Welcome!

News Feed Item

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Nu Skin, Herbalife, USANA Health Sciences, AmTrust Financial Services and Tower Group International

CHICAGO, Jan. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include the Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. (NYSE:NUS-Free Report), Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF-Free Report), USANA Health Sciences Inc. (NYSE:USNA-Free Report), AmTrust Financial Services Inc. (Nasdaq:AFSI-Free Report) and Tower Group International Inc. (Nasdaq:TWGP-Free Report).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Multi-level Marketing Stocks Tumble on China Probe

A new challenge has arisen for multilevel-marketing companies operating in China. The Chinese government has recently begun an investigation on Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. (NYSE:NUS-Free Report) following claims by local newspaper, People's Daily (on Jan 15) that the company was operating an illegal pyramid scheme in the country.

The news has not only affected the share price of Nu Skin but also that of several other companies with the same distribution model as investors fear that the investigation could extend to these direct selling companies as well. Other companies that have lost their market value drastically in the last two trading days include Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF-Free Report) and USANA Health Sciences Inc. (NYSE:USNA-Free Report).

Shares of the skin-care and nutritional products marketer, Nu Skin have lost around 37.9% in the last two trading days while Herbalife and USANA lost 11.3% and 14.0, respectively.

China has become the highest revenue generating nation for most of the foreign based direct selling companies. China alone contributes over 30% to Nu Skin's total revenues, while for USANA and Herbalife, it generates nearly 60% and 11%, respectively of their total sales.

These companies are experiencing huge revenue growth opportunities in the world's second largest economy. This is evident from Herbalife's third-quarter fiscal 2013 results, in which revenues from China soared 77% year over year.

China has always been suspicious toward these direct selling companies. These were earlier banned by the Communist Party in 1998.  Since then, any kind of pyramid selling scheme is illegal in the country. In 2005, the ban was lifted after multilevel-marketing companies changed their agent payment structure.

In near term, it will be wise to stay away from direct selling companies, which have much exposure in the Chinese market, until the investigation yields some positive news.

AmTrust Upped to Strong Buy

On Jan 17, Zacks Investment Research upgraded AmTrust Financial Services Inc. (Nasdaq:AFSI-Free Report) by a notch to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Why the Upgrade?

AmTrust has been experiencing rising earnings estimates on the back of better market trends following the recent approval of its first stock repurchase program since 2007 and improved agency acquisitions.

Earlier this month, the company acquired Insco Dico Group, while it purchased Sagicor Europe Ltd. last month. These acquisitions are expected to be accretive to AmTrust's earnings in 2014 and beyond.

Last week, the company also announced its intention to buy the renewal rights and assets of the commercial lines insurance operations of Tower Group International Inc. (Nasdaq:TWGP-Free Report) for about $125 million. The deal is likely to culminate by mid-2014, upon receipt of regulatory approvals. Moreover, strong capitalization and financial strength reflected by a strong ratings upgrade by A.M. Best are deemed impressive.

Earnings Rationale

Additionally, this specialty property-casualty insurer delivered positive earnings surprises in the last 4 quarters with an average beat of 11.7%. On Nov 5, AmTrust reported third-quarter 2013 operating earnings per share of 83 cents, which outpaced both the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 74 cents and the year-ago quarter number of 64 cents.

Robust year-over-year growth of 58.4% in net earned premiums along with a 58.8% surge in commission and other revenues boosted the top line, margins and bottom line. Despite higher underwriting and acquisition expenses, combined ratio witnessed improvement. Moreover, capital position remained sturdy with appreciated cash position, book value per share and return on equity (ROE).

AmTrust's creditworthiness, prudent risk management, diversified product portfolio and effective capital deployment score well with the ratings agencies and investors.

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

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 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 "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today.

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978. The later formation of the Zacks Rank, a proprietary stock picking system; 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.

Get the full Report on NUS - FREE

Get the full Report on HLF - FREE

Get the full Report on USNA - FREE

Get the full Report on AFSI - FREE

Get the full Report on TWGP - FREE

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts

Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.

Media Contact

Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339

[email protected]

http://www.zacks.com

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
Qosmos has announced new milestones in the detection of encrypted traffic and in protocol signature coverage. Qosmos latest software can accurately classify traffic encrypted with SSL/TLS (e.g., Google, Facebook, WhatsApp), P2P traffic (e.g., BitTorrent, MuTorrent, Vuze), and Skype, while preserving the privacy of communication content. These new classification techniques mean that traffic optimization, policy enforcement, and user experience are largely unaffected by encryption. In respect wit...
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
To leverage Continuous Delivery, enterprises must consider impacts that span functional silos, as well as applications that touch older, slower moving components. Managing the many dependencies can cause slowdowns. See how to achieve continuous delivery in the enterprise.
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
Kubernetes, Docker and containers are changing the world, and how companies are deploying their software and running their infrastructure. With the shift in how applications are built and deployed, new challenges must be solved. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Sebastian Scheele, co-founder of Loodse, will discuss the implications of containerized applications/infrastructures and their impact on the enterprise. In a real world example based on Kubernetes, he will show how to ...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
SYS-CON Events announced today that eCube Systems, a leading provider of middleware modernization, integration, and management solutions, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. eCube Systems offers a family of middleware evolution products and services that maximize return on technology investment by leveraging existing technical equity to meet evolving business needs. ...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addres...
Enterprises have forever faced challenges surrounding the sharing of their intellectual property. Emerging cloud adoption has made it more compelling for enterprises to digitize their content, making them available over a wide variety of devices across the Internet. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Santosh Ahuja, Director of Architecture at Impiger Technologies, will introduce various mechanisms provided by cloud service providers today to manage and share digital content in a secure manner....
As the world moves toward more DevOps and Microservices, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. The Microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, NetFlix and so on, is at the heart of Cloud Foundry - a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS) that is IaaS agnostic and supports vCloud, OpenStack and AWS. Serverless computing is revolutionizing computing. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Raghav...
Fact: storage performance problems have only gotten more complicated, as applications not only have become largely virtualized, but also have moved to cloud-based infrastructures. Storage performance in virtualized environments isn’t just about IOPS anymore. Instead, you need to guarantee performance for individual VMs, helping applications maintain performance as the number of VMs continues to go up in real time. In his session at Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, Product and Marketing at Tintri, wil...