The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Tesla Motors, Ford's, Nordstrom, Hanesbrands and Best Buy

Nov 14, 2013, 09:30 ET from Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

CHICAGO, Nov. 14, 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 the Tesla Motors (Nasdaq: TSLA-Free Report), Ford's (NYSE: F-Free Report), Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN-Free Report), Hanesbrands Inc. (NYSE: HBI-Free Report) and Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE: BBY-Free Report).


Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

Tesla Motors to Build Pickup Truck?

Although shares of Tesla Motors (Nasdaq: TSLA-Free Report) have slumped in recent sessions, investor interest in the stock remains sky-high. And thanks to the latest comments from Tesla's CEO Elon Musk, we could see even more demand for TSLA shares by retail investors.

This is because at a Business Insider IGNITION event in New York City on Tuesday, Musk declared that Tesla was planning on making a truck modeled off of Ford's (NYSE: F-Free Report)ultra-popular F-Series. In order words, Musk and Tesla are looking at getting into pickup trucks for one of the next rounds of growth for this impressive company.

The comment came after Elon was asked a question regarding whether Tesla would someday make an electric fleet of vehicles for major delivery companies. Elon rejected this notion, declaring that the market was too small and that the focus would be on pickup trucks instead.


The first Tesla Pickup is likely still at least five years away based on Musk's own admission in the interview. However, this is truly a huge market and the potential for an electric truck is enormous.

After all, many trucks get little in gas mileage so an electric vehicle could produce plenty of savings from this look. Current F-150s have a combined MPG of between 13-17, producing an average fuel cost of between $2,900-$3,800 year, according to fuel

Lithium-ion batteries are still quite expensive though, so it appears unlikely that Tesla will be able to compete with lower-end versions of the F-150 for this huge market. Current MSRPs for the 'limited' edition of the F-150 are coming in above $50,000 though, so Tesla might be able to gain some market share in this segment down the road.

Obviously, it will depend on pricing and if a pickup can attract the same level of fan interest that we have seen in the car market for Tesla products. Also, it is important to remember that this may be quite a ways in the future, and that Tesla might focus on cheaper cars before pivoting to the pickup truck market later.

Bottom Line

While this is pretty much just initial speculation, the preliminary discussion of a Tesla Pickup could be very exciting for the long term. Investors and customers have already shown an incredible level of interest in the company, and it stands to reason that a pickup truck might be another great market for TSLA to tap into in the near future.

In terms of an investment right now, TSLA has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), while Ford has a top Zacks Rank of 1. Additionally, the automotive-domestic industry is ranked in the top five percent right now, so this could be an interesting time to scoop up some automotive shares, or to take another look at TSLA following this announcement while it is still well-off from recent highs.

Will Nordstrom (JWN) Surprise This Earnings Season?

Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN-Free Report) is set to report third-quarter fiscal 2013 results on Nov 14. Last quarter, it posted a 5.7% positive surprise. Let us see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Growth Factors in the Past Quarter

The company's impressive merchandise improvement strategies such as customer loyalty and Fashion Reward programs facilitated the mid-single-digit top-line growth in the past quarter. Moreover, same-store sales rose 4.4% over the year-ago quarter. Furthermore, we remain impressed with the company's sustained focus on driving merchandise margins and effective cost management, which helped it to post strong top and bottom-line results.

Earnings Whispers?

Our proven model does not conclusively project Nordstrom as likely to beat earnings this quarter. A stock needs to have both positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1, 2 or 3 to surpass earnings estimates. However, that is not the case here due to the following factors:

Zacks ESP: ESP for Nordstrom is 0.00% since the Most Accurate estimate stands at 66 cents per share, which is in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Zacks #3 Rank (Hold): Nordstrom's Zacks Rank #3 increases the predictive power of ESP. However, we also need to have a positive ESP to be confident of an earnings surprise call. We caution against stocks with Zacks Rank #4 and 5 (Sell-rated stocks) going into earnings announcement, especially when the company is undergoing negative estimate revisions.

Other Stocks to Consider

Nordstrom is not the only firm we are looking up to this earnings season. Our model shows that the following stocks have the right combination to post an earnings beat:

Hanesbrands Inc. (NYSE: HBI-Free Report) with Earnings ESP of +1.11% and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE: BBY-Free Report) with Earnings ESP of +9.09% and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

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