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Thor Industries, Andersons, Avid Technology, Marvell Technology and Splunk as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

Zacks Equity Research
Best Buy (BBY) has an impressive earnings surprise history and currently possesses the right combination of the two key ingredients for a likely beat in its next quarterly report.

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – December 1, 2017 – Zacks Equity Research highlights Thor Industries, Inc. THO as the Bull of the Day and The Andersons, Inc. ANDE as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Avid Technology, Inc. AVID, Marvell Technology Group Ltd. MRVL and Splunk, Inc. SPLK.

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

Thor Industries, Inc. is riding the demand for RVs and towables to new records. This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) just posted its best quarterly revenue and profitability in the Company's history.

Thor is the world's largest RV manufacturer in the world. Headquartered in Indiana, it makes RVs and towables under the popular brand names of Airstream and Jayco, among others.

Another Big Beat in Fiscal Q1

On Nov 27, Thor reported its fiscal first quarter results and crushed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 63 cents, or 35%. Earnings were $2.43 versus the consensus of just $1.80.

It was the third straight beat in a row.

Revenue was an all time quarterly record of $2.23 billion as gross profit margins rose to 14.9% from 13.9% a year ago.

Towable RV sales jumped 33.7% to $1.62 billion from $1.2 billion a year ago driven by strong demand for more affordably-priced travel trailers.

Towable backlog jumped 75.2% to $2.46 billion from $1.4 billion a year ago due to strong momentum in the industry for its travel trailers in advance of the calendar 2018 selling season.

On the motorized RV side, first quarter sales gained 22.8% to $566.6 million from $461.5 million a year ago. It saw growth in the moderately-priced Class A and Class C motorhomes, particularly in Class C, which are smaller motorhomes. Both are in demand from its dealers and consumers.

The motorized RV backlog jumped 59.1% to $1.12 billion from $706.4 billion in the year ago period due to continued robust demand for its smaller gas Class A and Class C motorhomes.

Will the Good Times Last in 2018?

This has been a record time for the RV makers as it has seen growth due to the Baby Boomers retiring, with their stock portfolios at record highs, along with demand for the towables from Generation X and Millennials who are buying to travel into the national and state parks.

The strong stock and housing markets have likely helped towable sales as well.

Industry demand remains "exceedingly strong." Thor has been adding production to keep up with demand.

Bear of the Day:

The Andersons, Inc.is in the one sector that still isn't seeing economic improvement: agribusiness. This Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) is still struggling as the fertilizer market remains weak.

The Andersons was founded in 1947 by Harold Anderson in Maumee, Ohio with a single grain elevator. It has grown into an agribusiness company with numerous business segments across North America, including in grain, ethanol, plant nutrient and rail.

Making Changes in Leadership

On Nov 28, The Andersons announced that its President of the Rail Group, Rasesh Shah, would retire in July 2018.

He's to be replaced by Joseph McNeely, who would be familiar to railroad car investors as he was CEO of FreightCar America, which makes a diverse group of different railcars.

This announcement comes shortly after announcing that Jeffrey Blair would join the company as President of the Plant Nutrient Group effective Dec 4 due to the retirement of Bill Wolf in that position.

That is two high-profile management changes in two of its four business segments during the same month.

Third Quarter Earnings Miss

On Nov 6, The Andersons reported third quarter results and missed on the Zacks Consensus by 7 cents. Earnings were $0.09 versus the Zacks Consensus of $0.16.

It was the second consecutive earnings miss for the company.

The quarter was mixed, with some segments seeing more improvement than others.

It sold two of its former retail properties so that it could exit the retail business completely.

But its Grain Group business saw better year-over-year results with good margins on corn and soybean sales and strong space margins for wheat.

However, the Plant Nutrient Group saw a pretax loss of $7.9 million as there is simply too much fertilizer on the market and the farmers, who are still struggling under falling income, aren't buying.

The Rail Group was also mixed in the quarter, as it saw improvement but the overall market still remains soft.

It's not a surprise that it's seeing management changes in its two weakest areas.

Estimates Cut Again

The analysts continue to be pessimistic about 2017 and 2018, although the earnings "low" looks to have been in 2016.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2017 has fallen to $1.08 from $1.41 in the last 60 days.

One estimate was also cut for 2018 which has sent the Zacks Consensus Estimate falling to $1.83 from $2.33 in the last month.

Additional content:

3 Buy-Ranked Tech Stocks that Soared This Month

Technology stocks are rebounding after a sector-wide selloff Wednesday, suggesting that tech’s strong rally still has some life left in it. The tech sector has dominated Wall Street for the majority of 2017, and as we look at the year’s highest-flying stocks, most of the recognizable names are dominant and innovative technology brands.

Considering the current state of the world, tech’s leadership makes sense. Cloud computing and the Internet of Things have already revolutionized our everyday life, and now we are on the cusp of artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicle revolutions that could redefine what it means to be human.

In response to these changing times, investors have poured money into the tech sector in search of the next explosive stock. In November alone, we witnessed plenty of noteworthy tech companies start to pick up momentum, including several that are sporting strong Zacks Ranks and other key metrics.

Check out three tech stocks that soared this month to buy now:

1.       Avid Technology, Inc.

Avid Technology develops, sells, and supports a wide range of software and systems for creating and manipulating digital media content. Shares of Avid gained more than 55% in the month of November, and the stock is currently holding a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Even with this rapid price expansion, Avid still has a P/E ratio of 13.77 and a P/S of 0.64, meaning that its earnings and revenue should be able to support further share price growth. The company is also generating cash flow growth of nearly 140% right now, so it is clear that management is improving its financial position.

2.       Marvell Technology Group Ltd.

Marvell Technology is a leading designer of mixed-signal and digital-signal processing circuits, and its “EZ-Connect” IoT platform is used by a variety of global customers in a number of industries. Marvell shares have popped over 25% within the past month. The stock should continue to be a strong growth pick, with full-year earnings projected to surge 81% and an additional 11% in 2018. What’s more, management has met or surpassed earnings estimates in six consecutive quarters, so the stock could be one that soars again on the back of another surprise report. MRVL is currently a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

3.       Splunk, Inc.

Splunk provides a software platform, which collects and indexes data and enables users to access and analyze that data in real time. Shares of Splunk have soared nearly 20% in the month of November, primarily because of the company’s strong earnings report. Earnings of 17 cents per share beat our consensus estimate of 14 cents, and revenues of $329 million crushed expectations of $310 million. Because of these solid results, Splunk has seen an influx of positive estimate revisions, helping it earn a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Want more stock market analysis from this author? Make sure to follow @Ryan_McQueeney on Twitter!

The Hottest Tech Mega-Trend of All

Last year, it generated $8 billion in global revenues. By 2020, it's predicted to blast through the roof to $47 billion. Famed investor Mark Cuban says it will produce "the world's first trillionaires," but that should still leave plenty of money for regular investors who make the right trades early.

See Zacks' 3 Best Stocks to Play This Trend >>

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.

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous analyst coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Strong Stocks that Should Be in the News

Many are little publicized and fly under the Wall Street radar. They're virtually unknown to the general public. Yet today's 220 Zacks Rank #1 "Strong Buys" were generated by the stock-picking system that has more than doubled the market from 1988 through 2016. Its average gain has been a stellar +25% per year. See these high-potential stocks free >>.

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Splunk Inc. (SPLK) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (MRVL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Thor Industries, Inc. (THO) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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The Andersons, Inc. (ANDE) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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