CHICAGO, March 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks Equity Research highlights: Helmerich & Payne (NYSE: HP) as the Bull of the Day and Carnival Corporation (NYSE: CCL) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis Family Dollar Stores Inc. (NYSE: FDO), Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and Dollar General Corporation (NYSE: DG).
Full analysis of all these stocks is available at http://at.zacks.com/?id=2678.
Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:
With the industry requiring increasingly complex well designs, there is high demand for modern, technologically sophisticated rigs. Given its newest and most technologically-advanced land rig fleet, Helmerich & Payne (NYSE: HP) is well positioned to take advantage of this scenario, while continuing to gain market share and adding value for its shareholders and customers.
A relatively conservative financial policy and a high quality client base are other positives in the Helmerich & Payne story. Buoyed by these factors, we are upgrading the company's shares to Outperform from Neutral.
We believe Helmerich & Payne is well positioned going forward and consider it an attractive investment. This is reflected in our Outperform recommendation and the $76 price objective, which is based on a 2010 P/E multiple of 19.2X.
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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Family Dollar Reports In-Line
Family Dollar Stores Inc. (NYSE: FDO) recently posted second-quarter 2011 results. The quarterly earnings of 98 cents a share came in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate, but jumped 21% from 81 cents earned in the prior-year quarter due to healthy sales witnessed in the Consumable and Seasonal categories.
The company had earlier guided earnings in the range of 97 cents to 98 cents for the quarter under review. The Zacks Consensus Estimate rose by 2 cents prior to the earnings release, resulting from 12 out of 24 analysts covering the stock revising their estimates upwards, and 2 analysts lowering their estimates in the last 30 days.
Management now expects third-quarter 2011 earnings between 92 cents and 97 cents, and fiscal 2011 earnings between $3.13 and $3.23. The current Zacks Consensus Estimates for the third quarter and fiscal 2011 are 94 cents and $3.12 per share.
We could witness a correction in the Zacks Consensus Estimates in the coming days with analysts tweaking their estimates to better align with the company's guidance range. The shares of Family Dollar climbed 2% or $1.05 to $53.45 in pre-market trading.
We observe that Family Dollar's strategic initiatives to improve merchandising and store operations have helped grow the top and bottom lines.
The operator of self-service retail discount store chains posted an 8.3% increase in revenue to $2,263.2 million from the prior-year quarter, and reflected sales growth registered across Consumables categories (up 10.7%), Seasonal and Electronics (up 8%), Home Products (up 3%), and Apparel and Accessories (up 2.1%). Total revenue also came in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.
Family Dollar, which faces stiff competition from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and Dollar General Corporation (NYSE: DG), forecasts fiscal 2011 net sales to jump by 8% to 10%. We believe effective price and inventory management, private label offering, expanded operating hours and merchandise initiatives should drive sales trends.
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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