Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day Highlights: Deckers Outdoor, Liberty Global, KKR Financial Holdings LLC, Vornado Realty Trust and Wal-Mart Stores

Mar 01, 2011, 09:30 ET from Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

CHICAGO, March 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks Equity Research highlights: Deckers Outdoor Corp. (Nasdaq: DECK) as the Bull of the Day and Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTYA) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis KKR Financial Holdings LLC (NYSE: KFN), Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE: VNO) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT).

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Full analysis of all these stocks is available at http://at.zacks.com/?id=2678.

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

Deckers Outdoor Corp.'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 has a healthy balance sheet. The blend of ample liquidity, in-demand inventory and innovative products, positions it to capitalize on future growth opportunities.

Bear of the Day:

We downgrade our recommendation for Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTYA) to Underperform based on its current valuation, which has moved up by nearly 88% in the last year. The stock is currently trading at a significantly higher multiple with respect to several valuation metrics, compared with the S&P 500 average and the industry average.

The fourth quarter 2010 net earnings of Liberty Global fell below the Zacks Consensus Estimate although revenue beat by a slender edge. Significant increases in operating costs and higher interest expenses are the primary reasons for the erosion of the bottom-line.

We remain concerned about the company's Central & Eastern European operations. In the reported quarter, Liberty Global lost 37,000 video customers, mostly in these regions. Additionally, the company has a highly leveraged balance sheet that may result further increase interest expense going forward. We do not find any immediate catalyst for Liberty Global.

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Toys 'R' Us Plans for IPO

Toys 'R' Us, the leading global retailer of dedicated toys and baby products, intends to file for an initial public offering (IPO) in April 2011. Insiders familiar with the event expect it to raise about $800 million from the IPO. Toys 'R' Us had earlier planned to file for an IPO in May 2010, but later discarded the plan.

The strategic move is the latest ploy by the string of private equity firms that owns Toys 'R' Us, to capitalize on their investments by selling their holdings and benefit from the rise in the stock price. In 2005, Toys 'R' Us was acquired by KKR Financial Holdings LLC (NYSE: KFN), Bain Capital and Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE: VNO) for $6.6 billion.

The business of Toys 'R' Us is highly seasonal with fourth quarter accounting for over 80% of the fiscal net income, primarily due to strong holiday sales. In December 2010, Toys 'R' Us reported 5.4% growth in total sales in the U.S. with an exclusive range of toys and an increased number of temporary stores that lured holiday shoppers away from No. 1 toy retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT).

The New Jersey-based toy retailer has reportedly captured more market share from its rivals in 2010 than it has in the last 20 years of its operations. Consequently, management of the company firmly believes that this would be the best possible time to re-launch the IPO to capitalize on its rising popularity. 

New York-based Vornado Realty is one of the largest real estate investment trusts (REIT) in the U.S., engaged in acquiring, owning and leasing office properties, retail space and temperature-controlled logistics and refrigerated warehouses. Besides its properties, the company also has investments in other REITs, industrial buildings and Toys 'R' Us. Vornado Realty currently owns about 32.7% of Toys 'R' Us.

Vornado Realty has a strong asset portfolio in two of the best long-term office markets in the U.S.– New York City and Washington DC. This provides the company a competitive advantage to continually increase rents. The company also has a healthy balance sheet and adequate liquidity.

We maintain our long-term Neutral rating on Vornado Realty, which currently has a Zacks #3 Rank that translates into a short-term 'Hold' recommendation and indicates that the stock is expected to perform in line with the overall U.S. equity market for the next 1–3 months.

Get the full analysis of all these stocks by going to http://at.zacks.com/?id=2649.

About the Bull and Bear of the Day

Every day, the analysts at Zacks Equity Research select two stocks that are likely to outperform (Bull) or underperform (Bear) the markets over the next 3-6 months.

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