For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – November 1, 2012 – Zacks Equity Research highlights DTE Energy Company (NYSE:DTE) as the Bull of the Day and Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on ManpowerGroup (NYSE:MAN), Kelly Services Inc. (Nasdaq:KELYA) and Robert Half International Inc. (NYSE:RHI).
Full analysis of all these stocks is available at http://at.zacks.com/?id=2678.
Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:
We are upgrading our long-term recommendation on DTE Energy Company (NYSE:DTE) to Outperform after a resounding bottom-line beat in the third quarter, which fully offset the effects of a lower top-line. The bottom-line was helped by significant demand for electricity due to warmer weather and higher numbers from its storage and transportation business.
Our bullish outlook for DTE Energy is supported by its stable and growing utilities and its complementary non-utility businesses. Going forward, the growth momentum will be maintained by beneficial regulatory policies in Michigan, higher authorized rates for its regulated business, growth opportunities in its un-regulated businesses and an industry-high dividend yield.
There are also plans to monetize its Barnett Shale assets and other properties, which would alleviate the need for external borrowings. Our six-month target price of $74.00 equates to about 19.0x our earnings estimate for 2012.
Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW) reported EPS of $0.58 in the third quarter of 2012, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by $0.02. Sales increased 8.5% to $447.9 million, in line with the preliminary result but lagged the original guidance of $465-$485 million. This was primarily due to lower-than-expected THV sales due to economic uncertainties in Europe, coverage issues for certain inoperable patients in US and later-than expected approval of Sapien in high-risk patients.
Given these headwinds, the company lowered its outlook for 2012. We prefer to avoid the stock and accordingly downgrade it to Underperform.
Edwards current trailing 12-month earnings multiple is 36.3. The stock is currently trading at 27.1x the 2013 EPS estimate of $3.21. Our target price is based on 24.6x our 2013 EPS estimate.
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Manpower Upgraded to Neutral
We adopted a Neutral stance on ManpowerGroup (NYSE:MAN), a global leader in the employment services industry, with a price target of $40.00, following better-than-expected third-quarter 2012 results. Earlier, we had an Underperform recommendation on the stock.
The company posted stronger-than-anticipated results on the back of increased gross margin and effective cost management. The quarterly earnings of 79 cents a share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 68 cents. Net earnings per share also came ahead of management’s previously provided guidance range of 64 cents to 72 cents a share.
Manpower’s comprehensive range of services makes the company a true global staffing firm. The company provides services for the entire employment and business cycle including permanent, temporary and contract recruitment, employee assessment and selection, training, outplacement, outsourcing and consulting. The company’s brand value and strong global network provides it with a competitive advantage and reinforces its dominant position in the market.
The company is now contemplating on exiting its lower margin business and venturing into high margin business. The company is also focusing on controlling expense. On the other hand, the ManpowerGroup Solutions business sustained its growth momentum. The demand for the countercyclical outplacement services is also portraying signs of steadiness, which rose 18% during the quarter.
However, what compels us to have a cautious view on the stock is the company’s dwindling top and bottom lines performances as well as soft projections of the same for the fourth quarter. The quarterly earnings did came ahead of the estimate but it fell 18.6% year over year as the soft economic environment resulted in weak demand for recruitment services, particularly in Europe. Strong dollar also acted as a deterrent.
Moreover, the rate of decline in total revenue of Milwaukee, Wisconsin based Manpower has accelerated, when comparing sequentially. After falling 8.1% year over year in the second quarter of 2012, total revenue dropped 10.5% to $5,172.3 million during the third quarter. In constant currency too, the rate of decline increased to 3.8% in the quarter under review from 0.8% in the previous quarter. The soft top line performance did weigh upon the bottom line. However, one thing that instilled confidence was that unlike the second quarter, total revenue in the third quarter beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5,106 million.
Manpower provided a dismal fourth-quarter 2012 outlook. The company now expects earnings between 72 cents and 80 cents a share, reflecting a year-over-year decline of 26.5% to 18.4%, respectively. Management now projects total revenue to decline between 5% and 7% in the U.S. dollars, or in the band of 3% to 5% in constant currency from the prior-year quarter.
Given the pros and cons, we prefer to remain on the sidelines. Manpower, which competes with Kelly Services Inc. (Nasdaq:KELYA) and Robert Half International Inc. (NYSE:RHI), holds a Zacks #3 Rank that translates into a short-term “Hold” rating.
Get the full analysis of all these stocks by going to http://at.zacks.com/?id=2649.
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.
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