CHICAGO, Oct. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks Equity Research highlights Berry Plastics (NYSE:BERY-Free Report) as the Bull of the Day and Time (NYSE:TIME-Free Report) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis onChina Telecom Corp. Ltd. (NYSE:CHA-Free Report), Akamai Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:AKAM-Free Report) and Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd. (NYSE:QIHU-Free Report).
Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:
Berry Plastics (NYSE:BERY-Free Report) is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and it has seen a recent bump higher in expected revenue. Let's take a look at the earnings history, recent estimate revisions and other factors that drove this move. Today, BERY is the Bull of the Day.
The stock market, as a whole (and some of us feel like we have stepped in one), has been rather volatile of late. The small caps are getting punished and concerns of a slowdown in Europe are starting to make their way across the pond. This is the perfect time to take a closer look at a company and stock that is much more stable and reliable.
Berry Plastics Group makes and sells plastic consumer packaging and engineered materials in the United States, Canada, Mexico and several other countries around the world. The company operates in four segments: Rigid Open Top, Rigid Closed Top, Engineered Materials, and Flexible Packaging. Berry Plastics Group was founded in 1967 and is headquartered in Evansville, Indiana.
Although this is a conservative, more reliable play, two of the last six quarters were misses. Of course that means 4 were beats, but I would still like to see some more consistent performance here. That said the beats were big and the misses were small.
The most recent quarter was reported on August 1, and the company reported earnings of $0.51, fully $0.15 ahead of the $0.36 Zacks Consensus Estimate. The beat of 41% was no thanks to revenue that came in about 1% below expectations at just about $1.3B. It was the first topline miss in 3 quarters and the stock barely moved higher, gaining only 1.5% in the session following the release.
Time (NYSE:TIME-Free Report) is a fresh trading vehicle having been spun from Time Warner in June of this year. They were able to produce a solid beat in their first public report, but analysts have had a hard time getting their arms around earnings estimates for the stock. A big swing lower in estimates has made this stock a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), and it is the Bear of the Day.
Time Inc. publishes magazines in the United States, the United Kingdom, and internationally. It publishes 23 magazines such as People, Sports Illustrated, InStyle, Time, Real Simple, Southern Living, Entertainment Weekly, and Fortune. The company was founded in 1922 and is headquartered in New York, New York. It operates independent of Time Warner as of June 6 of this year.
There has been only one earnings report so far for TIME. It was a beat, but actually is a thrashing of the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The company reported $0.30 when we were looking for $0.07. The $0.23 beat translates into a 328% positive earnings surprise. The topline, however, came in $3M light for a -1.86% negative revenue surprise. The stock fell by 2,7% in the session following the report.
Shortly after the IPO, the estimates for TIME were adjusted up in a big way. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 moved from $0.82 in July to $1.82 in August. Problem is that the next month saw those same estimates fall by a dime. We currently stand at $1.72 for 2014.
The 2015 number saw a jump from $1.29 to $1.66 when the 2014 number increased by an even dollar. It too slid lower, but by even more to $1.52.
The larger decrease in next year's estimates was a major factor in this stock moving to a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). The fact that there is a negative implied earnings growth rate does not impact the rank.
China Stock Outlook
Markets on the China mainland had a holiday shortened yet eventful week. With markets closed for National Day holidays til Wednesday, the focus shifted to Hong Kong. The fortunes of the Hang Seng were guided to a great extent by negotiations following pro-democracy protests.
The H-Share Index gained on Monday after protestors agreed to lift some barricades following the commencement of discussions with city officials. These gains continued on Tuesday following a second round of discussions.
Mainland markets opened on a high note on Wednesday. The Shanghai Composite touched its highest level in 19 months following the easing of restrictions related to the real estate sector. The benchmark index continued to move upward today following encouraging comments from Premier Li Keqiang. China Telecom Corp. Ltd.'s (NYSE:CHA-Free Report) entered into a strategic partnership with Akamai Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:AKAM-Free Report). Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd.'s (NYSE:QIHU-Free Report) Board of Directors approved a maximum share repurchase of $200 million of the company's ADRs.
Last Week's Developments
Last Friday, the Hang Seng Index gained 0.6%, its sharpest increase in two weeks. At one point, the benchmark index had lost 1.6%. However, the Hang Seng closed with gains after the government agreed to hold discussions with pro-democracy protestors. Gains made by China's real estate companies also led stocks into positive territory following the relaxation of restrictions on property.
Hong Kong's benchmark index lost 2.6% last week, its sharpest decline since March. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index moved up 0.4%. Markets on the mainland were closed from Oct 1 to 7 for National Day holidays, after the Shanghai Composite Index had posted its most impressive quarterly performance since 2009.
Markets and the Economy This Week
Stocks listed in Hong Kong gained on Monday after pro-democracy protestors removed some barricades following the beginning of discussions with the government. Gains were led by gambling and property stocks. The Hang Seng moved up 1.1%, marking its highest increase in a month. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index increased 0.6%.
Analysts were of the view that markets were optimistic about the political situation in Hong Kong. They believed that the situation had stabilized and investors believed that the crisis would come to an end shortly. Investors were now focusing on the upcoming link between the Hong Kong and Shanghai exchanges.
The Hang Seng increased for a third successive day on Tuesday, gaining 0.5% to close at its highest level since Sep 26. The gains were a result of a second round of discussions between pro-democracy protesters and government officials. Lenovo was the biggest gainer. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index increased by 0.6%.
Pro-democracy leaders had a second round of discussions with officials, leading to a reduction in tension on the streets of Hong Kong. The demonstrations began following the Chinese government's decision that the candidates for election to the position of Chief Executive of the city would have to be cleared by a committee.
Analysts were of the view that the market was continuing to recover after last week's losses. The political situation had improved, they opined, but the market may not improve further til uncertainty prevailed.
The Shanghai Composite Index increased 0.8% on Wednesday to its highest level in 19 months. Gains were led by property developers following the relaxation of restrictions on real estate. Policy makers eased such restrictions for the first time since the global financial crisis. Markets on the mainland opened on a high following a week of National Day holidays. These holidays followed a 15% gain for the benchmark over the last quarter.
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