The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Corning, 3M, TE Connectivity, Expeditors International of Washington and Becton, Dickinson

CHICAGO, Nov. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 Corning Inc. (NYSE:  GLW), Becton, Dickinson & Co. (NYSE:  BDX), 3M Company (NYSE:  MMM), TE Connectivity Ltd. (NYSE:  TEL) and Expeditors International of Washington Inc. (Nasdaq:  EXPD).

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Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Corning Closes BD Labware Unit Buy

Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW) recently completed its acquisition of the majority portion of the Discovery Labware unit from Becton, Dickinson & Co. (NYSE: BDX). The company spent $720 million in cash for the acquisition. The deal was announced in the month of April.

The Discovery Labware unit has operations in Massachusetts and North Carolina in the United States, and in the United Kingdom, as well as extensive dealer networks in Asia, Europe and North America.

Corning will now integrate four of the Discovery Labware unit's main product platforms into Corning's Life Sciences segment. These product platforms include plastic consumable labware, liquid-handling products, cell-based assays and cell cultureware, as well as ADME research.

The company said that the acquisition will enhance Corning's broad portfolio of life sciences products and expand its annual revenues by 40%. In the third quarter, Corning's Life Sciences business accounted for around 8% of revenue, which was down 4.3% sequentially but up 1.3% from a year ago.

The deal will help Corning to expand its global market share and benefit from Discovery Labware unit's extensive product portfolio and established dealer network. In December last year, Corning acquired Mediatech, which was also integrated into Corning's Life Sciences segment to augment its sales.

Corning's innovations, technologies and acquisitions help it to deliver improved results and maintain its position in an increasingly competitive market. In the last-reported third quarter of 2012, the company's earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2 cents or 7.1%. Revenues in the quarter were $2.04 billion, up 6.8% sequentially and down 1.8% year over year.

Corningdoes not expect the acquisition to have any impact on its 2012 financials, but believes that the transaction will be slightly accretive in 2013. Additionally, the company stated that the acquisition will aid in achieving its $10 billion revenue target in the next few years.

However, Corning faces significant competition due to market saturation, pricing pressure and product launches. For its hardware and equipment products, the company faces stiff competition from the likes of 3M Company (NYSE: MMM), TE Connectivity Ltd. (NYSE: TEL), Furukawa OFS, CommScope and ADC Communications.

Corning shares currently carry a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a Hold rating for the short term (1–3 months).

Earnings Preview: Expeditors International

Expeditors International of Washington Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPD), one of the leading third-party logistics (3PL) providers, is slated to release its third quarter 2012 results on Tuesday, November 6. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is pegged at 43 cents per share, representing a year-over-year increase of 10.6%.

Second-Quarter Flashback

Expeditors' second quarter adjusted earnings of 39 cents per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 43 cents and deteriorated 11% from 44 cents earned in the year-ago quarter. Weak revenues from air and ocean freight segments were primarily responsible for the underperformance.

Total revenue decreased 5% year over year to $1.5 billion, and missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.6 billion.

Agreement of Estimate Revisions

Estimate revisions for the company mostly show a downward trend.

For the third quarter, out of 17 estimates none moved upward, while one estimate was revised downward in the last 7 days. For the last 30 days, none of the estimates were revised upward, while five downward revisions were made.

For 2012, out of 18 estimates, no upward or downward revisions were made in the last 7 days. Over the last 30 days, no positive estimate revisions were made but three estimates were revised negatively.

For 2013, out of 18 estimates, one was revised positively, whereas no negative revision was registered in the last 7 days. Over the last 30 days, one each was revised in either direction.

We believe that if the company does not concentrate on higher cost pass through to customers, poor margin scenario will likely persist in the near term. We expect a negative impact on the company's margins due to freight rate increases by third party carriers, particularly across Asia-U.S. trading networks.

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