Tiffany, Central Garden & Pet, International Business Machines, Hewlett Packard and Oracle highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

CHICAGO, Dec. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks Equity Research highlights Tiffany & Company (NYSE: TIF-Free Report) as the Bull of the Day and Central Garden & Pet Company (Nasdaq: CENT-Free Report)as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on the International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM-Free Report), Hewlett Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ-Free Report) and Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL-Free Report).

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Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

Did you get a little blue box under the Christmas tree this year? Plenty of people did. The luxury business is booming as Tiffany & Company (NYSE: TIF-Free Report) saw earnings rise 50% in the fiscal third quarter.

Tiffany operates 283 upscale jewelry stores around the world as well as operates an Internet and catalogue business.

On Nov 26, Tiffany reported its fiscal third quarter results and blew by the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the fourth quarter in a row. Earnings were $0.73 compared to the Zacks Consensus of $0.58 for a 26% beat.

Global sales rose 7% to $911 million with comparable store sales also rising 7% as all regions saw growth.

Bear of the Day:

There's no turnaround in sight for Central Garden & Pet Company (Nasdaq: CENT-Free Report). On Dec 10, this Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) missed the Zacks Consensus for the 5th straight quarter.

Central Garden makes lawn and garden and pet products under several brand names.

For lawn and garden, it makes grass seed, wild bird food and insect control products. Its pet products include aquarium products, flea, tick, mosquito and other pest control products, edible bones, cages and carriers.

On Dec 10, Central Garden reported its fiscal fourth quarter result and missed on the Zacks Consensus by 35%. Earnings were a loss of $0.31 compared to the Zacks Consensus of a loss of $0.23.

Its track record on beating the estimate has been dismal for the last five years. The last beat was recorded all the way back in 2011.

Additional content:

IBM to Take Over Aspera

International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM-Free Report) is set to acquire California-based Aspera, Inc, for an undisclosed amount. Aspera's technology helps to speed up the movement of massive data files securely across the globe.

Aspera's patented high-speed transfer technology helps companies transfer large files or data sets in minimal time. The system increases the efficiency of file transfer exponentially, reducing a 26 hour transfer of a 24 gigabyte file, forwarded halfway around the world, to just 30 seconds.

The fasp technology patented by Aspera helps to overcome inherent blocks in a broadband wide area network thereby increasing the speed of large file transfers. These files include video or scientific research files.

This acquisition would help IBM to introduce an innovative solution for its clients, which might help them to manage increasing volumes of structured as well as unstructured data created by everything from sensors to social media.

The company has taken the inorganic route to growth time and again, which helped it to gain access to new technology. This strategy has helped IBM to enhance its product portfolio, which ultimately helps in generating incremental revenues, strengthen its technology leadership and leads to a more favorable mix of business.

IBM will continue to benefit from its new initiatives like cloud computing, smarter planet, business analytics and optimization over the long term. However, stiff competition from Hewlett Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ-Free Report) and Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL-Free Report) and sluggish IT spending are the major headwinds going forward.   

IBM has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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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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SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.



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