Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day Highlights: Omega Protein, On Assignment, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Apple

Apr 11, 2013, 09:30 ET from Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

CHICAGO, April 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks Equity Research highlights Omega Protein (NYSE: OME) as the Bull of the Day and On Assignment (NYSE: ASGN) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Dell (Nasdaq: DELL), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) and Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL).


Full analysis of all these stocks is available at

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

Omega Protein (NYSE: OME) is getting some new interest from analysts and they are bulking up their estimated earnings. Today, it's the this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock is the Bull of the Day.

When I look the earnings history, I see the company has not had an easy go of it. They have missed in all but one of the last six quarters. That is not the type of thing you want to see, but a change at the top inspired analysts to raises estimates. It was shortly after that change took place that the company reported a positive earnings surprise and saw its Zacks Rank increase from #3 (Hold) to a #2 (Buy).

The jolt to the earnings picture is probably just beginning to be understood. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 moved from $0.56 to $0.74 more or less overnight. The movement was not limited to 2013, so it was not a one-time event. 2014 estimates moved from $0.68 to $0.92. This could be the start of several consecutive earnings estimate increases, which will increase the Zacks Rank for the stock and most likely lead to higher share prices.

Omega Protein is a nutritional ingredient company focusing on the production of Omega-3 fish oil and specialty fish meal products. Omega Protein Corporation was founded in 1913 and is based in Houston, Texas.

Bear of the Day:

On Assignment (NYSE: ASGN) is feeling the impact of a bad jobs number coming after an earnings miss. Today, it's the this Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) stock is the Bear of the Day.

Over the last several quarters, ASGN has been a very reliable company. They beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in five of the last six quarters. The most recent quarter will be discussed below, but let's just say that the stock dropped 11.5% in the session following the report.

After estimates had held still for some time at $1.23, they moved lower after the earnings miss. The 2013 Zacks Consensus Estimate moved to $1.06. At the same time, estimates for 2014 have also come down from $1.43 to $1.31.

On Assignment is a staffing company for higher end jobs. The company recently noted that it was selling its nursing business line, and that was the major reason for estimates turning lower.

 Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

Dell Downgraded to Strong Sell

Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) has witnessed some downward estimate revisions after posting mediocre fourth-quarter 2013 results. The company had decided to go private to save itself from public and legal scrutiny which was affecting its profitability. Moreover, due to the impending recession in Europe, the company is not able to generate much business from that region.

On Feb 20, 2013, Dell reported weak fourth-quarter results with revenues and margins taking a big hit. Revenues across the entire business declined over the past year.

The major challenge at the moment is the cannibalization of its PC/notebook business. Moreover, the company is up against cutthroat competition from Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) and Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), as well as a restricted spending environment. The competition faced by the company in the SMB and server segments is also a concern.

Moreover, Dell's Small & Medium Business (SMB) has not been doing so well in the last few quarters. This segment was down 5.0% in the fourth quarter, mainly attributed to the reduction in the order renewal rate by the SMB client as economic conditions have prompted conservative spending by customers, so they are either deferring their purchases or looking for cheaper alternatives.

Although privatization might have helped Dell move away from public scrutiny, the go-shop period raised new problems for founder Michael Dell. It now appears that the privatization could be delayed because of the interest shown by other parties.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 decreased 5.7% to $1.65 per share over the last 60 days. For 2013, most of the estimates were lowered in the last 60 days, which pulled down the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5.7% to $1.57 per share. Over the last 90 days, estimates for 2014 and 2015 dropped 6.4% and 1.8%, respectively.

Get the full analysis of all these stocks by going to

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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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