CHICAGO, Jan. 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks Equity Research highlights WebMD Health Corporation (Nasdaq: WBMD-Free Report) as the Bull of the Day and lululemon athletica inc. (Nasdaq: LULU-Free Report)as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis onPrecidian Maxis Nikkei 225 Index ETF (AMEX: NKY-Free Report), iShares MSCI Japan ETF (AMEX: EWJ-Free Report) and Wisdomtree Japan Hedged Equity Fund (AMEX: DXJ-Free Report).
Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:
WebMD Health Corporation (Nasdaq: WBMD-Free Report) has been seeing increased site traffic and double digit revenue growth. After growing earnings by the triple digits in 2013, this Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) is expected to do it again in 2014.
WebMD Health provides health information to consumers, physicians, healthcare professionals, employers and health plans through both public and private online portals and mobile platforms.
Its websites include WebMD Health, Medscape, MedicineNet, eMedicineHealth, RxList, theheart.org, and Medscape Education.
On Oct 29, WebMD reported its third quarter results and beat the Zacks Consensus by a penny. Earnings were $0.10 compared to the Zacks Consensus of $0.09.
Revenue jumped 11% to $130.9 million from $117.5 million in the year ago quarter as gains in public portal advertising and sponsorship revenue boosted the quarter.
Traffic to the WebMD Health Network grew 29% to 138 million unique users per month. Total traffic to the site was 2.95 billion page views, an increase of 15% from the year ago period.
lululemon athletica inc. (Nasdaq: LULU-Free Report) was once the darling of Wall Street investors and soccer mom's everywhere but a customer service fiasco surrounding its most popular yoga pants, a change in CEO and a warning about fourth quarter earnings have left shares reeling. This Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) is expected to see just 2.4% earnings growth in fiscal 2013.
lululemon operates retail stores which sell yoga-inspired clothes and accessories in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. It sells one of the most popular women's yoga pants on the market.
On Jan 13, lululemon surprised Wall Street by warning on its fourth quarter which doesn't end until Feb 2.
Comparable-store sales are expected to be in the negative low-to-mid single digit range. Previously, the company had guided comparable-store sales are likely being flat.
Earnings guidance was also lowered to a range of $0.71 to $0.73 from $0.78 to $0.80.
The company blamed a significant decline in traffic and sales trends in the beginning of January. That was just as the first Polar Vortex was hitting the middle and east coasts of both the U.S. and Canada, where a significant number of lululemon stores are located.
Since then, a second polar vortex has hit the same region.
It seems unlikely that lululemon will see better-than-expected sales this quarter.
Abenomics Will Lead to Profits
January 2013 ushered in a new era in Japanese policy making. Newly elected Prime Minister Shinzo Abe rolled out a plan to pull the Japanese Economy out of its decade long malaise through aggressive monetary stimulus, accomodative fiscal policy and laws aimed at encouraging domestic manufacturing. A direct result of this three headed beast is a weaker Japanese Yen across the major currencies. By weakening the Yen, Abe is announcing a blue light special on Japanese goods. The hope is that cheaper prices will increase demand and get Japan Inc humming again.
Since the policy began, an interesting correlation has popped up between Yen weakness and the strength of the Japanese stock market. The two seem to move in step together with the Nikkei 225 hitting new highs as the US Dollar hits highs against the Yen.
There are 3 ETFs investors can use to bet on Japan and profit from a continued slide of the Yen versus the US Dollar. ThePrecidian Maxis Nikkei 225 Index ETF (AMEX: NKY-Free Report) seeks to provide investment results that correspond to the Nikkei 225 Index. The benchmark Nikkei 225 measures the performance of 225 highly liquid stocks traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. You can think of it as a slimmed down version of our S&P 500 Index. NKY currently has a Zacks ETF #3 rank, giving it a "Hold" Rating. If "Abenomics" continues to work for Japan earnings should see a boost and that may be enough of a catalyst to propel this rank higher in the near term.
A similar ETF, the iShares MSCI Japan ETF (AMEX: EWJ-Free Report) covers a larger spectrum of the Japanese market, not just the Nikkei 225. EWJ is benchmarked to the MSCI Japan Index which is a market weighted index composed of all the stocks of domestic issues. This helps investors gain exposure to the entire Japanese stock market and not just the big names. Like its Nikkei 225 counterpart NKY, this ETF also carries a Zacks ETF #3 rank and should stay on your radar as Japan continues its aggressive policies.
The Wisdomtree Japan Hedged Equity Fund (AMEX: DXJ-Free Report) takes the performance of the Japanese stock market and adds a currency hedge. This strategy has helped to push this ETF to a Zacks ETF #2 Rank and separate itself from the rest of the Japanese market tracking ETFs available. Part of your potential profits from Japan could be canceled out by the very reason you invested in the first place; Yen weakness against the US Dollar. Here Wisdomtree has found a way to hedge against this currency risk by investing in dividend-paying companies incorporated in Japan and traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange that derive less than 80% of their revenue from sources in Japan. If you are a believer in Japan Inc, this is a great way to gain exposure while mitigating your currency risk.
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