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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Under Armour, CECO Environmental, PerkinElmer, Sharps Compliance and Rentech

CHICAGO, March 21, 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 Under Armour Inc. (NYSE:UA-Free Report), CECO Environmental Corp. (Nasdaq:CECE-Free Report), PerkinElmer Inc. (NYSE:PKI-Free Report), Sharps Compliance Corp (Nasdaq:SMED-Free Report) and Rentech, Inc. (Nasdaq:RTK-Free Report).

Zacks Investment Research, Inc., www.zacks.com.

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

Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

Under Armour: a Promising Bet

Under Armour Inc. (NYSE:UA-Free Report) could prove to be a profitable bet for investors given the rise in the company's stock price since it came up with outstanding fourth quarter and full year 2013 earnings. Additionally, the company has impressed investors by extending the sponsorship deal with U.S. Speedskating, expanding in Brazil and announcing a stock split.

Since the earnings release (Jan 30, 2014), the stock has garnered a return of nearly 16.5%. Recently, the stock hit a 52-week high of $124.79 on March 19, 2014, driven by the announcement of its two-for-one stock split, which was the second since the sports apparel retailer went public in Nov 2005. The first stock split took place in July 2012.

The company's board of directors hinted that the additional shares in the form of a stock dividend will be distributed on April 14, 2014 to stakeholders of record on March 28, 2014. The principal aim behind the company's stock split is to make its shares affordable to small retail investors.

Moreover, Under Armor clinched a strategic deal with U.S. Speedskating after the fiasco at the Sochi Olympics, in which the company's state-of-the-art suits failed to meet expectations. With the Olympics controversy, it seemed that the company was heading towards a public relations debacle.

Instead, it made an impressive turnaround by renewing its contract with U.S. Speedskating to take the team through the next two Olympics, thereby restoring investor confidence. The Sochi debacle could have possibly dented its efforts at brand building but management's prompt efforts saved the day.

Additionally, the company continued with its global expansion plans and launched the brand in the fast growing economy of Brazil.

Moreover, investors are optimistic about Under Armor's continuous earnings streak. The company's fourth-quarter earnings per share of 59 cents surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 54 cents and increased considerably from 47 cents per share earned in the year-ago quarter. The better-than-expected results provided a further impetus to the stock, which on an average has delivered a positive earnings surprise of roughly 26.6% over the past seven quarters.

Needless to say, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock is firing on all cylinders and this growth momentum is expected to continue in 2014 and beyond, as reflected in an upbeat guidance. Under Armour projected 2014 net revenue in the band of $2.84 billion to $2.87 billion, up 22%–23% from the prior year. Moreover, it expects operating income between $326 million and $329 million, reflecting year-over-year growth of 23% to 24%.

CECO Environmental Strengthens in China

CECO Environmental Corp. (Nasdaq:CECE-Free Report) recently declared that it has formalized a Sales Cooperation Agreement with China-based Jiangsu Renhe Environmental Equipments Company, Ltd. for developing advanced technologies to control air pollution in China.

The tie-up between the two companies is expected to leverage the development of core solutions for diverse sectors including general, metals, petrochemical, chemical, plastics and cement industries.

CECO is a leading global provider of air pollution control technology. Its key technological solutions like FisherKlosterman Cyclones, Dual Scrubbers, Filtration and Flex-Kleen Dust Collection solutions will complement Jiangsu Renhe's dust collection and filter cartridge technologies and provide better solutions for controlling air pollution in China.

Air pollution control and industrial ventilation products command a multi-billion dollar market, which is still witnessing rapid growth. The rising demand for clean air and water as well as an environment free of industrial pollutants are the primary factors behind this booming industry.

Nowadays, an increasing number of businesses are focusing on environmental protection since environment-related regulations have become mandatory in the U.S. as well as worldwide. Notably, government regulations for controlling air pollution in China will likely be more stringent.  

The aforementioned alliance will strengthen CECO's presence in China and open further growth avenues as well. At present, the company is focused on increasing its market share by entering such alliances and integrating acquisitions across diverse areas of pollution control solutions.  

CECO has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other players in the same sector, which look attractive at present, includePerkinElmer Inc. (NYSE:PKI-Free Report), Sharps Compliance Corp (Nasdaq:SMED-Free Report) and Rentech, Inc. (Nasdaq:RTK-Free Report). While PerkinElmer sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), both Sharps Compliance and Rentech have a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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

About Zacks Equity Research

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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.

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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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