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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Gentex, Stratasys, John Bean Technologies and Comtech Telecommunications

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – July 29, 2019 – 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: Gentex Corp. GNTX, Stratasys Ltd. SSYS, John Bean Technologies Corp. JBT and Comtech Telecommunications Corp. CMTL.

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Orders for Durable Goods Rise in June: Winners & Losers

Business houses have for long been conservative toward investments amid trade uncertainty. But, the growth in durable orders in June shows that business investments are holding up.

The uptick in demand is favorable for manufacturers of long-lasting products. But, gold prices remain subdued as increased durable goods orders may dampen Fed’s enthusiasm to adopt a more aggressive policy easing stance.

Orders for Durable Goods Rose in June

According to the Commerce Department, overall orders for durable goods, or those manufactured products intended to last for at least three years, rose 2% last month, much higher than 0.7% estimated by analysts. Orders for durable goods not only picked up in June after two straight months of a decline but also marked the fastest growth since last August.

Demand for long lasting goods was driven by an uptick in new orders for transportation goods. New aircraft orders soared 75.5% in June following two straight months of sharp declines. Needless to say, grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX airplanes had earlier affected demand for new aircraft.

Orders for cars and car parts went up 3.1% in June, much higher than 0.9% in May. And even if the volatile transportation category is excluded, orders increased at a 1.2% pace, the second successive month of growth.

Other categories that have posted gains include fabricated metal products, machinery, communications equipment, networking gear and primary metals. In fact, core capital-goods orders, a key measure of business investment, increased 1.9% to notch the biggest gain in nearly a year and half.

Thursday’s encouraging report was in line with the factory orders report that suggests that momentum is slightly building in the manufacturing sector.

Factory Output Accelerates in June

U.S. factory output increased at the fastest pace this year in June on an uptick in automotive sector production. According to Fed data, manufacturing output increased 0.4% last month after rising 0.2% in May. Most of the gains came from the motor vehicles and parts segment, which posted a substantial increase of nearly 3%.

The Fed said that “an increase of nearly 3% per cent for motor vehicles and parts contributed significantly to the gain in factory production; excluding motor vehicles and parts, manufacturing output moved up 0.2%.”

Other sectors that saw gains included petroleum and coal products, and computer and electronic products. Some critics, by the way, may say that overall industrial production remained unchanged in June. But, that was purely due to lackluster performance by the utilities sector as “milder-than-usual temperatures” hurt demand for air conditioning. Nonetheless, it can be concluded that American manufacturing is regaining foothold despite trade concerns and a global economic slowdown.

Here’re the Winners

It’s quite obvious that companies that produce long-lasting goods will gain in the near term due to the spike in demand. Hence, investing in such stocks seems prudent for now. Some of the prominent names include Gentex Corp., Stratasys Ltd., John Bean Technologies Corp. and Comtech Telecommunications Corp.

Gentex Corporation provides digital vision, connected car, dimmable glass, and fire protection products. The company, currently, flaunts a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has increased 1.8% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 3.1%, in contrast to the Automotive - Original Equipment industry’s projected decline of 2.3%.

Stratasys Ltd. provides 3D printing systems that are primarily used in the automotive, aerospace, medical, dental, and education markets. The company currently possesses a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has increased 3.3% over the past 90 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 19.2%, higher than the Computer - Peripheral Equipment industry’s estimated rise of 8.9%.

John Bean Technologies Corporation provides equipment and services to air transportation industries. The company, currently, boasts a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has climbed 0.7% over the past 60 days. The company, which is part of the Manufacturing - Thermal Products industry, is widely expected to post earnings growth of 5.7% and 6.5% in the next quarter and current year, respectively. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Comtech Telecommunications designs, develops, produces, and markets products, systems, and services for communications solutions. Currently, the company flaunts a Zacks Rank #1. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its next-year earnings has increased 6.7% over the past 60 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 17.3%, compared with the Wireless Equipment industry’s projected decline of 0.7%.

It’s worth pointing out that Gentex, Stratasys, John Bean Technologies and Comtech Telecommunications have registered solid gains of 33.8%, 59.2%, 69.8% and 16%, respectively, so far this year.

Not So Lucky Ones!

Gold prices pared gains following upbeat June durable goods orders report. After all, the better-than-expected manufacturing data reduced expectation of a more aggressive policy easing by the Fed during its Jul 30-31 meeting. This is because a not-so-low interest rate may make bonds and other fixed-income investments a bit more attractive.

Money will flow into bonds and money market funds as they can provide higher yields, and in turn may flow out of gold. It’s worth pointing out though that the yellow metal offers no yield at all.

Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, remained little changed, with gold mining stocks poised to take a beating. 

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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