CHICAGO, April 26, 2013 /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 Legg Mason, Inc. (NYSE: LM), General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), Ingersoll Rand (NYSE: IR), Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON) and Macquarie Infrastructure Co. LLC (NYSE: MIC).
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Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:
Legg Mason Hikes Dividend
In an attempt to boost shareholder value, Legg Mason, Inc.'s (NYSE: LM) board of directors approved an increased quarterly cash dividend on its common stock. The new dividend of 13 cents per share reflects an 18% increase from the prior dividend of 11 cents. The new dividend will be paid on Jul 8 to shareholders of record as of Jun 11.
The dividend raise is part of Legg Mason's commitment to increase shareholders' wealth. The company is effectively deploying capital through share repurchase and dividend hike. In fact, Legg Mason has been increasing its dividend consistently since 2010.
Prior to this revision, in Apr 2012, the company announced a 37.5% hike in its dividend to 11 cents. Previously, in Jun 2011, Legg Mason raised its dividend by 33.3% to 8 cents. Moreover, in 2010, the company hiked its dividend twice, in June and in December.
We believe that Legg Mason has the potential to outperform its peers in the long run, given its diversified product mix and leverage to the changing market demography. However, in the near term, asset outflows will remain a significant headwind. However, we foresee improved operating efficiencies for Legg Mason from its restructuring initiatives and cost-cutting measures.
Legg Mason is expected to announce its results for the fiscal fourth-quarter (ended Mar 31) on Apr 30. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is 58 cents per share. The Zacks Earnings ESP (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method) for Legg Mason is +16.97%. This, along with its Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), makes us confident of a positive earnings surprise.
GE, Trane Collaborate to Save Energy
GE Lighting, a division of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE) and Trane, a brand of Ingersoll Rand (NYSE: IR), have recently collaborated to bring a world class facility that allows building owners to use advanced and centralized facilities to control energy costs in commercial buildings. Building owners and managers can now control costs for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and lighting by using this facility.
GE Lighting has integrated its LightSweep Modular Lighting Control Solution into Trane Tracer's centralized building automation system (BAS) to provide users with this advanced cost-control device.
LightSweep solution comprises relay panels, field devices and software. Some of its energy-saving features are simple switching, ability to use timers for on/off schedule for indoor and outdoor lighting systems and ability to sense the occupancy of a given space.
LightSweep solutions are very user-friendly and diverse users from small offices to large global retail outlets can upgrade their lighting systems to control lighting costs locally.
Trane is a global provider of HVAC systems and uses its high-performing Tracer BAS to provide maximum operational and energy efficiency for building systems. The system can be easily accessed and operated from smartphones to laptops.
The combination proves to be much more efficacious, than when used separately. Building owners and managers can now use this single, user-friendly system to scrutinize and control the two largest energy consuming components for commercial buildings, namely HVAC and lighting.
Using this software, managers can now monitor their office space (offices that use sensors) from a remote place through a web browser to determine the frequency of use. This in turn helps professionals decide whether the office premises need expansion or is currently efficiently utilized.
GE Lighting is a sub-division of The Home & Business Solutions segment of General Electric. General Electric is one of the most diversified technologies and financial service corporations in the world. Its segments include Power & Water, Oil & Gas, Energy Management, Aviation, Healthcare, Transportation, Home & Business Solutions and GE Capital.
Ingersoll-Rand designs, manufactures, sells and services a range of industrial and commercial products across the globe.
General Electric currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), while Ingersoll-Rand carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some of the other players in the industry in which GE operates are Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON) and Macquarie Infrastructure Co. LLC (NYSE: MIC), each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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