CHICAGO, April 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks Equity Research highlights: Deckers Outdoor (Nasdaq: DECK) as the Bull of the Day and Carnival Corporation (NYSE: CCL) the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBY), Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT).
Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:
Deckers Outdoor's (Nasdaq: DECK) sustained focus on new product introductions and geographic expansion has helped achieved robust growth. The company delivered better-than-expected fourth-quarter 2010 results on the heels of strong demand for the product lines under the UGG and Teva brands.
The international markets provide a significant growth opportunity, and we remain optimistic about the company's incremental sales and earnings potential. Riding on the back of robust results, Deckers remains optimistic about posting strong sales growth, higher margins and attaining cost leverage in the coming years.
Management now expects total revenue growth of 20% in fiscal 2011. The company also portrays a healthy balance sheet. The blend of ample liquidity, in-demand inventory and innovative products, positions it to capitalize on future growth opportunities.
Carnival Corporation's (NYSE: CCL) first quarter 2011 earnings matched the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, surging fuel prices are acting as the major hindrance to the company's growth. Moreover, greater exposure to a sluggish European market, overall inflationary outlook, political disturbances in some geographies and lower near-term Caribbean pricing will be headwinds for the company.
The company also reduced its net revenue yield guidance for fiscal 2011. Thus, we downgrade the stock from Neutral to Underperform.
Our six-month target price of $35.00 equates to about 13.4x our estimate for 2011. The target price implies an expected negative total return of 6.7% over that period.
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Bed, Bath & Beyond Beats
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBY) reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter 2010 results on the heels of double-digit growth in sales and higher margins. Earnings rose 30.2% to $1.12 per share from the year-ago quarter earnings of 86 cents a share, handily surpassing its earnings guidance range of 91 cents to 95 cents per share. Bed Bath & Beyond also outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 97 cents a share. The company has reported eight consecutive quarters of improving trends.
For full fiscal 2010, earnings rose 33.5% to $3.07 per share from the prior fiscal earnings of $2.30 a share, easily outshining its earnings guidance range of $2.86 to $2.90 per share. Bed Bath & Beyond also outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.92 a share.
Bed Bath & Beyond's top line jumped 11.6% to $2,505.0 million from $2,244.0 million in the year-ago quarter. The company has been witnessing increasing trends in comparable-store sales. After falling 0.6% in the second quarter of fiscal 2009, comparable-store sales increased in the subsequent quarters. In the quarter under review, comparable-store sales climbed 8.5%. The company also beats the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,387.0 million.
Decline in coupon expenses coupled with reduction in markdowns as a percentage of net sales, led to a 40 basis-point increase in gross margin to 43.0%. However, this was partially offset by a change in the mix of merchandise sold, which included lower-margin categories. Bed Bath & Beyond's lower payroll and occupancy expenses as a percentage of net sales led to lower selling, general and administrative expenses, which eventually resulted in operating margin expansion of 150 basis points year over year to 18.4%.
Bed Bath & Beyond ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $1,183.6 million compared with $1,096.1 million in the year-ago quarter. Bed Bath & Beyond repurchased $199.0 million worth of shares and ended the quarter with shareholders' equity of $3,931.7 million versus $3,652.9 million in the prior-year quarter.
The company will initiate the new share repurchase program of $2.0 billion in early fiscal 2011, which was authorized in December 2010 after the completion of the current share repurchase authorization.
The company currently operates 982 Bed Bath & Beyond stores in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada, 66 Christmas Tree Shops stores, 45 buybuy BABY stores and 46 stores under the brands of Harmon or Harmon Face Values, thereby bringing the total store count to 1,139. The company added six Bed Bath & Beyond stores, five buybuy BABY stores and one Harmon Face Values store in the reported quarter.
Since February 27, 2011, the company has opened two additional Bed Bath & Beyond store. Bed Bath & Beyond is also a partner in a joint venture, which operates two stores in the Mexico City market under the name "Home & More".
Management's Sales Guidance and Comparable-Store Sales Outlook
Management now expects comparable-store sales to increase in the range of 2% to 4% in the first quarter of fiscal 2011 and in full fiscal 2011.
The company expects comparable-store sales to trigger net sales by a mid single-digit percentage in the first quarter of fiscal 2011 and in full fiscal 2011.
Bed Bath & Beyond expects to deliver first-quarter 2011 earnings per share between 58 cents and 61 cents. Fiscal 2011 earnings per share are expected to increase by 10% to 15%.
Bed Bath & Beyond operates in a highly fragmented industry and faces competition from larger retailers, such as Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) as well as from departmental and specialty stores. Being in such a highly competitive industry, Bed Bath may find it difficult to execute and implement new business strategies, which in turn, will impact its operations adversely.
Currently, Bed Bath & Beyondholds a Zacks #3 Rank, implying a short-term 'Hold' rating on the stock. Besides, the company retains a long-term 'Neutral' recommendation on the stock.
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