Welcome!

News Feed Item

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Northrup Grumman, CNO Financial, Almost Family, Baker Hughes and Emerge Energy Services

CHICAGO, Feb. 11, 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 Northrup Grumman (NYSE:NOC-Free Report), CNO Financial (NYSE:CNO-Free Report), Almost Family, Inc. (Nasdaq:AFAM-Free Report), Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE:BHI-Free Report) and Emerge Energy Services LP (NYSE:EMES-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 Monday's Analyst Blog:

Stock Leadership Changed in February

Is It Time to Buy in Early February?   

Based on recent ADP jobs and weekly February unemployment claims data and ISM and PMI numbers, yes. Based on Federal non-farm payroll numbers from Dec and Jan, there is some worry.  

After a two-year budget deal passed through DC, we got further onboard for a rise in U.S. stocks under an optimistic forward 2014 earnings outlook…if DC games stay sidelined.  

Markets are fairly priced to full year 2014.  Earnings targets need to be met.

Our Tactical Sense of Stock Market Timing Tied to Valuations

This market's valuations have been ignored.  

Bearish sages will keep pointing at them from time to time.  Still other bearish sages will point at a rising 10-year Treasury rate or any volatility seen there.  

Bullish sages think there is more space for the cycle to run.  Any failure in DC needs to be seen as a very, very real roadblock. The 10-year is actually declining at the moment, supporting stocks.  

Zacks February Sector/Industry/Company Telescope

February saw sector leadership shift.  New leaders are Industrials, Finance, Health Care, and Info Tech.  The Consumer Discretionary sector is not leading the way for the first time in several months.

(1) Industrials got a big Upgrade to Very Attractive.  Aerospace & Defense industry is the Most Attractive, followed by Construction-Building Services, Airlines, Business Services, and Machinery-Electrical.  It looks like air travel, and business and construction services are prospering.   The only loser is Machinery.

Company to look at: Northrup Grumman (NYSE:NOC-Free Report)

(2) Financials is a sector Upgraded to a Very Attractive sector in February.  Look for M&A activity to keep Investment Banking & Brokering moving.  Insurance remains Attractive.  Finance and Real Estate are at Market Weight.  The loser is Banks-Major with fines and more regulations.

Company to look at: CNO Financial (NYSE:CNO-Free Report)

(3) Health Care is a solid Market Performer.  Drugs are Attractive here.

Company to look at: Almost Family, Inc. (Nasdaq:AFAM-Free Report)

(4) Info Tech Stayed a Market Weight.  There is strength in Telco equipment and Computer Software-Services to take a look into.  Semis are losers, as are Misc-Tech and Electronics.

(5) Utilities get an upgrade to Market Weight in February.  It has been a cold winter.  The sale of natural gas heating led to some upgrades by analysts.

(6) Materials get a downgrade to Market Weight.  Steel, Container & Glass, Chemical, and Building Products – Construction Materials hold up.

(7) Consumer Discretionary is downgraded to an Underperform sector.  The only industries that held up were Leisure Services, Publishing, and Home Furnishing - Appliances.  This is a major change.  It remains to be seen if this trend stays put after the completion of earnings season.  This could be related to stale Zacks Rankings.

(8) Energy is more or less static at a slight Underperform.  The Energy-Alternate Sources, in particular Solar, continues to be the bright spot.

(9) Consumer Staples now a deep Underperform Sector.  The only major Upgrade and exception was a Very Attractive rating on Agri-business.  Five of seven industries in Very Unattractive.  That's an all-time low.

U.S. Drilling Rig Count Down by 14

In its weekly release, Houston-based oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE:BHI-Free Report) reported a fall in the U.S. rig count (number of rigs searching for oil and gas in the country). This downside can be traced back to a decrease in the tally of both oil and gas-directed rigs.

The Baker Hughes' data, issued since 1944, acts as an important yardstick for energy service providers in gauging the overall business environment of the oil and gas industry.

Analysis of the Data

Weekly Summary: Rigs engaged in exploration and production in the U.S. totaled 1,771 for the week ended Feb 7, 2014. This was down by 814 from the previous week's rig count.

The current nationwide rig count is more than double the lowest level reached in recent years (876 in the week ended Jun 12, 2009) and is above the prior-year level of 1,759. It rose to a 22-year high in 2008, peaking at 2,031 in the weeks ending Aug 29 and Sep 12.

Rigs engaged in land operations descended by 12 to 1,696, offshore drilling shrunk by 3 to 54, while inland waters activity increased by 1 to 21 units, respectively.

