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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Boston Scientific, Mack-Cali Realty, Prudential Financial, Getty Realty and Sabra Health Care REIT

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – December 23, 2013 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include the Boston Scientific Corporation ( BSX- Free Report), Mack-Cali Realty Corp. ( CLI- Free Report), Prudential Financial Inc. ( PRU- Free Report), Getty Realty Corp. ( GTY- Free Report) and Sabra Health Care REIT, Inc. ( SBRA- Free Report).
Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free .

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Boston Scientific Upgraded to Buy
On Dec 20, Zacks Investment Research upgraded medical device major Boston Scientific Corporation ( BSX- Free Report) to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The upgrade came on the back of the recent CE Mark approval for the company’s X4 line of quadripolar CRT-D systems.
Why the Upgrade?
The CE Mark approval of X4 line of quadripolar CRT-D systems, includes the AUTOGEN X4, DYNAGEN X4, and INOGEN X4 cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators (CRT-Ds), a suite of ACUITY X4 quadripolar LV leads and the ACUITY PRO lead delivery system.This approval ensures wide recognition of the product throughout the European region.
The market is also upbeat about the adoption of this product following the CE Mark based on a recent study conducted by the World Health Organization (:WHO).According to WHO, cardiovascular diseases account for more than half of all deaths across the European Region.  Moreover, WHO has led to the finding that 80% of premature heart diseases and strokes are preventable. Therefore, it is believed that that the new offering has the potential to act as a boon for heart patients by helping save lives.

The US defibrillator and stent markets have remained major overhangs over the past several quarters. However, with several initiatives undertaken by the company, the CRM segment is currently reviving its top line.
In the last reported quarter, total CRM sales were up 1% y/y (same at CER) to $464 million (exceeding the high end of the guidance range) with a 3.3% increase in U.S. sales ($282 million) and a 3.7% drop in the international market to $182 million. The company believes that the worldwide CRM market continued to show signs of stabilization on the back of growth in Asia and Latin America.

Boston Scientific is resorting to all available means in order to return to growth. The company has a strong pipeline of products under development. The launch of the new products should drive the top line. We are encouraged by the focus on emerging markets, especially India and China. Boston Scientific plans to invest approximately $150 million in China over the next 5 years to build a local manufacturing operation.
Mack-Cali Buys Multi-Family Assets in NJ
Continuing with the effort to diversify its business and venture into the multifamily apartment sector, Mack-Cali Realty Corp. ( CLI- Free Report) – a real estate investment trust (:REIT) – disclosed the acquisition of 200-unit multi-family residential properties in New Brunswick, N.J. The company shelled out $41.1 million for purchasing the properties from an affiliate of Ironstate Holdings.
Known as Riverwatch Commons and Richmond Court, the three-building properties are 95% leased and includes studio, and one- and two-bedroom luxury apartments. Located near the NJ TRANSIT train station, offering accessibility to the NJ Turnpike, I-287, and Route 18, the property is in proximity to shopping centers, restaurants, nightlife, theaters, Johnson & Johnson’s headquarters, and Rutgers University. The property is offering a good amenity package and Mack-Cali's Roseland subsidiary is in charge of managing and leasing the property.
With the continued weakness in the company's core office markets, Mack-Cali has been divesting a notable part of its office portfolio and targeting to expand its holdings in the multi-family residential sector that has traditionally been more of a stable product type. The growth in the echo boomers population is particularly expected to drive the demand for these properties.
In tandem with this, recently Mack-Cali and Fisher Brothers formed a joint venture to purchase a 377-unit multi-family residential development project in Washington, D.C. Mack-Cali will shell out around $46.5 million for acquiring a 50% stake in the project.
Moreover, in November, Mack-Cali disclosed the acquisition of a 159-unit multi-family residential property – Park Square – in Rahway, N.J., for $46.5 million from Landmark Companies of Keasbey, N.J. Earlier this year, Mack-Cali also acquired Alterra at Overlook Ridge 1A and 1B – luxury multi-family properties containing 722 rental units in the master planned community of Overlook Ridge in Revere and Malden, Mass., from a joint venture of Prudential Insurance Company of America, an operational arm of Prudential Financial Inc. ( PRU- Free Report).
While the portfolio repositioning efforts through multifamily apartment buyouts and office assets divestiture are encouraging, we believe that the aggressive disposition efforts are continuing to have a dilutive impact on its financials in the near-to-medium term. Moreover, with rents on the renewals rolling down in its core office portfolio, this Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) stock lacks sufficient growth momentum. But we believe that these strategic initiatives will benefit Mack-Cali in the long run. 
However, investors interested in the REIT industry may consider stocks like Getty Realty Corp. ( GTY- Free Report) and Sabra Health Care REIT, Inc. ( SBRA- Free Report). Both these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

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