CHICAGO, Sept. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com 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 includethe Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (OTC:NSANY-Free Report), Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F-Free Report), Toyota Motors Corp. (NYSE:TM-Free Report) and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (NYSE:HMC-Free Report) and Sealed Air Corporation (NYSE:SEE-Free Report).
Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:
Nissan Debuts 2014 Rogue in U.S.
Yesterday, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (OTC:NSANY-Free Report) made its presence felt both in the U.S. and Europe. While the automaker launched the 2014 version of Nissan Rogue compact utility vehicle in the U.S., it showcased the European version, Nissan X-TRAI, at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
The exterior of 2014 Rogue is revamped with LED headlights, standard LED signature daytime running lights, outside mirrors with integrated turn signals and rear spoiler. The interior comes with EZ FlexO Seating system and Divide 'n Hide Cargo System with 18 adjustable variations between the cargo and occupant areas, along with an option for 3-row/7-passenger seating.
The new Rogue comes with 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 170-horsepower and torque of 175 lb-ft. It offers a fuel efficient solution to the customers by offering 33 mpg on highway, thus, enhancing fuel economy by 18% from the 2013 model.
Nissan launched the vehicle based on rising demand for SUVs globally. SUVs are preferred over other vehicles due to their good exterior size, flexible interior utility and eco-friendliness. Nissan expects this new launch will augment sales volume.
The 2014 Nissan Rogue is the second best-selling model of the automaker in the U.S. The SUV will be available in S, SV and SL models, which will be assembled in Smyrna, Tenn. The vehicle will be commercialized from November with an offer price of $22,490 for the Rogue S front-wheel drive model. The vehicle is expected to be marketed in 190 nations.
Nissan is optimistic about a strong demand for the second-generation Rogue. The automaker announced a special pre-sale reservation program, under which the customers will get a $250 gift card after booking the vehicle.
Nissan also plans to give tough competition to Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F-Free Report), Toyota Motors Corp. (NYSE:TM-Free Report) and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (NYSE:HMC-Free Report) with the new cheaper and fuel efficient SUV. The Rogue offers better mpg compared to its rivals, including the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4.
Nissan currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Sealed Air Upped to Strong Buy
On Sep 10, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Sealed Air Corporation (NYSE:SEE-Free Report) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
Share price and earnings estimates for Sealed Air have been trending upward on the back of strong second-quarter 2013 results reported on Aug 2. Moreover, shares of this specialty packaging service provider to a diverse set of end markets attained its 52-week high of $31.20 on Aug 5. The long-term expected earnings growth rate for this stock is 13.2%.
Sealed Air reported strong second-quarter 2013 results. Earnings of 35 cents per share more than doubled from the year-ago earnings of 16 cents per share and beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 40%. The upbeat results were driven by strong growth in Asia, Middle East, Africa and Turkey (AMAT) and Latin America and modest growth in North America. Furthermore, margin expansion in the Food & Beverage and Institutional & Laundry divisions, benefits from pricing initiatives, and focus on manufacturing and operational improvements added to the performance.
Sealed Air maintained its guidance for fiscal 2013 adjusted earnings in the range of $1.10 to $1.20 per share. Net sales are expected to be within $7.7 to $7.9 billion. Adjusted EBITDA is expected in the range of $1.01 to $1.03 billion.
Sealed Air's Integration & Optimization Program will generate cost savings and benefits of approximately $195 million to $200 million by the end of 2014. The company announced an additional restructuring plan with projected annualized savings of $80 million by 2015. Sealed Air's acquisition of Diversey in 2011 has expanded its presence beyond specialty packaging solutions. This combination is expected to further enhance Sealed Air's earnings per share and free cash flow generation.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 increased 4.3% to $1.21 per share over the last 60 days. For 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate moved north by 4.1% to $1.51 per share.
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