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Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day Highlights: Whirlpool, Rentech Nitrogen Partners, General Electric, Crane and Macquarie Infrastructure

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 2, 2013 – Zacks Equity Research highlights Whirlpool (WHR) as the Bull of the Day and Rentech Nitrogen Partners LP (RNF) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on General Electric (GE), Crane Co. (CR) and Macquarie Infrastructure Company LLC (MIC).

Full analysis of all these stocks is available at http://at.zacks.com/?id=2678.

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

Two key factors are driving the U.S. economy in 2013; a strong housing market, and a resilient consumer. Bullishness on these fronts is keeping investors optimistic on the second quarter, even with stock s at fresh all-time highs.

Given this confidence, an investment in a company that plays off of trends in both of these sectors could be a great idea. One such company is undoubtedly Whirlpool (WHR ), a top manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances.

The company tends to be a big beneficiary of a robust consumer—thanks to many customers looking for an upgrade to items like refrigerators or dishwashers—but also a big winner in housing booms as well. That is because when someone is buying or selling a house, home appliances are usually pretty high on their shopping list, a welcomed trend for investors in Whirlpool.

This has helped to boost shares in Whirlpool up double digits so far in 2013 and nearly 43% in the last six months alone. Both figures crush the S&P 500 in the same time frames, suggesting that shares of WHR are definitely in bull market territory.

Given this, some might be thinking that WHR is poised to top out in the near term. However, if you look at recent trends in the analyst estimate revision space, it does imply that WHR could actually have plenty of room to run instead.

Bear of the Day:

For much of the latter half of 2012, nitrogen-based fertilizer companies were great investments. These firms often utilize natural gas as a key input for their processes, so when prices of this potent fuel are slumping, it is great news for their bottom lines.

However, the reverse is also true, and this has been the case so far in 2013 thanks to surging natural gas prices. In fact, prices for natural gas have stormed higher by roughly 50% since August, collapsing the outlooks for many companies that rely on natural gas as key inputs.

This situation is especially prevalent in one of the key names in the space, Rentech Nitrogen Partners LP (RNF). Prices of RNF shares moved higher by about 50% from August to February, but have nose dived since then as the higher price of natural gas has begun to finally take its toll.

Prices of Rentech have slumped by over 12% in the past one month alone, largely driven by a weak earnings report and a tepid outlook for the coming quarters. Analysts are beginning to take note as well, slashing their profit forecasts for this now troubled stock.

Estimate Picture

Analysts have universally lowered their estimates in the past sixty days, pushing the current quarter estimate down slightly and the current year estimate down significantly. In fact, analysts now expect negative growth for the next quarter and for the current year period as well, suggesting a rough stretch for the company going forward as well.

 Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

GE’s Big Wind Turbine Now Operational

General Electric (GE) recently announced that its new 2.5-120 wind turbine, expected to be the world’s most efficient high-output wind turbine, has become operational at a test site in Wieringermeer, the Netherlands.  

The new 2.5-120 wind turbine is best suited for dense forest places like Europe and Canada with a tower, which has a maximum hub height of 139 meters. The turbine’s advanced controls and the 120-meter rotor enable the wind farm operators to generate higher returns with greater power in low wind site areas in a cost effective manner.

General Electric already has business ties with ECN – a Dutch research institute for renewable energy, to validate its newest technologies. This new 2.5-120 wind turbine is expected to be tested and validated through fall 2013.

For efficient wind management, the new wind turbine analyzes tens of thousands of data points every second, thus enabling the turbine to derive maximum energy from variable winds. With the capability of inter-turbine communication in the new 2.5-120, more turbines could be put into smaller spaces with minimal loss of overall efficiency. The new turbine is expected to increase efficiency by 25% and power output by 15% in comparison to other competitive models.

General Electric is one of the most diversified technology and financial service corporations in the world, competing with industry bigs such as Crane Co. (CR) and Macquarie Infrastructure Company LLC (MIC). Its segments include Power & Water, Oil & Gas, Energy Management, Aviation, Healthcare, Transportation, Home & Business Solutions, and GE Capital. GE’s Power & Water segment produces gas, steam and aero derivative turbines; generators; combined cycle systems; and renewable energy solutions, as well as provides water treatment services and equipment.

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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