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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: CBOE Holdings, Nasdaq OMX Group, CME Group, MarketAxess Holdings and Edwards Group

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – June 27, 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 CBOE Holdings, Inc. (CBOE-Free Report), The Nasdaq OMX Group, Inc. (NDAQ-Free Report), CME Group Inc. (CME-Free Report), MarketAxess Holdings Inc. (MKTX-Free Report) and Edwards Group Limited (EVAC-Free Report ).

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

Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

CBOE Upgraded to Strong Buy

Zacks Investment Research upgraded CBOE Holdings, Inc. (CBOE-Free Report) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Why the Upgrade?

CBOE Holdings has been witnessing rising earnings estimates on the back of strong first-quarter results followed by sturdy trading volume in May. Moreover, this securities exchange delivered positive earnings surprises in the last 4 quarters with an average beat of 7.4%. The long-term expected earnings growth rate for this stock is 11.5%.

CBOE Holdings reported first quarter results on May 3. Non-GAAP earnings per share came in at 48 cents, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 47 cents by 2.1% and the year-ago earnings of 37 cents by 35%.

Earnings were primarily aided by strong growth in the proprietary products of CBOE. Trading volume in the VIX Index options and futures reached new records, while trading in the S&P 500 options complex also increased considerably, driven by an increase in SPX Weeklys.

Additionally, trading volumes in May touched the highest mark in 2013. May trading volume for options contracts on CBOE and C2 Options Exchange (C2SM) and futures contracts on CBOE Futures Exchange, LLC (CFE®) totaled 107.14 million contracts.  Average daily volume in May improved 4% sequentially to 4.87 million contracts.

CBOE Holdings also rewards its shareholders with a dividend yield of 1.36%. However, it lags the yield of other securities exchanges like The Nasdaq OMX Group, Inc. (NDAQ
-Free Report) (1.61%) and CME Group Inc. (CME-Free Report) (2.36%).

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 increased 4.2% to $1.99 per share as most of the estimates were revised higher over the last 60 days. For 2014, 5 of 12 estimates were revised higher over the same period, lifting the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5.1% to $2.26 per share.

Other Stock to Consider

Apart from CBOE Holdings, MarketAxess Holdings Inc. (MKTX
-Free Report), which carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), is worth considering.

Strong Buy on Edwards Group

Zacks Investment Research upgraded Edwards Group Limited (EVAC-Free Report ) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) on Jun 25, 2013.

Why the Upgrade?

Edwards Group’s shares rose 6.4% since the industrial technology company reported its financial result for the first quarter of 2013 on Apr 30. Results showed remarkable improvement when compared with its sequential quarter. Adjusted net earnings, in local currency, grew 31.7% sequentially.

Revenues, in local currency, recorded an increase of 9.7% on the back of healthy performance in the company’s Semiconductor and Emerging Technology business. This increase, to some extent, offset the softness in General Vacuum and Service business

Edward Group recorded an increase of 580 basis points in gross margin that came in at 36.2%. Cost saving initiatives helped the company boost its operating margin.

Management of Edwards Group provided an encouraging outlook for the second quarter of 2013. At mid-points, revenues are expected to grow 5.8% from its sequential quarter while adjusted net income is expected to exhibit a 25% increase sequentially. Demand for semiconductors is likely to remain strong in the quarter.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 and 2014 are 86 cents and $1.30, reflecting an increase of 16.2% and 5.7%, respectively in the last 60 days.

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

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Continuous 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.

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