News Feed Item

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:China Southern Airlines, China Petroleum and Chemical, Baidu, Actavis and Forest Laboratories

CHICAGO, April 4, 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 China Southern Airlines Co. Ltd. (NYSE:ZNH-Free Report), China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (NYSE:SNP-Free Report), Baidu, Inc. (Nasdaq:BIDU-Free Report), Actavis plc (NYSE:ACT-Free Report) and Forest Laboratories Inc. (NYSE:FRX-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:

China Economy and Markets Report

Chinese markets continued their positive run following a rally by property developers who anticipated easing of restrictions by the government. A report in the Shanghai Securities News indicated such regulations would be eased in certain cities.

A fall in industrial profit growth dragged stocks last Thursday while markets moved lower ahead of key manufacturing data on Monday. PMI numbers were indeed disappointing, increasing speculation of government intervention.

Last Week's Developments

A reduction in industrial profit growth and an increase in money market rates dragged stocks lower last Thursday. Consequently, the Shanghai Composite Index experienced its largest loss in a week, losing 0.8% by the close. The index has lost 3.3% till date this year, following concerns that a slowdown will reduce profits and a resumption of IPOs will redirect funds.

Industrial profits increased 9.4% during January and February this year. This was lower than 12.2% growth registered in December. The CSI 300 Index fell 0.7%, with nine of its 10 industrial groups declining. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index gained 0.3%.  

Stocks returned to their winning ways on Friday after larger profits from banks and automakers dispelled concerns that growth was declining. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index increased 1.3% to close above 10,000, the first time in nearly six weeks.

The index gained 6.1% over the week, the highest increase since vital reforms were announced in November last year. The Hang Seng moved up 1.1% while the Shanghai Composite Index slipped by 0.2%. The CSI 300 Index declined 0.2% after gains by automakers failed to negate losses by small cap and tech stocks.

Markets and the Economy This Week

Markets took losses on Monday after industrial and consumer discretionary stocks declined ahead of the release of manufacturing data the next day. The Shanghai Composite Index declined for the fourth consecutive day, losing 0.4%.

The Shanghai Composite declined 1.1% last month resulting in a quarterly loss of 3.9%, the largest since June last year. Monthly losses were a result of the collapse of a private developer and fears that a resumption of IPOs will redirect funds. The CSI 300 dipped 0.3%, taking its quarterly loss to 7.9%. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index increased 0.7% to gain 1.9% over March.

Infrastructure and property related companies rallied on Tuesday, following affirmative government action. The Chinese government has relaxed funding regulations for financial companies and increased the pace of construction projects.

The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.7% while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index lost 0.1%, reversing four consecutive days of gains. The CSI 300 Index moved up 0.8%. The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index, a gauge of the most heavily traded Chinese stocks in the U.S. gained for a third consecutive day. This index has now reduced its quarterly decline to 6.5%.

The official Purchasing Managers' Index improved marginally, rising from 50.2 recorded in February to 50.3. This was above the key level of 50, a reading below which indicates contraction. However, the final reading of the HSBC PMI declined from 48.5 in February to 48 in March. This was the lowest figure recorded since July. There are clear indications of weakness in the economy and swift government action is expected.

The property developers rally continued on Wednesday following speculation that the government will ease restrictions on housing. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.6% and the CSI 300 Index moved up 0.8%. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index declined 0.7%.

A report in the Shanghai Securities News said certain Chinese cities were considering relaxing norms on home purchases. Consequently, a measure of developers within the Shanghai index registered a substantial 3.2% increase, the highest among the five industry groups.

Stocks in the News

China Southern Airlines Co. Ltd. (NYSE:ZNH-Free Report)experienced a 24% decline in net profit during 2013. Disappointing results are attributable to intense competition and the current economic situation.  Another reason for such results is the country's large and rapidly expanding high speed railways network.

Operating profit of the largest domestic carrier by fleet size declined 70%. Net profit came in at 1.99 billion yuan ($321 million), significantly lower than last year's figure of 2.62 billion yuan. Revenue declined by 1% to 98.55 billion yuan

China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (NYSE:SNP-Free Report), also known as Sinopec, has raised $5 billion from the largest issue of dollar-denominated notes made by an Asian issuer in more than 10 years. Sinopec issued notes with maturity periods of three, five and 10 years. 70% of the three years fixed rate notes were purchased by U.S. investors.

In another development, Sinopec intends to start producing from the Yuanba sour gas field in China's south western Sichuan province by the end of 2014. The Chinese oil production giant will use its own technology to tap resources from the Yuanba field.

Baidu, Inc. (Nasdaq:BIDU-Free Report) has successfully argued a U.S. lawsuit filed by pro-democracy activists. The plaintiffs had alleged that censorship by the website at the behest of China's government was in violation of rights as ensured by the First Amendment. However, according to the decision made by U.S. District Court Judge Jesse Furman: "The First Amendment protects Baidu's right to advocate for systems of government other than democracy (in China or elsewhere) just as surely as it protects plaintiffs' rights to advocate for democracy."

