Welcome!

News Feed Item

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Automatic Data Processing, Quanta Services, Fluor, AECOM Technology and General Motors

CHICAGO, Feb. 13, 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 Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (Nasdaq:ADP-Free Report), Quanta Services, Inc. (NYSE:PWR-Free Report), Fluor Corp. (NYSE:FLR-Free Report), AECOM Technology Corp. (NYSE:ACM-Free Report) and General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM-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 Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

Has Construction Stalled? 3 Solid Choices

Construction spending increased by a mere 0.1% in December 2013, sharply lower than the 0.8% gain for the earlier month. This is significantly lower than the gains made last year and, at first glance, seems to suggest that activity in this sector seems to be slowing down.

Engine of Employment

The fact that construction is one of the most crucial sectors for the economy was borne out once again by this month's employment report. Construction added the highest number of jobs in January. The increase of 48,000 easily offset the decline of 22,000 in December.

Residential and nonresidential building added 13,000 and 8,000 jobs respectively. Meanwhile nonspecialty trade conductors added 13,000 jobs. A report from Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (Nasdaq:ADP-Free Report), released a few days earlier had estimated that 25,000 jobs were added by private construction.

The Prospects of Non-Residential Spending

For 2013, the value of construction in the U.S. increased 4.8%. Spending on private construction increased by 8.5% for the year. The major contributor to private sector investment was residential construction, which grew by 18%. On the other hand, non-residential construction declined by 0.4% during the period.

However, the prospects in this sector are far from gloomy. Reacting to the data, Ken Simonson, chief economist with the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) said, "Residential construction ended on a strong note in 2013 and should remain positive for at least the next several months. Meanwhile private non-residential spending appears to be poised for a rebound."

Lagged but Sustainable Demand

Growth in investments on private non-residential construction usually lags behind the economy has a whole.  A certain amount of growth has occurred in this area over the couple of years but there is more room for growth. Incidentally, a lot of this growth has happened in the energy and power sectors.

The boom in the oil and gas sector could lead to an increase in private non-residential construction in the current year. This will include manufacturing plants, pipelines, railroads and natural gas fuelling stations.

At the same time, communities located in areas where such activities are conducted can expect more housing, hotels and retail construction. According to the AGC, private non-residential spending should grow between 6 to 10% in 2014.

Below we present three companies operating in the non-residential construction domain with a diverse set of interests and capabilities, each of which also have a good Zacks Rank.

Quanta Services, Inc.

Quanta Services, Inc. (NYSE:PWR-Free Report) provides infrastructure solutions, focusing on the natural gas and oil pipeline and electric power sectors. The company offers specialty contracting services, including design, installation and maintenance services.

Quanta Services, Inc, holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and has expected earnings growth of 13.60%. The forward price-to-earnings ratios (P/E) for the current financial year (F1) is relatively high at 17.55.

Fluor Corporation

Fluor Corp. (NYSE:FLR-Free Report) provides professional services, including engineering, procurement, construction and maintenance. The company also offers project management services worldwide, across such diverse domains as oil and gas, petrochemicals and manufacturing.  

Currently the company holds a Zacks Rank #2(Buy) and has expected earnings growth of 9.60%. It has a P/E (F1) of 17.59.

AECOM Technology Corporation                        

Our third choice is AECOM Technology Corp. (NYSE:ACM-Free Report). The company offers technical and management services worldwide to governments as well as private clients. It is a provider of planning, consulting and design services for infrastructure, commercial housing, power and utility facilities.

Besides a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), AECOM Technology Corporation has expected earnings growth of 5.90%. It has a relatively higher P/E (F1) of 11.33.

Recently released growth numbers indicate that the economy is now set for better times. This is being supported by repeated reductions of the Fed stimulus package. As the economy continues to pick up steam, these stock picks are in a position to leverage the gains accruing to the construction sector.

Record Sales for GM in China

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM-Free Report) and its joint ventures in China recorded a 12% year-over-year increase in sales in the nation in Jan 2014, taking the figure to 348,061 vehicles. The improvement was mainly attributable to strong domestic sales at Shanghai GM and SAIC-GM-Wuling and record high performance by the Buick and Wuling brands.

Sales at Shanghai GM rose 11.4% to 171,856 vehicles in China. Sales by SAIC-GM-Wuling stood at 172,852 vehicles, up 13.9% year over year. However, FAW-GM's products' demand in China declined 26.1% year over year to 3,319 vehicles.

GM offers a wide range of vehicles and brands in China. The different brands for passenger cars and commercial vehicles are Baojun, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Jiefang, Opel and Wuling.

Buick brand's sales in China improved 15.7% to 100,127 units in Jan 2014. The improvement was driven by a 44.2% increase in the combined sales of Excelle XT and GT vehicles to 34,176 units. Vehicles sales of the GL8 family surged 114.8% to 11,973 units. Encore SUV sales went up 14.9% to stand at 9,052 units.

Sales of the Cadillac luxury vehicle brand witnessed a phenomenal 265.7% rise to 5,741 units in Jan 2014. Sales benefited from a 96.1% increase in SRX sales and the launch of XTS.

Sales of Wuling increased 13.2% to 163,886 units in the month. The best selling model under the brand was the Hong Guang family, which recorded a 69.9% rise in sales. Sales of Baojun grew 27.8% to 8,966 units.

However, sales of Chevrolet declined a marginal 0.2%, bringing the number to 65,988 units. Cruze sales were 22,621 units and Sail family sales stood at 21,989 units.

GM is a leading global automotive company. The company has twelve joint ventures and two wholly owned foreign enterprises in China and employs around 58,000 workers. It currently holds a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

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 ADP - FREE

Get the full Report on PWR - FREE

Get the full Report on FLR - FREE

Get the full Report on ACM - FREE

Get the full Report on GM - 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
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Michael Burley, a Senior Business Development Executive in IT Services at NetApp, described how NetApp designed a three-year program of work to migrate 25PB of a major telco's enterprise data to a new STaaS platform, and then secured a long-term contract to manage and operate the platform. This significant program blended the best of NetApp’s solutions and services capabilities to enable this telco’s successful adoption of private cloud storage and launching ...
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex ...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve f...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, discussed how given the magnitude of today's application ...
The dynamic nature of the cloud means that change is a constant when it comes to modern cloud-based infrastructure. Delivering modern applications to end users, therefore, is a constantly shifting challenge. Delivery automation helps IT Ops teams ensure that apps are providing an optimal end user experience over hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud environments, no matter what the current state of the infrastructure is. To employ a delivery automation strategy that reflects your business rules, making r...
As you move to the cloud, your network should be efficient, secure, and easy to manage. An enterprise adopting a hybrid or public cloud needs systems and tools that provide: Agility: ability to deliver applications and services faster, even in complex hybrid environments Easier manageability: enable reliable connectivity with complete oversight as the data center network evolves Greater efficiency: eliminate wasted effort while reducing errors and optimize asset utilization Security: imple...
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning 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 busin...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.