX as the Bull of the Day and Sony SONY as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on The Walt Disney Company DIS, Netflix NFLX and Apple AAPL.

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

IBEX Ltd. is an elite CX (customer experience) outsourcer for startups, scale-ups, and blue-chip companies. The company builds robust customer engagement and insight solutions to mitigate financial risk, protect client investment, and accelerate ROI.

IBEX resides within the Zacks Business – Services Industry, which is currently ranked in the top 33% of all Zacks Industries. Due to its favorable industry ranking, we expect it to outperform the market over the next three to six months.

Share Performance

Year-to-date, IBEX shares have been scorching hot, increasing nearly 50% in value and easily outperforming the S&P 500.

Just over the last month, IBEX shares have gained more than 15%.

The substantial share performance is undoubtedly a major positive, reflecting that buyers have remained in control throughout the entire year.

Quarterly Performance

IBEX has primarily reported bottom-line results above expectations, exceeding the Zacks Consensus EPS Estimate in five of its previous seven quarters.

Additionally, in its latest quarterly release, IBEX crushed the $0.35 Zacks Consensus EPS Estimate by a double-digit 63% and reported quarterly EPS of $0.57.

Recent quarterly revenue results also display top-line strength; IBEX has exceeded revenue expectations in each of its previous two quarters.


IBEX sports an enticing 14.2X forward earnings multiple, well below its median of 16.9X since IPO in August 2020 and nowhere near highs of 24.2X in April 2021. Additionally, the value represents an attractive 47% discount relative to its Zacks Sector.

IBEX boasts a Style Score of a B for Value.

Growth Estimates

Over the last 60 days, analysts have substantially raised their earnings outlook across all timeframes, helping push the company into the highly-coveted Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Two analysts have raised their earnings outlook for the upcoming quarter, pushing the Consensus Estimate Trend up 2.5% to $0.41 per share, reflecting a substantial 32% double-digit growth in earnings from the year-ago quarter.

In addition, earnings are expected to grow 1.5% in FY22 and tack on an additional 16% in FY23.

The company's top-line is also in exceptional health – the $124 million revenue estimate for the upcoming quarter pencils in a 15% growth in quarterly sales year-over-year. Additionally, the $494 million FY22 revenue estimate represents a double-digit 11% growth in annual revenue from FY21.

Bottom Line

One of the best ways investors can find expected winners within the market is by utilizing the Zacks Rank – one of the most potent market tools out there. A portfolio consisting of Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks has beaten the market in 26 of the last 31 years with an average annual return of 25%.

Additionally, the top 5% of all stocks receive the highly coveted Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). These stocks should outperform the market more than any other rank.

IBEX would be an excellent bet for investors looking to add a solid stock to their portfolios, as displayed by its Zack Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Bear of the Day:

Sony, headquartered in Japan, designs, manufactures, and sells consumer and industrial electronic equipment. The company's product line consists of audio and video equipment, televisions, displays, semiconductors, electronic components, gaming consoles, computers, and telecommunication equipment.

Currently, the company has six reportable segments: Game & Network Services, Music, Electronic Products and Solutions, Imaging and Sensing Solutions, and Financial Services.

In addition, the company resides in the Zacks Audio Video Production Industry, which currently ranks in the bottom 19% of all industries. Because of its unfavorable ranking, we expect it to underperform the market over the next three to six months.

Share Performance

It's been a tough stretch for SONY shares year-to-date, decreasing more than 30% in value and extensively underperforming the general market.

Even over the last month, where the S&P 500 has gained more than 5%, SONY shares have remained lifeless, declining 0.7% in value.

Growth Estimates & Valuation

Analysts have been overwhelmingly bearish over the last 60 days, lowering their earnings outlook across all timeframes.

Bottom-line estimates display softening. For the upcoming quarter, the $1.15 per share estimate reflects a concerning double-digit 26% decline in earnings from the year-ago quarter.

Additionally, earnings are forecasted to shrink by 6.5% year-over-year in FY23.

Quarterly revenue estimates also display some weakness; the $19.4 billion quarterly sales estimate pencils in a 6% drop from the year-ago quarter.