Natural Gas Rig Count: The natural gas rig count – which last year slumped to its lowest point since Jun 1995 – decreased to 351 (7 rigs less than the previous week). Despite the weekly fall, the number of gas-directed rigs is down almost 57% from its peak of 811, achieved in 2012.

In fact, the current natural gas rig count is 78% below its all-time high of 1,606 reached in late summer 2008. In the year-ago period, there were 425 active natural gas rigs.

Oil Rig Count: The oil rig count – that rocketed to a 25-year high of 1,432 in Aug 2012 – fell by 6 to 1,416. It has recovered strongly from a low of 179 in Jun 2009, rising 7.9 times. The current tally is also above the previous year's rig count of 1,330.

Miscellaneous Rig Count: The miscellaneous rig count (primarily drilling for geothermal energy) at 4 was down by 1 from the previous week.

Rig Count by Type: The number of vertical drilling rigs fell by 3 to 389, while the horizontal/directional rig count (encompassing new drilling technology that has the ability to drill and extract gas from dense rock formations, also known as shale formations) decreased by 11 to 1,382.

Gulf of Mexico (GoM): The GoM rig count was fell by 3 from its week-ago levels to 54.

Conclusion

A Key Barometer of Drilling Activity: An increase or decrease in the Baker Hughes rotary rig count heavily weighs on the demand for energy services – drilling, completion, production etc. However, our preferred pick in this group is Emerge Energy Services LP (NYSE:EMES-Free Report). The Southlake, Texas-based firm – carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) – has a solid secular growth story with potential to rise from the current level.

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 NOC - FREE 
Get the full Report on CNO - FREE 
Get the full Report on AFAM - FREE 
Get the full Report on BHI - FREE 
Get the full Report on EMES - 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
Sanjeev Sharma Joins November 11-13, 2018 @DevOpsSummit at @CloudEXPO New York Faculty. Sanjeev Sharma is an internationally known DevOps and Cloud Transformation thought leader, technology executive, and author. Sanjeev's industry experience includes tenures as CTO, Technical Sales leader, and Cloud Architect leader. As an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Sanjeev is recognized at the highest levels of IBM's core of technical leaders.
As Cybric's Chief Technology Officer, Mike D. Kail is responsible for the strategic vision and technical direction of the platform. Prior to founding Cybric, Mike was Yahoo's CIO and SVP of Infrastructure, where he led the IT and Data Center functions for the company. He has more than 24 years of IT Operations experience with a focus on highly-scalable architectures.
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
We are seeing a major migration of enterprises applications to the cloud. As cloud and business use of real time applications accelerate, legacy networks are no longer able to architecturally support cloud adoption and deliver the performance and security required by highly distributed enterprises. These outdated solutions have become more costly and complicated to implement, install, manage, and maintain.SD-WAN offers unlimited capabilities for accessing the benefits of the cloud and Internet. ...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
Founded in 2000, Chetu Inc. is a global provider of customized software development solutions and IT staff augmentation services for software technology providers. By providing clients with unparalleled niche technology expertise and industry experience, Chetu has become the premiere long-term, back-end software development partner for start-ups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies. Chetu is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, with thirteen offices throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Dez Blanchfield joined the faculty of CloudEXPO's "10-Year Anniversary Event" which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City. Dez is a strategic leader in business and digital transformation with 25 years of experience in the IT and telecommunications industries developing strategies and implementing business initiatives. He has a breadth of expertise spanning technologies such as cloud computing, big data and analytics, cognitive computing, m...
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory?
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
HyperConvergence came to market with the objective of being simple, flexible and to help drive down operating expenses. It reduced the footprint by bundling the compute/storage/network into one box. This brought a new set of challenges as the HyperConverged vendors are very focused on their own proprietary building blocks. If you want to scale in a certain way, let's say you identified a need for more storage and want to add a device that is not sold by the HyperConverged vendor, forget about it...
One of the biggest challenges with adopting a DevOps mentality is: new applications are easily adapted to cloud-native, microservice-based, or containerized architectures - they can be built for them - but old applications need complex refactoring. On the other hand, these new technologies can require relearning or adapting new, oftentimes more complex, methodologies and tools to be ready for production. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, Solutions Marketi...
At the keynote this morning we spoke about the value proposition of Nutanix, of having a DevOps culture and a mindset, and the business outcomes of achieving agility and scale, which everybody here is trying to accomplish," noted Mark Lavi, DevOps Solution Architect at Nutanix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.