Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day Highlights: International Paper, Cablevision, IBM, Oracle and Hewlett-Packard

CHICAGO, April 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks Equity Research highlights International Paper (NYSE: IP) as the Bull of the Day and Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on IBM (NYSE: IBM), Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ).

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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:

International Paper (NYSE: IP) has been increasing its revenues, generating solid cash flows and rewarding the shareholders with growing dividends.

Further, with improving outlook for the industry, this Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock looks very attractive as of now.

Headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, International Paper is a global leader in the paper and packaging industry with manufacturing operations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and North Africa.

International Paper conducts its businesses through four segments—the Industrial Packaging segment, the Printing Papers segment, the Distribution segment and the Consumer Packaging segment.

IP reported fourth quarter 2012 operating earnings of $0.69 per share versus $0.73 per share in the year-ago quarter, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5 cents.

For full year 2012, operating earnings for 2012 were $2.65 per share compared $3.12 per share in the prior year, handily beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.44 per share.

Bear of the Day:

Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) is going through a challenging time due to rising programming costs, Sandy related damages and increased competition.

Further, sharp downward estimates revisions have resulted in a cloudy near-term outlook for this Zacks Rank # 5 (Strong Sell) stock.

Cablevision Systems Corporation is one of the country's leading media and telecommunications companies. They deliver cable, Internet, and voice offerings throughout the New York area. Additionally, the company owns and operates cable systems in four Western states.

The company announced its fourth quarter and full year 2012 results on February 28, 2013. The quarter resulted in a loss of 30 cents per share, 40 cents per share worse than the consensus estimate.

The company lost 50,000 video customers, 5,000 high-speed data customers and 10,000 voice customers during the fourth quarter.

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

IBM Quashes Oracle's SPARC Claims

Reportedly,IBM (NYSE: IBM)has retorted to Oracle's (Nasdaq: ORCL) claim that the recently-launched SPARC servers (powered by T5 and M5 chips) are much faster and cheaper (delivers 5 times to 12 times better cost performance) than IBM Power servers.

IBM challenged Oracle's findings and said that the comparisons were primarily made with older systems (3 to 5 year old systems according to Business Insider). Hence, the data does not reflect the current performance of the systems. Oracle had cited data from Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation ("SPEC") and Transaction Processing Performance Council ("TPC") to validate its claims.

Moreover, IBM also quashed Oracle's claim that its new T5-8 server, priced at $270K, is much faster than IBM's P780, which costs approximately $1.9 million. IBM said that the systems were not comparable and for a similar type of setup, its price range is equivalent to Oracle's recent releases.

IBM and Oracle are traditional rivals. The competition intensified after Oracle entered the hardware market in 2010. The relationship took an ugly turn in 2012, when IBM forced Oracle to pull advertisements that claimed superiority of its Exadata products over IBM systems.

The recent spat reflects escalating rivalry between the two global giants as Oracle continues to search for ways to boost its sagging hardware business. Oracle's recent releases target IBM's dominant position (more than 50% market share) in the high-end UNIX server market.

On the other hand, IBM is trying to consolidate its market share through frequent updates, which will help it to expand its customer base. In its fourth quarter conference call (Jan 23, 2013), IBM claimed that it gained significant business from erstwhile Oracle and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) customers in 2012 (approximately $1.0 billion).

Despite these aggressive strategies, we note that both IBM and Oracle continue to lose revenues in the hardware segment. This is primarily due to lower enterprise spending,- as well as shrinking market for UNIX-based servers, which face significant competition from X86 servers. Currently, both IBM and Oracle carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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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Updated throughout every trading day, the Analyst Blog provides analysis from Zacks Equity Research about the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.

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Continuous analyst coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

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