The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Citigroup, U.S. Bancorp, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Eastman Chemical

May 03, 2013, 09:30 ET from Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

CHICAGO, May 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Citigroup, Inc. (NYSE: C), U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) and Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE: EMN).


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Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

More Legal Troubles for Citi

United States' third largest bank Citigroup, Inc. (NYSE: C) is on shaky grounds again as it has been sued by U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) in connection with the sale of securities that were allegedly backed by low-quality mortgages. The mortgage backed securities (MBS) were worth $1.08 billion.

These securities were backed by 4,946 mortgage loans. U.S. Bank has accused Citi of violating the contract with the buyers of the securities. U.S. Bank is seeking compensation for the damages, though no amount has been specified. Moreover, it seeks to obtain an order requiring Citi to repurchase the faulty loans.

As per the trustee, the loans carried a high default rate. Due to this, U.S. Bank incurred losses of over $354 million. Further, a forensic review was done on 1,604 of the mortgages underlying the 2007 investment. The review disclosed that approximately 79% of the loans became delinquent.

Similar Charges Earlier

Washington Mutual Inc. – acquired by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) in 2008 – and Citigroup have been legally charged in connection with issues arising out of the sale of MBS by Integer Program LLC for incurring huge losses from mortgage loans.

Further, many other global giants, including Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), are battling similar lawsuits related to MBS.

Our Take The mounting litigation charges against Citi are expected to exhaust its financial resources, which otherwise could have been channeled toward the company's growth initiatives. Moreover, it is apprehended that litigation overhangs might tarnish the company's image.

Citi currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Eastman Chemical to Fight Skin Cancer

The producer of LLumar Window Film, Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE: EMN), and The Skin Cancer Foundation have entered into an alliance to help educate consumers on the hazards of the harmful ultraviolet A (UVA) rays on skin that penetrates through glass while driving. Scientific research proclaims that car drivers' left body areas are most exposed to harmful sunrays, and hence are the most affected.  

Eastman Chemical is extending its support to The Skin Cancer Foundation's monthly initiative of Skin Cancer Awareness by participating in its "Road to Healthy Skin Tour" presented by Rite Aid. The Tour is expected to have roughly 50 stops along the way at the Rite Aid Stores starting at Hoboken, N.J. on May 14 and ending in Redwood City, Calif., on Aug, 30.

The tour strives to save lives through education about skin cancer prevention through all means of sun protection, detecting skin cancers at the early stage if any, and the need for prompt, effective treatment. For the detection of skin cancer at an early stage, local dermatologists will devote their valuable time in the Tour's 38-foot RV, where they would conduct the screenings at two customized exam rooms.

Local LLumar window film dealers will also enlighten consumers regarding the usefulness of the window film as "sunscreen for your car" on this tour. The Skin Cancer Foundation highly recommends driving under a sun protection program. They promote use of high performance window film for all time protection from harmful UVA rays.

UVA rays of sun are more harmful than UVB rays as they penetrate deep into the skin and can silently accelerate the aging process, cause wrinkles and even skin cancer. UVB rays, however, can immediately blister or burn the skin.

All LLumar window films offers UV protection up to 99% and acts as a "sunscreen" - daily sun protection - which applied once can serve for a length of time. LLumar window films are both of clear and dark types.  

Window films are also cost effective as it reduces the interior temperature of a car by upto 30 degrees, thus lowering cooling costs and helping the car to burn less fuel and emit less CO2 gases.

Eastman Chemical currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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