The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Limited Brands, BorgWarner, Daimler, Ford Motor and Toyota Motor

Feb 27, 2013, 09:30 ET from Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

CHICAGO, Feb. 27, 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 Limited Brands, Inc. (NYSE: LTD), BorgWarner Inc. (NYSE: BWA), Daimler AG (OTC:DDAIF), Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) and Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM).


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Here are highlights from Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

Will Limited Brands Beat Estimates?

We expect Limited Brands, Inc. (NYSE: LTD), a specialty retailer of women's intimate and other apparel, beauty and personal care products, to beat expectations when it reports fourth-quarter fiscal 2012 results on Feb 27, 2013.

Why a Likely Positive Surprise?

Our proven model shows that Limited Brands is likely to beat earnings because it has the right combination of two key components.       

Positive Zacks ESP: Limited Brands currently has an Earnings ESP (Read:Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method) of +0.58%. This is because the Most Accurate Estimate stands at $1.74, while the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at $1.73.

Zacks Rank #3 (Hold): Note that stocks with Zacks Ranks of #1, #2 and #3 have a significantly higher chance of beating earnings estimates. The sell-rated stocks (Zacks Rank #4 and #5) should never be considered going into an earnings announcement.

The combination of Limited Brands' Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and +0.58% ESP make us very confident regarding a positive earnings beat on Feb 27.

What is Driving the Better Than Expected Earnings?

Limited Brands' sustained focus on cost containment, inventory management, and merchandise initiatives has kept it afloat in a sluggish consumer environment. Management also expects gross margin to improve, primarily driven by leverage in buying and occupancy expense, and the sale of third-party apparel sourcing business in Nov 2011.

Limited Brands seeks to expand aggressively in Canada and internationally. The stores are generating sales volumes, nearly two and a half times more than the U.S. average.

The positive trend is seen in the trailing four-quarter average surprise of 3.4%.

BorgWarner Upgrades Tech for Mercedes

BorgWarner Inc. (NYSE: BWA) announced that its latest turbocharging technology will be deployed in the new generation medium-duty engines of Daimler AG's (OTC:DDAIF) Mercedes-Benz. This advanced technology will help the engine to maintain emissions standards together with improving performance and fuel efficiency.

The new OM 934 and OM 936 engines will be replacing the 900 series engines and will be used in a wide range of on-highway applications, including medium-duty trucks and urban buses. The engines will be equipped with BorgWarner's latest B-series turbocharging technology for standard power outputs and regulated two-stage (R2S) turbocharger for higher outputs.

The company will also supply advanced fans and fan drives for this new engine series. Leveraging BorgWarner's technology, the Mercedes-Benz medium-duty engine provides powerful and economical solutions for various applications. This provides durability and reliability to the engine even in harsh commercial diesel powertrain environments.

According to the Euro VI emissions standards, the emission of nitrogen oxides from engines should reduce by 80%. The latest technologies of BorgWarner assist in maintaining the standards and ensure performance of the vehicle. They represent a state-of-art powertrain solutions to OEMs for on-and off-highway applications.

BorgWarner is a leading manufacturer of powertrain products for the world's major automakers. The company's products are capable of improving vehicle performance and stability meeting fuel-efficiency and emission standards. The company's largest customers include Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) and Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM). It currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

BorgWarner posted a 2.5% decrease in profits to $1.16 per share (excluding non-recurring items) in the fourth quarter of 2012 from $1.19 in the same quarter of 2011. However, EPS in the quarter surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 4 cents.

Revenues dipped 3.1% to $1.72 billion, but were ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.69 billion. Global light vehicle production inched up 1%, while production in Europe, which comprises over half of the company's sales, declined 11%.

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