SONY's current forward price-to-sales ratio resides at 1.1X, representing a 35% discount relative to its Zacks Sector. However, the value is well above its five-year median of 0.9X.

In addition, the company currently has a Style Score of a D for Value, indicating that shares may be overvalued.

Bottom Line

SONY shares have been the victim of a deep double-digit valuation slash year-to-date. This adverse price action, paired with overwhelmingly negative estimate revisions and an unfavorable industry ranking, paints a grim picture for the company in the short term.

The company is a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) and a stock that investors will be better off staying away from for now.

Instead, investors should pivot to stocks that either carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) – the odds of reaping considerable gains are much higher within the companies that carry these ranks.

Additional content:

Disney (DIS) Set to Hike ESPN+ Subscription Price 43%

The Walt Disney Company is hiking the monthly subscription price of ESPN+ by $3 or 43%. Per Reuters, ESPN+ subscription will now increase to $9.99 on monthly basis beginning Aug 23. Annual subscription prices will go up to $99.99 from $69.99. However, the company will not hike price for the subscribers using the bundled services.

Disney's cheaper bundled services (Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu) has been able to attract subscribers amid stiff competition from the likes of Netflix, Apple's streaming service Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Peacock, Paramount+ and TikTok.

Disney+ garnered 137.7 million paid subscribers within a short span of its availability (launched Nov 12, 2019). Hulu and ESPN+ had 45.6 million and 22.3 million paid subscribers, respectively, at the end of second-quarter fiscal 2022.

Disney's focus on sports streaming, particularly live sports, is expected to drive growth for ESPN+. For instance, ESPN+ offers tournaments like UFC Lightweight Championship, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, Grand Slam tennis (Wimbledon and the Australian Open), and live sporting events, original shows, series and documentaries.

Disney+: Key Growth Driver for Disney

Disney shares are having a terrible 2022. The company's profitability is expected to be negatively impacted by higher investments in content, which will drive up programming and production costs at Media and Entertainment Distribution. Disney now expects to cut overall film and TV spending by $1 billion to $32 billion in fiscal 2022.

The Walt Disney Company price-consensus-chart | The Walt Disney Company Quote

Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have lost 38.5% year to date compared with the Zacks Consumer Discretionary sector's decline of 34.6% on a year-to-date basis.

Nevertheless, Disney benefits from the growing popularity of Disney+ owing to a strong content portfolio and a cheaper bundle offering. Availability in the Nordics, Latin America and other Asian territories is helping it expand its user base.  

Disney+ has emerged as a key growth driver for Disney, primarily driven by its solid content portfolio. Disney has an impressive line-up of big-budget movies slated to be released over the next couple of years, a number of which will appear on Disney+ simultaneously with their theatrical releases.

Disney recently began offering its streaming service, Disney+, in 16 countries across the Middle East and North Africa. Thanks to its robust content portfolio, the company remains on track to achieve its guidance of 230-260 million paid subscribers for Disney+ by the end of fiscal 2024. Expansion into the Middle East and North Africa will further help Disney in its cause.

Given the breadth of content of Disney+, the streaming platform is expected to grab the second spot in the region, with a subscriber base of 6.5 million in the region by 2027, trailing only Netflix, which is likely to have a viewer base of 11 million, per Digital TV Research data.

Netflix has been leveraging the talent of local producers in Asia lately, and some of its bets have turned into home runs, such as The White Tiger and Crash Landing on You. Netflix has renewed a raft of its Asian originals lately, including Korean hits like Squid Game, teen zombie horror All Of Us Are Dead, and D.P.

Apple's streaming service, Apple TV+, continues to gain recognition with its critically acclaimed and popular shows like Ted Lasso. This year, Apple TV+ has earned 52 Emmy nominations, with the second season of Ted Lasso getting 20 nominations overall. Another show, Severance, has garnered 14 total nominations in its first season.

Disney like Netflix is expanding its Asian presence. The company recently announced a deal to bring a documentary series and a concert featuring the electrifying, mega-popular K-Pop band, BTS, to Disney+.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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