CHICAGO, Feb. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks Equity Research highlights: Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) as the Bull of the Day and Luminex Corp. (Nasdaq: LMNX) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), News Corporation (Nasdaq: NWSA) and Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX).
Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) follows a strong cost-reduction strategy. The company expects to grow through meaningful acquisitions and increased capital expenditures.
Its Building Efficiency segment has recovered based on higher sales from Global workplace solutions. Its profit exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the most recent quarter.
These factors have led the company to raise its sales and earnings forecast for full year 2011. Thus, we have upgraded our recommendation on the stock from Neutral to Outperform and set a target price of $46.
We reiterate our Underperform recommendation on Luminex Corp. (Nasdaq: LMNX). Earnings for fourth quarter and fiscal 2010 beat the Zacks Consensus Estimates, but profit plummeted year-over-year despite an increase in revenues.
Luminex operates in the highly competitive life sciences industry, which is characterized by rapid and continuous technological innovation. If Luminex is unable to respond to the changing requirements then its survival in the industry will be in question.
Moreover, demand for research and diagnostics applications is expected to remain weak given the lingering economic softness, thereby affecting the company's top line. Our $18 price target is based on 62.1x our fiscal 2011 earnings estimate.
The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) recently posted first-quarter 2011 results that beat the Zacks Consensus. The quarterly earnings of 68 cents a share outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 56 cents, and surged 45% from 47 cents earned in the prior-year quarter.
The increase in the bottom line was powered by growth across Media Networks, Studio Entertainment, Parks and Resorts and Consumer Products. Following the better-than-expected results a positive sentiment may be palpable among the analysts and we could witness a rise in the Zacks Consensus Estimates.
Total revenue in the quarter jumped by 10% to $10,716 million from the year-ago quarter, and also outdid the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $10,505 million. Total segment operating income soared 40% to $2,208 million.
Other Financial Details
During the quarter, Disney generated negative free cash flows of $94 million. The company ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $3,039 million, total borrowings of $12,755 million and shareholders' equity of $37,797 million, excluding a non-controlling interest of $1,942 million. Capital expenditures in the quarter were $1,213 million.
Walt Disney is one of the world's leading diversified entertainment companies. Moreover, the company commands a formidable portfolio of globally recognized brands, such as the namesake brand Walt Disney, ABC, ESPN, and Marvel Entertainment.
These renowned brands offer a strong competitive edge to the company and bolster its well-established position in the market against major players like News Corporation (Nasdaq: NWSA) and Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX).
Currently, we have a long-term Neutral rating on the stock. Moreover, Disney holds a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating.
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.
About the Analyst Blog
Updated throughout every trading day, the Analyst Blog provides analysis from Zacks Equity Research about the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.
About Zacks Equity Research
Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.
Continuous analyst coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.
Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leonard Zacks. As a PhD in mathematics Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment
Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=4582.
Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.