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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Cisco Systems, Whole Foods Market, Gentex, Oshkosh and Magna

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 Cisco Systems (Nasdaq:CSCO-Free Report), Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq:WFM-Free Report), Gentex Corp (Nasdaq:GNTX-Free Report), Oshkosh Corp (NYSE:OSK-Free Report) and Magna (NYSE:MGA-Free Report).

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Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

Cisco Beats Earnings, but Some Comps Down

Tech bellwether and network solutions leader Cisco Systems (Nasdaq:CSCO-Free Report) reported fiscal 2nd quarter earnings after the bell Wednesday. Revenues of $11.16 billion in topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $11049 million, while earnings per share (after stock-based compensation and before non-recurring items) was 42 cents per share, beating the Zacks estimate by a penny.

Cash flow form operations grew frown $2.6 billion in the company's fiscal Q1 (ended October 2013) to $2.9 billion, which is good, but year over year GAAP revenue was down close to 8% while Net Income was down 54%. Cisco had made many large acquisitions to help forge new growth in the future over the past year, but it looks like investors will have to wait a bit to see the monetization of new businesses WhipTail Technologies, Collaborate.com and Insieme Networks.

Cisco managed to bump up its quarterly dividend yield from 17 cents to 19 cents per share, and also bought back $4 billion worth of stock for a total return to shareholders of $4.9 billion. Just the company's way of saying "thank you for your patience," I suppose.

No analysts had made any upward or downward estimate revisions to Cisco estimates in the last two months, for either the quarter just reported, the current Q3, fiscal 2014 or fiscal 2015. Apparently everyone is in "wait and see" mode when it comes to Cisco's "Next Generation of IT." At least the game-plan is in place, however; acquisitions this massive usually take time to turn into big growth.

Whole Foods Cuts Prices, Earnings & Revenues Slump

Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq:WFM-Free Report) reported earnings after the bell today, posting an EPS of $0.42 missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.44.  On the Revenue front, Whole Foods also missed the Zacks Consensus Revenue Estimate of $4.3 billion, by posting revenues of $4.24 billion.  

There was not much excitement going into the earnings announcement because of the recent decrease of guidance with their Same Store Sales (SSS), and total sales growth for 2014.  SSS was revised from 6.5%-8% for 2014 to 5.5%-6.5%, while sales growth was reduced from 12%-14% for 2014 to 11%-12%.  These revisions caused the street to lower expectations for both 2014 and 2015 (before this earnings announcement).

Unfortunately for Whole Foods, analysts were intensely looking at SSS, which came in below the expected 5.5% growth by posting 5.4% growth, extending the continued deteriorating SSS comps another quarter. Moreover, sales growth year over year only grew 9.96%, while the street was expecting 11% growth.  The misses on both major benchmarks will negatively impact the stock price.  

Over the past quarter Whole Foods was cutting prices due to increased competition by companies entering the Organic & Natural food business.

Dumps Like a Truck... Earnings Like WHAT?!

Early February in Chicago is about two things for me; Cold weather and the Auto Show. I remember going as a kid and coming back with a sweet Lamborghini Diablo poster I stuck up on my wall and dreamed about. Just like the one Leo crawled into in "Wolf of Wall Street."  The showstopper for me was BMWs i8 electric supercar beast. It's like looking into the future, but wait, the future is here in July? All the glitz, glamour, and Carnauba wax got me thinking. Automakers have made strides toward energy efficiency over the last several years, what's going on with the trucking business? Are these efficient motor designs making their way over the commercial end?

Maybe it is actually the other way around. Maybe the trucking industry made changes years ago and the consumer segment is just catching on. Honestly, I didn't have a great understanding of the trucking biz so I dug in a little bit. Little did I know I would find some of the most exciting earnings stories I've heard in a long time. Couple that with the best price and consensus chart I have ever seen and you've got one heck of story.

An interesting feature in new high-end import cars is the "Night vision" option. Think infrared googles only the image appears on your in-dash screen. This can help drivers avoid hitting that deer around the corner in the dark or avoid the nasty pothole on Ashland Ave (Good luck!). Turns out that trucks have had these kinds of systems for years. Gentex Corp (Nasdaq:GNTX-Free Report) develops and markets electro-optic products, Night Vision Safety automatic dimming mirrors, and a whole line of products that help keep the roads safer at night. The earnings story is great with recent upside revisions and next year growth numbers through the roof. This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock looks good fundamentally. The price and consensus chart gives me a warm fuzzy feeling about this company and certainly puts it on my radar.

I didn't miss the boat and I'll get another shot at it. Right now we are trading below the 25x5 which means I can wait. Also, I have an obvious price level to enter at right around $30. Classic example of a breakout that comes back down to retest. See that wick that came down to touch $30 at the end of January? That tells me $30 is right around the corner again, just be patient. Aside from that, the stochastic buy was right on but I'm not looking for a move from $30.50 to topside resistance at the 25x5 just two bucks away. I'm a momentum wave rider and the surf is not up right now.

At the Jeep display, a professional driver took willing participants up a grade that looked over 45 degrees steep. Jeep does a great job of promoting how rugged and reliable their trucks are. The commercial equivalent of this is Oshkosh Corp (NYSE:OSK-Free Report). I thought they made kids overalls, but apparently that's a different company. OSK manufactures specialty access equipment, fire, emergency and military vehicles and vehicle bodies.  Earnings have been looking up for this company as well, although not as high as the Jeep headlights I saw. OSK is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) with solid fundamentals and a great name in the commercial vehicle market.

The chart is setting up nicely. A big spike in late January has already cleared the way above $58. We have the stochastics oversold and crossing bullish as the stock finds support at the 25x5. I wouldn't call it textbook perfection, but we are getting there. A keen eye could put a stop in on the south side of $50 and have a nice risk/reward situation.

I know what you're all thinking by now. Where's this "best price and consensus chart I have ever seen?" That belongs to Magna (NYSE:MGA-Free Report). Unfortunately I don't have a fun anecdote from my night at the show to give as an intro on this one. Magna is an independent supplier of OE components, assemblies, modules and systems for cars and light trucks. It's in the same industry that is in the Top 26% of the Zacks Industry Rank as the other two stocks mentioned. The fundamental rank for us here is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Now totally eliminate the P&C from your head. This stock could break out tomorrow. Above the 25x5, got a stochastic buy from oversold three days ago at $83, and we are approaching a double top with support beneath us at $84-$85. If it takes out the previous high and sees $90 then the stock goes to $100. The pullback we had the beginning of February helped to establish a new bullish support trend line down through the December lows and upwards to the heavens. Earnings are slated for March 3rd and could be the catalyst to push this to the triple digits.

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

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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.

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