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Stratasys, SeaWorld Entertainment, China Mobile, Apple and China Unicom highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – August 26, 2014 – Zacks Equity Research highlights Stratasys (SSYS-Free Report) as the Bull of the Day and SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS-Free Report)  as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on China Mobile Limited (CHL-Free Report), Apple Inc. (AAPL-Free Report) and China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited (CHU-Free Report).
Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:
Bull of the Day:

One industry that many investors are growing increasingly aware of is 3-D Printing. This high growth segment of the manufacturing and technology world has become a popular destination for those seeking to get in on the ground floor of a sector that many believe could have a very important role in the future.

From a stock perspective though, returns have been extremely rocky for most companies, despite this long term potential. Stocks in the 3-D printing space saw great gains in 2013 for the most part, though many have floundered this year.

A great example of this trend is one of the market leaders, Stratasys (SSYS-Free Report). This company saw gains of over 50% in 2013, but so far this year, the stock is down over 13%, easily underperforming the market YTD.

However, SSYS in particular could be an interesting buy at this subdued 2014 price, thanks in part to the long term outlook, but also due to recent earnings estimate revisions which suggest that a turnaround could be at hand, and that now might be a great time to pick up shares in this company.

First though, let’s briefly highlight what sets SSYS apart from the rest of the names in the 3-D printing world, and why this company might be the one to choose in the space:

 Stratasys is a market leader in 3-D printing, and it actually has the biggest market share, by installed base, in the industry. This market share lead is largely thanks to its large position in the ‘home’ market of the industry, due to its MakerBot division which specializes in this type of 3-D printing.  

Bear of the Day:

Despite a rebound in the U.S. economy, many leisure companies have seen their share prices stay flat on a YTD basis, as higher gas prices and cold weather have prevented many from spending on discretionary items or vacations. Those in the theme park industry have been especially impacted by this trend, as companies like Cedar Fair and Six Flags are flat to lower in 2014, and are well below the market’s gains this year.

Yet while these companies are flat, SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS-Free Report) is truly having a year to forget, largely thanks to its most recent earnings report, and the impact of an ongoing public relations issue. In fact, the stock is down over 30% YTD, largely thanks to a recent earnings miss which sent shares of SEAS plunging to new depths in August trading.

SeaWorld Entertainment is an operator of theme parks across the country, with its SeaWorld branded parks located in Orlando, San Antonito, and San Diego. The company also owns a variety of other parks as well though, including water parks and both of the Busch Gardens theme parks too.

However, the real focus of the company as of late has been on its struggling SeaWorld brand due to public relation problems stemming from its treatment of Orca (Killer) Whales. Many believe that the current habitats are insufficient for animals of the Orca Whales’ size and that even SeaWorld’s expansion plans for their areas will not make much of a difference.

This issue really came to light thanks to a recent documentary, Blackfish, which painted SEAS’ treatment of Killer Whales in an extremely poor light. The backlash from this film caused many businesses and musical acts to end their agreements with SeaWorld, while possible government action could be taken against SeaWorld due to the documentary as well.

Additional content:

China Mobile Mulls Inorganic Growth as Profits Fall

A persistent fall in earnings over the last few quarters has prompted China Mobile Limited (CHL-Free Report) to plan big ticket acquisitions to revive its financial distress. Reportedly, the world’s largest carrier in terms of subscriber base is considering multiple options cushioned by a large cash base.

Despite its leading position, China Mobile has never quite made it big on the acquisition front – either internationally or in its home turf. Nevertheless, the carrier is now looking for opportunities that would strengthen its core business as its current market share has declined to 62.4% from 62.8% as on Jun 30, 2013.

China Mobile records few failed acquisition attempts in the past. In 2006, the carrier had abandoned its acquisition talks with Millicom International Cellular. Years later, a deal to buy a 12% stake in Taiwan's Far EasTone Telecommunications fell apart in 2013 due to ownership-related regulatory hurdles.

However, the company did make some successful buying attempts although none of them were big enough to boost its financials manifold. The Honk-Kong based company is now eyeing a 20% stake in Malaysian carrier Axiata after having bought an 18% stake in Thailand’s True Corp.

China Mobile has been facing stiff competition in the Chinese wireless market as it offers mobile services based on Time Division-Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access (TD-SCDMA) technology, which is not adequately supported by popular handset makers including Apple Inc. (AAPL-Free Report). The company has naturally lagged behind rivals like China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited (CHU-Free Report) in terms of iPhone sales.

This has been one of the main factors responsible for China Mobile’s dipping performance. However, the rollout of 4G is bringing some respite to the company as it has boosted its subscriber acquisition.

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About the Bull and Bear of the Day
Every day, the analysts at Zacks Equity Research select two stocks that are likely to outperform (Bull) or underperform (Bear) the markets over the next 3-6 months.
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