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SunPower, Molycorp, Green Dot, Wal-Mart Stores and American Express highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – November 4, 2013 – Zacks Equity Research highlights SunPower ( SPWR - Free Report ) as the Bull of the Day and Molycorp ( MCP - Free Report ) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on the Green Dot Corporation ( GDOT- Free Report), Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. ( WMT- Free Report) and American Express Company ( AXP- Free Report).
Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

Thanks to strong demand and a turnaround in key international markets, solar power investments have been quite strong for much of 2013. ETFs tracking the sector have led the way for much of the year, including nearly a 120% gain for the top fund in the space, TAN.

And with a series of earnings beats lately, the short term future could be looking very bright for the sector as well. This is particularly true when looking at one of the top names in the space, SunPower ( SPWR- Free Report ).

SunPower is California-based company that designs and manufactures solar systems for residential, commercial, and utility purposes around the globe. The company is actually majority owned by European energy giant Total, but it has been trading on its own for nearly a decade.

While some take strictly a low cost approach, SPWR zeroes in on high efficiency panels. According to their latest 10-Q, the company has among the most efficient panels in the industry, making this a key selling point for SunPower when compared to its competitors. This has been a great approach in the current solar power bull market, especially if you consider the company’s latest earnings results.

At the end of October, SPWR reported EPS of 33 cents a share, compared to a loss of 5 cents a year ago. Meanwhile, the company also crushed the consensus estimate, which called for earnings of 24 cents a share.
Bear of the Day:
Due to an indefinite extension of the Fed’s QE program, many mining stocks have been doing quite well as of late. Securities in segments like gold or even silver have seen a bit of a bump in recent weeks, while some industrial metal names have also seen better trading.

Unfortunately, this trend hasn’t extended to every company in the sector, as a few have seen pretty poor trading, despite the overall neutral-to-positive trend in the space. In particular, Molycorp ( MCP- Free Report ) has been having both a horrendous short term, and a pretty terrible 2013 too.

MCP is a mining company based in Colorado that focuses on the extraction of a variety of rare earth minerals.  This includes a variety of elements—such as lanthanum, neodymium, and yttrium to name a few—that are used in a number of high tech applications such as electronics, defense systems, and automobiles.

Yet despite the relatively low amount of these minerals on the market and the high demand for many of the end products, MCP has seen sluggish trading as of late. The stock has actually fallen by more than 20% over the past month, while it has lost more than half of its value so far in 2013. Clearly, MCP hasn’t been able to escape its recent tailspin, but is there hope for the future?

If you look at the recent trend on the earnings estimate front, then it is pretty reasonable to assume that MCP still has plenty of room to run lower. Not a single estimate has moved higher in the past sixty days, while investors have seen a host of analysts revise their earnings expectations lower for MCP lately.

Additional content:
Green Dot Adds New Wal-Mart Cards

Green Dot Corporation ( GDOT- Free Report) and the world’s largest retailer Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. ( WMT- Free Report) recently launched six new cards to broaden their portfolio of Walmart MoneyCard re-loadable prepaid debit cards. Following this expansion, GreenDot’s Walmart prepaid card portfolio now includes nine cards.
This new class of card is expected to offer varying features at reasonable costs. The portfolio of prepaid cards is available under three broad service categories: Walmart MoneyCard Basic, Plus and Preferred. These debit cards offer a range of services such as mobile web registration, account alerts, pharmacy discounts and merchant funded offers. Within the Plus category of cards are included the NASCAR Prepaid Visa Card, Mossy Oak Prepaid MasterCard and RushCard Live Prepaid Visa Card.
This move by the company is a significant one to address the evolving needs of millions of Wal-Mart customers and to strengthen its market share. GreenDot faces strong competition from major players like American Express Company ( AXP- Free Report), which recently launched a reloadable prepaid card. AmEx’s new card has a lower monthly maintenance fee compared to Green Dot's previous debit cards, making it more attractive to customers.
Moreover, new entrants in the market, like drug stores and grocery store operators, who have also launched their own re-loadable prepaid cards, are giving stiff competition to Green Dot.
Based in California, Green Dot provides low-cost banking and payment solutions. The company markets prepaid debit cards and related services both at retail locations and online. Its main objective is to reinvent personal banking for the masses, through a portfolio of financial services, available across a nationwide array of retail locations.

Green Dot currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

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