Matrix Service, Ericsson, Google, Facebook and Apple highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

Jun 12, 2014, 09:30 ET from Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

CHICAGO, June 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks Equity Research highlights Matrix Service Co (Nasdaq: MTRX-Free Report) as the Bull of the Day and Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERIC-Free Report) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL-Free Report), Facebook (Nasdaq: FB-Free Report) and Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL-Free Report).

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:


Bull of the Day:

Matrix Service Co (Nasdaq: MTRX-Free Report) recently saw a big move up on strong volume leading many to assume that institutions are moving in on this name. Estimates have been rising and this year and it's clear that some investors have taken notice. Today, MTRX is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), it is the Bull of the Day.

Some investors want energy exposure. Some want to benefit from the increases in CapEx that all the energy companies have been pointing to lately. MTRX is more of the later, as they build electrical infrastructure, storage solution for the oil industry, as well as an assortment of machinery solutions for the industrial sector.

Matrix Service reported results for the first quarter of this year back in May and it was a strong quarter indeed. MTRX posted EPS of $0.42, eight cents ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.34 for a positive earnings surprise of 23%. The company also posted revenue of $382M, $60M ahead of estimates for a 18% positive revenue surprise.

Before this recent strong beat, the company posted another strong quarter. This was a beat of $0.12 or 46% ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate. This quarter also saw revenue come in well ahead of expectations, as MTRX posted a 29% positive revenue surprise.

Bear of the Day:

Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERIC-Free Report) used to be on the tip of the tongue of all telco investors. Today, not so much. Analysts have lowered numbers and it is now a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). It is the Bear of the Day today.

Of the last four earnings reports, ERIC has missed in three of them. Normally, I would write up about the misses as this is the Bear of the Day, but the singular beat has my attention.

It was the December 2013 quarter that the company posted EPS of $0.38 compared to the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.21. That $0.17 beat translated into an 81% positive earnings surprise... and here comes the interesting part. The stock moved up only 2.8% as a result. Most stocks that post a big of that magnitude see a much larger move in the stock price, but not ERIC.

In fact, the three misses were all rather small. Three cents, one cent and one cent respectively. But look at the stock reaction to each... -5%, -5.6%, -5.7%. Seems that investors wishing for good news, but they are not getting any.

Ericsson provides telecommunications equipment and related services to mobile and fixed network operators. Ericsson was founded in 1876 and is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden

Additional content:

Google Gets Skybox for $500M

Internet giant Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL-Free Report) recently acquired Skybox Imaging, a startup that manufactures micro-satellites and offers data analytics services to companies, for $500 million. The purchase is aimed at boosting its mapping services and expanding Internet coverage from the sky.

Skybox Imaging, founded in 2009, combines software technologies with a collection of microsatellites to offer access to dependable, high-resolution images as well as geospatial content. Skybox claims to be the first company to provide high-resolution video as well. Moreover, Skybox, with the help of its microsatellite constellation, provides businesses as well as government agencies a platform to analyze data. Skybox was initially funded by Canaan Partners and Norwest Venture Partners.

Following the deal, Google can bolster its mapping services by accessing Skybox's spacecraft technology. It can use Skybox cameras in the sky to capture high resolution images of the Earth. This will help Google to provide accurate and updated imagery for Google Maps and Google Earth.

Also, Skybox's data-analytics can augment Google's efforts to employ deep learning technology in different areas including mobile apps and robotics. Moreover, Skybox can increase Google's profitability by helping the search giant to take well-informed, data-driven decisions.

The concept of "deep learning" basically means the use of algorithms to model representative behavior from seemingly abstract information. It is a tool that is widely used to develop artificial intelligence.

Eventually Google plans to employ Skybox's technology and talent for disaster relief and its project to offer Internet services to rural and remote locations around the world.

This announcement follows rumors of Google's plans to spend over $1 billion to build 180 small, high-capacity satellites as a step forward in exploring new ways to make Internet access available in remote areas of the world.

Google's latest moves may not tell on its top line just yet, but they seem designed to generate future growth. If successful, this initiative could give the tech giant a competitive edge over companies like Facebook (Nasdaq: FB-Free Report) and Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL-Free Report) when it comes to mapping services and Internet access to unwired regions.


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