Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day Highlights: AmSurg, Sara Lee, General Motors, Toyota Motor and Nissan Motor

Sep 26, 2011, 09:30 ET from Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

CHICAGO, Sept. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks Equity Research highlights AmSurg Corp.'s (NASDAQ: AMSG) as the Bull of the Day and Sara Lee Corp. (NYSE: SLE) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) and Nissan Motor Co. (OTC: NSANY).

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Full analysis of all these stocks is available at http://at.zacks.com/?id=2678.

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

AmSurg Corp.'s (NASDAQ: AMSG) second quarter EPS of $0.38 met the Zacks Consensus Estimate and the year-ago EPS. Economic uncertainty has been impacting AmSurg potential customers deferring elective procedures, but its top line improved due to growth in total procedures with the opening of new centers.

Moreover, with a relatively solid development and acquisition pipeline in place, supported by a strong cash position, AmSurg is well poised to carry out suitable acquisitions. Government has been undertaking initiatives to curtail healthcare expenditures thereby resulting in a shift toward ASCs from hospitals.

Given the long-term prospects of AmSurg, we upgrade the stock to Outperform. Over the last five years, AmSurg's shares have traded in a range of 9.7X to 19.3X trailing 12-month earnings. Our target price of $25 per share is based on 14.8X our 2011 EPS estimate of $1.69.

Bear of the Day:

We have downgraded the recommendation of Sara Lee Corp. (NYSE: SLE) to Underperform from Neutral as the company remains under tremendous inflationary pressure, further burdened by severe competition from several branded and private label products. Though the company is making efforts to combat its rising price of coffee and meat by raising prices, we believe that the company has to sacrifice volume in the process.

The company is also undertaking strategic disinvestments to cope with higher expenses. The company is also planning to split itself into two businesses. However, we remain skeptical as the spin-off is subject to clearance from several regulations.

Though Sara Lee's fourth quarter 2011 earnings of $0.20 was decently ahead of the year-ago period and was in-line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate, we do not see any solid ground which can hold the top lines to decent levels.

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GM EVs Find Platform in China

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) plans to develop electric cars in China through its joint venture, Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center, with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation ("SAIC") in order to take advantage of strong demand for EVs, and national and municipal subsidies in the country.

GM intends to transfer battery and other electric car technologies for the program as the Chinese government requires foreign automakers to transfer important parts of the technology to a joint venture in the country to become eligible for the subsidies.

As part of the agreement, SAIC will also contribute technology to Pan Asia. It has already made cash contributions to the joint venture in response to technology contributions by GM over the years. The Shanghai-based Pan Asia has helped GM develop the Buick LaCrosse eAssist, which is currently on sale in the U.S. and China.

GM also plans to import Chevrolet Volt plug-in electric hybrid from U.S. into China by 2011-end. However, Volt would not be eligible for government subsidies, putting the sale of the car at a disadvantage. The automaker clarified that the launch of Volt in China is not connected to the Pan Asia joint venture.

The Volt, which went on sale in mid-December last year with a price tag of $41,000, is the most fuel-efficient compact car sold in the U.S. as rated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

GM has been focusing on electric car technology intensively since 1990s while most of the other automakers are interested in hybrids. The automaker gained attention in 1996 with the launch of EV1, the predecessor to the Volt.

However, EV1 failed to capture the market due to lack of proper marketing efforts. As a result, GM suspended the sale of EV1 and started leasing it, partly to discourage foreign automakers from buying, disassembling and copying the vehicle.

Apart from GM, Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) and Nissan Motor Co. (OTC: NSANY) also plan to develop and sell electric cars in China. Toyota has decided to build and sell the current generation of the Prius gasoline-electric hybrid while Nissan is collaborating with Dongfeng Motor to jointly develop an electric car.

Get the full analysis of all these stocks by going to http://at.zacks.com/?id=2649.

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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