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Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day Highlights: Nationstar, Monster Beverage, Questar, QEP Resources and Chesapeake

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – May 14, 2013 – Zacks Equity Research highlights Nationstar (NSM) as the Bull of the Day and Monster Beverage (MNST) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Questar Corporation (STR), QEP Resources (QEP) and Chesapeake (CPK).

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:

With a strong history of positive earnings surprises and a solid outlook for the industry, this Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock looks like a solid pick for your portfolio.

Based in Lewisville, Texas, Nationstar (NSM) is one of the leading residential mortgage services companies in the U.S., with a servicing portfolio of $312 billion. The company offers servicing, origination, and real estate services to financial institutions and consumers.

On May 7, 2013, Nationstar reported its first quarter 2013 results. Net income for the quarter came it at$62.6 million or $0.70 per share, up from $50.2 million or $0.67 per share in the first quarter 2012.

Pro-forma earnings excluding ramp-up expenses related BOA portfolio acquisition were $0.85 per share, substantially ahead of Zacks consensus estimate of $0.69 per share.

Revenue for the quarter was up 163% to $431.1 million from $164.1 million in the prior-year quarter. The company delivered an impressive 32% return on equity during the quarter.

Bear of the Day:

Disappointing results and rising regulatory concerns have led to sharp downward estimates revisions, sending this energy drink company to a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

Headquartered in Corona, California, Monster Beverage (MNST) is a marketer and distributor of energy drinks and alternative beverages.

While energy drinks industry has expanded exponentially in recent years, there have been rising concerns related to their health risks. New York’s attorney general had subpoenaed energy drink makers, including Monster, and the FDA is also looking into the safety of these drinks.

San Francisco’s city attorney is now suing Monster Beverage for marketing its energy drinks to children, saying the products pose severe health risks.

The company reported its first quarter results on May 8, 2013. Net income for the Q1, 2013 was down 16.6% to $63.5 million from $76.1 million in the previous year quarter. Net income per diluted share also decreased 10.4% to $0.37 from $0.41 per share in the Q1, 2012. The earnings were substantially short of the Zacks consensus estimate of $0.47 per share.

The company has disappointed its investors in each of the last four quarters, with an average negative surprise of 11%.

 Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

Questar Hikes Dividend

Natural gas-focused energy company, Questar Corporation (STR) has recently increased its quarterly cash dividend payment by 6% to 18 cents per share, up from 17 cents per share paid in the last quarter. The new dividend will be paid on Jun 10, 2013, to shareholders of record as of May 24, 2013.

Importantly, for the past 41 years Questar hiked its dividend as many as 41 times. Based on the closing price of $25.44 on May 10, 2013, the proposed dividend affirms a yield of 2.8%. A steady dividend payout facilitates the long-term strategy of the company to provide attractive risk-adjusted returns to its stockholders.

The dividend hike reflects continued strong performance by the company, backed by solid operating results, good investments and a diligent execution of its strategic plan.

Founded in 1922, Salt Lake City, Utah-based Questar operates with three principal subsidiaries – Wexpro Company, Questar Pipeline, and Questar Gas Company.

Questar, after the QEP Resources (QEP) spin-off, has transformed itself into a natural gas-operated energy company. The company focuses exclusively on exploring natural gas resources while serving domestic and worldwide customers.

Moreover, Questar enjoys one of the best credit ratings in the utilities sector. This provides the company with a competitive advantage in accessing capital at a reasonable cost.

On the flip side, Questar’s inability to comply with various laws and regulations and obtain fair and timely rate relief and requisite regulatory approvals could hamstring future earnings and growth.

Questar currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), implying that it is expected to perform in line with the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months.

In the utility gas distribution sector, Chesapeake (CPK) is expected to significantly outperform the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months. It currently retain a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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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Read the analyst report on NSM

Read the analyst report on MNST

Read the analyst report on STR

Read the analyst report on QEP

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