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Iconix Brand Group, Ralph Lauren, DaVita HealthCare Partners, Myriad Genetics and Biogen Idec highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL June 19, 2013 – Zacks Equity Research highlights by Iconix Brand Group, Inc. (ICON-Free Report) as the Bull of the Day and Ralph Lauren (RL-Free Report) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on the DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. (DVA-Free Report), Myriad Genetics Inc. (MYGN-Free Report) and Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB-Free Report).

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

Know of a hot consumer brand? Odds are good that it might be owned by Iconix Brand Group, Inc. (ICON-Free Report). The company continues to expand its brand empire, having just added the rest of Ecko and Marc Ecko Cut & Sew under its banner. Earnings on this Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) are expected to jump by the double digits this year.

You might not know of Iconix but you know its brands. In addition to Ecko, it owns Candies, Bongo, Badgley Mischka, Joe Boxer, Rampage, Mudd, London Fog, Danskin, Royal Velvet, Fieldcrest, Charisma, Starter, Waverly, Umbro, Lee Cooper, Ed Hardy, and Sharper Image.

It also owns an interest in Artful Dodger, Material Girl, Peanuts, Truth or Dare, Billionaire Boys Club, Ice Cream, Modern Amusement and Buffalo. It licenses out the brands to retailers so it doesn't actually manufacture anything. The company holds no inventory which puts it in a unique position in the world of retail.

On May 24, it acquired the remaining 49% interest in IP Holdings Unlimited, the owner of men's brands Ecko Unltd and Marc Ecko Cut & Sew, including trademarks for $45 million. It was already the core apparel licensee for the brands. It is sold in 5,000 stores in 60 countries and has about 100 stand-alone retail stores.

Record Revenue in the First Quarter of 2013

On Apr 24, Iconix reported first quarter 2013 results and beat the Zacks Consensus by 5.8%. It was the fourth consecutive earnings beat.

Revenue jumped 19% to a record $105.1 million as the company said it was off to a strong start to the year. It had completed 3 acquisitions in the prior five months which boosted the quarter.

Bear of the Day:

Ralph Lauren (RL-Free Report) has been one of the hottest retailers since the recession. So why is it a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell)?

Ralph Lauren Corporation owns some of the most recognizable brands in retail including Polo by Ralph Lauren, Ralph Lauren Collection, Black Label, Blue Label, Lauren by Ralph Lauren, Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren, Chaps and Club Monaco.

The company operates 388 stores itself, including 116 Ralph Lauren stores, 59 Club Monaco stores and 213 Polo factory stores and has international licensing partners to operate stores overseas.

On May 23, Ralph Lauren reported fiscal fourth quarter and full year 2013 results. and beat the Zacks Consensus once again. It has an amazing earnings surprise track record, beating every quarter for the last five years. Only one "meet" in 2011 keeps it from having a completely perfect track record.

Fourth quarter revenue rose 1% to $1.6 billion with retail sales growing 7% to $804 million. The full year saw record revenue which also rose just 1% to $6.9 billion. It discontinued the American Living line in Fiscal 2013 and closed stores in Greater China as it retools its strategy there. It will be opening up a flagship Ralph Lauren in Asia in fiscal 2014.

With all this good news, why is the stock a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell)? The company gave disappointing guidance. Full year revenue guidance was for an increase of 4% to 7% when the analysts were looking for over 8%.

Margins are also expected to contract as the company invests in ecommerce and new retail stores this year. While the longer term story still looks solid, fiscal 2014 will be a tough comparison with the record-setting fiscal 2013.

Additional content:

DaVita, Myriad Join Forces

Recently, DaVita Labs, the dialysis division of DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. (DVA-Free Report) and Myriad RBM entered into a strategic liaison. Myriad RBM is a wholly owned subsidiary of a leading molecular diagnostic company, Myriad Genetics Inc. (MYGN-Free Report).

The association of the two companies is aimed at performing a protein biomarker discovery research. The objective is to develop and introduce diagnostic tests into the market so that they can be of help in treating dialysis patients.

To aid the research on renal disease, the collaboration will use the proprietary biorepository of DaVita that collects, processes, stores and distributes biospecimens.

Myriad will process the bio-repository specimens of DaVita to measure over 300 important proteins through its Myriad RBM DiscoveryMAP platform. DiscoveryMAP analyses protein biomarkers associated with inflammatory, metabolic and renal diseases. This works as a helpful means for proper diagnosis of dialysis patients.

Myriad is expected to commence processing the specimens in fiscal year 2014.

Towards improving the quality of care for dialysis patients, Myriad conducts extensive research in kidney disease and inflammatory markers. On the other hand, DaVita is responsible for providing dialysis services to patients suffering from chronic kidney failure and end stage renal disease. The prospects of biorepositories, led Myriad to join hands with DaVita in order to improve its research and development efforts towards improving patient care.

Through the use of blood-based protein biomarkers, novel diagnostic tests are capable of enhancing the quality of life for patients as well as reduction of the overall healthcare costs. For this, the tests focus on predicting vascular access failure.

An improvement in the quality of care and waning healthcare costs is expected to lead to a surge in the number of patients served by both Myriad and DaVita. Thus we expect the collaboration to augment the financials for both the companies going forward. The long term sales growth for Myriad is projected at 10.24% whereas that of DaVita is 9.24%.

Myriad currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Among others in the industry, Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB-Free Report) carries a favorable Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and appears impressive.

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