CHICAGO, Sept. 4 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks Equity Research highlights PrivateBancorp (Nasdaq: PVTB-Free Report) as the Bull of the Day and Autodesk (Nasdaq: ADSK-Free Report) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis ontheFedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX-Free Report), United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE: UPS-Free Report) and Atlas Air Worldwide (Nasdaq: AAWW-Free Report).
Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:
What industry benefits most from an expanding economy and rising interest rates? Banking, of course. And while the Financial sector has led the market for the past year, with Consumer Discretionary and Healthcare close behind, there are many opportunities still to be found in small and mid-size banks.
PrivateBancorp (Nasdaq: PVTB-Free Report) is the $1.6 billion holding company for The PrivateBank and Trust Company based in Chicago, IL. The PrivateBank provides commercial middle market banking services, as well as personal and private banking and wealth management.
PrivateBancorp has $13.5 billion in total assets and operates 36 offices in 10 states. Their focus on customized business and personal financial services to middlemarket companies, as well as affluent individuals, professionals, entrepreneurs, and their business interests, combines the attentiveness to wealthy clients of a big Wall Street bank with the personal touch of a smaller, local bank.
On July 18, PVTB offered up a 12% EPS surprise and analysts scrambled to raise estimates for this year and next, taking the 2013 consensus from $1.36 to $1.47 and 2014's from $1.45 to $1.54. Here's a graphic look at the earnings momentum that once again has put PVTB on the Zacks #1 Rank Strong Buy list...
Since its introduction of AutoCAD in 1982, Autodesk continues to develop the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art 3D software for the architecture/engineering/construction (AEC), manufacturing, and media & entertainment markets worldwide. These customers use Autodesk software to design, visualize, and simulate their ideas before they're ever built or created.
But the shifting sands of technology -- both the company's and customers' access to it -- have been creating some headwinds for this pioneer.
Two weeks ago, Autodesk reported fiscal second-quarter 2014 non-GAAP earnings that beat consensus. But the reaction among investors and analysts since has been mixed and the stock recently fell to a Zacks #5 Rank Strong Sell due to steeply falling EPS estimates, as the following chart displays...
While Autodesk's competitors sell advanced software for upwards of $10,000, AutoCAD sells for only about $4,000, maintaining its foothold as the de facto standard with 85% market share. The software's price means AutoCAD is the only option for smaller firms -- a market the company's competitors have only recently begun to target.
FedEx Wins Defense Contract
One of the largest package delivery companies, FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX-Free Report) has won a $171 million contract from the U.S. Department of Defense for small package delivery services for the military. This contract expires on Sep 30, 2014.
FedEx also won a second defense contract worth $49.8 million for overpacking and transportation of perishable products for the Defense Commissary Agency and Defense Logistics Agency. Under this contract, FedEx will deliver perishable goods such as fresh fruits and vegetables from the U.S. West Coast to military locations in Japan, Korea, Guam and Alaska. This contract will be brought into effect on Oct. 1, 2013 and unless extended, will expire on Sep 30, 2014.
Apart from FedEx, the Department of Defense also issued two other contracts worth $171 million each to United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE: UPS-Free Report) and Polar Air Cargo, subsidiary of Atlas Air Worldwide (Nasdaq: AAWW-Free Report) for providing transportation services. Both these contracts also expire on Sep 30, 2014.
Apart from gaining new military contract, FedEx also extended its multi-year contract with United States Postal Service (USPS) in Apr 2013. Effective Oct 2013, this seven-year contract worth $10.5 billion would require FedEx Express to provide airport-to-airport transportation for USPS Express Mail and Priority Mail services within the U.S.
FedEx also aims to spread its services across the U.S., Canada and Mexico and capitalize on potential business opportunities in NAFTA (North American Free Trade agreement) markets. The company is boosting its international presence with its acquisitions of Opek Sp. z o.o. (Polish courier company), TATEX (French B2B Express transportation company) and Rapidão Cometa (Brazilian logistics company).
Recently, the company acquired Supaswift and its subsidiaries that offer FedEx Express international services in Southern Africa, gaining direct access to seven markets in Southern Africa. FedEx is also building a new hub in Guangzhou, China, to cater to 100 new Chinese cities within the next five years.
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