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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Sears Holdings, Wal-Mart Stores, Target, Home Depot and Garmin

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – July 26, 2012 – 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 Sears Holdings Corporation (SHLD), Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), Target Corporation (TGT), Home Depot Inc. (HD) and Garmin Ltd. (GRMN).


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Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:


Sears Launches New Women's Line

Keeping in mind the present day’s young women, who are both fashion conscious and career-oriented, broadline retailer, Sears Holdings Corporation (SHLD), announced the launch of a new brand “Metaphor”. This brand will cater to the needs of the new generation women, who are looking for the latest in fashion at reasonable prices.


The new women’s line at Sears, scheduled to be in stores by August, will comprise of ready-to-wear apparel assortments at rational prices, complemented by fashion footwear and jewelry. Metaphor will offer stylish jackets, trousers, shirts and dresses that appeal to working woman of all shapes and sizes. The brand’s assortments provide wide choices for any occasions, ranging from everyday office wear to chic outfits for cocktail parties with friends and more.


The launch of a new fashion line focused on women is indicative of management’s strategy of making Sears a ‘one-stop shop’ for women by broadening its portfolio with fashionable and trend-right brands. Management believes Metaphor adds a refreshing look to Sears’ current offerings in the contemporary career category, providing beautiful clothes at affordable prices. The brand’s collection feature exclusively on all Sears’ stores in the U.S. as well as the company’s website, www.Sears.com.


Sears Holdings is one of the largest broad line retailers in the U.S. The company operates a strong network of over 4,000 full-line and specialty stores across the U.S. and Canada to compete effectively against rivals, such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), Target Corporation (TGT) and Home Depot Inc. (HD). Furthermore, in order to attract more customer footfalls, the company is continuously taking prudent steps to improve its merchandise and realign its inventory with sales trend.


For quite a while now, Sears has been working to revamp its organizational structure and operating model in order to overcome its sluggish top-line performances and even weaker bottom-line results. Efforts paid off last quarter, when the company narrowed its loss per share to 31 cents from $1.34 in the prior-year period, faring better than the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The improved results were primarily driven by its ongoing cost reduction, inventory management, strengthening liquidity strategies and merchandise initiatives.


Going forward, Sears Holdings intends to shutter 100 to 120 Kmart and Sears full-line stores to trim down costs and generate cash. Further, the company expects to produce $140 to $170 million of cash from store closures through inventory clearance.


Sears Holdings currently has a Zacks #2 Rank, implying a short-term ‘Buy’ rating. The company retains a long-term Outperform recommendation.

Garmin's Affordable Radar

Garmin Ltd. (GRMN), a worldwide provider of navigation, communications, and information devices, most of which are enabled by global positioning system (GPS) technology has launched a new affordable weather radar called GWX 70 for the general avionics market.

GWX 70 radar is better than its predecessors due to its enhanced range of readings, which coupled with real-time weather analysis in the cockpit makes it a reliable device in aircraft. The main enhancement is with respect to its ability to detect and warn against turbulence. This would therefore increase the safety and comfort of journeys.


The technology is not new -- it was earlier available on high-end commercial aircraft, personal and business jets. Garmin has changed all that, extending the technology to all kinds of aircraft that can easily fit the advanced weather radar.


The new radar device is an addition to Garmin’s product portfolio which already includes traffic advisory systems and traffic collision avoidance systems, terrain awareness and warning systems, instrument landing system (:ILS) receivers, surveillance products, audio panels and cockpit datalink systems.


As per IBIS World, revenue for the Global Airlines industry is estimated to increase at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.8% from 2007-2012 to $633.0 billion. In addition, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) expects the number of commercial aircraft to grow from 7,096 in 2010 to 10,523 in 2031, an average annual growth rate of 1.9% or 163 aircraft annually.


Garmin is well positioned in the aviation market, although recessionary pressures have affected this business. But Garmin has continued with its product launches right through the year, including the GTN TM 650 and 750 series touchscreen-controlled integrated VHF navigation receiver, G1000H TM integrated glass flight deck system, aera® 795 and 796 touchscreen portable aviation navigation devices among others.


For the first quarter of fiscal 2012, revenue from the aviation segment was $73.0 million (13.0% of revenue), which was up 2.1% sequentially, and 5.4% year over year.


Currently, Garmin Ltd. has a Zacks Rank of #4, implying a short-term Sell recommendation.




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