Dismissing the lawsuit, Judge Furman said the search engine's "editorial judgment" was comparable to that of a newspaper's editor who takes a call on which articles are to be published. The lawyer for the plaintiffs said his clients will appeal.

Actavis Gets Slight Boost from Silom Acquisition

Actavis plc's (NYSE:ACT-Free Report) shares gained 1.64% immediately after the company announced that it has acquired Thailand-based generic company, Silom Medical Company for approximately $100 million in cash. Although shares were down slightly (0.22%) in the subsequent trading session, overall shares were up 1.42% following the announcement.

With this acquisition, Actavis is now among the top-five players in the Thai generic pharmaceutical market. This acquisition will also help Actavis expand further in the Southeast Asian region. With Silom's diverse product portfolio, Actavis expects this acquisition to be immediately accretive to 2014 earnings.

Our Take

Actavis has been in an acquisition spree of late. Acquisitions over the past two years include that of the Actavis Group in Oct 2012 and Warner Chilcott in Oct 2013.

In Feb 2014, Actavis announced its intention to acquire Forest Laboratories Inc. (NYSE:FRX-Free Report) for a cash and equity combination of $25 billion. This acquisition will help Actavis generate sales of more than $15 billion per year and create a well-diversified portfolio for the company.

The Forest Labs acquisition will push up Actavis' branded products revenues to 50% of total combined revenues from the current level of 30% of the standalone company's revenues. The acquisition will also bring about significant synergies and boost the bottom line. The deal is slated to close in mid-2014.

Meanwhile, Actavis completed the divestiture of its generics commercial operations in certain markets (France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands) in Western Europe to Aurobindo Pharma Ltd.

Actavis carries 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

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 ZNH - FREE

Get the full Report on SNP - FREE

Get the full Report on BIDU - FREE

Get the full Report on ACT - FREE

Get the full Report on FRX - 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]

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.

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO

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
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 ...
Without lifecycle traceability and visibility across the tool chain, stakeholders from Planning-to-Ops have limited insight and answers to who, what, when, why and how across the DevOps lifecycle. This impacts the ability to deliver high quality software at the needed velocity to drive positive business outcomes. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Eric Robertson, General Manager at CollabNet, will discuss how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that e...
@DevOpsSummit has been named the ‘Top DevOps Influencer' by iTrend. iTrend processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @DevOpsSummit ranked as the number one ‘DevOps Influencer' followed by @CloudExpo at third, and @MicroservicesE at 24th.
24Notion is full-service global creative digital marketing, technology and lifestyle agency that combines strategic ideas with customized tactical execution. With a broad understand of the art of traditional marketing, new media, communications and social influence, 24Notion uniquely understands how to connect your brand strategy with the right consumer. 24Notion ranked #12 on Corporate Social Responsibility - Book of List.
Established in 1998, Calsoft is a leading software product engineering Services Company specializing in Storage, Networking, Virtualization and Cloud business verticals. Calsoft provides End-to-End Product Development, Quality Assurance Sustenance, Solution Engineering and Professional Services expertise to assist customers in achieving their product development and business goals. The company's deep domain knowledge of Storage, Virtualization, Networking and Cloud verticals helps in delivering ...
Most of us already know that adopting new cloud applications can boost a business’s productivity by enabling organizations to be more agile and ready to change course in our fast-moving and connected digital world. But the rapid adoption of cloud apps and services also brings with it profound security threats, including visibility and control challenges that aren’t present in traditional on-premises environments. At the same time, the cloud – because of its interconnected, flexible and adaptable...
In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Robert Doyle, lead architect at eCube Systems, will examine the issues and need for an agile infrastructure and show the advantages of capturing developer knowledge in an exportable file for migration into production. He will introduce the use of NXTmonitor, a next-generation DevOps tool that captures application environments, dependencies and start/stop procedures in a portable configuration file with an easy-to-use GUI. In addition to captu...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and...
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining senso...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
In the next five to ten years, millions, if not billions of things will become smarter. This smartness goes beyond connected things in our homes like the fridge, thermostat and fancy lighting, and into heavily regulated industries including aerospace, pharmaceutical/medical devices and energy. “Smartness” will embed itself within individual products that are part of our daily lives. We will engage with smart products - learning from them, informing them, and communicating with them. Smart produc...
As ridesharing competitors and enhanced services increase, notable changes are occurring in the transportation model. Despite the cost-effective means and flexibility of ridesharing, both drivers and users will need to be aware of the connected environment and how it will impact the ridesharing experience. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Timothy Evavold, Executive Director Automotive at Covisint, will discuss key challenges and solutions to powering a ride sharing and/or multimodal model in the a...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, will discuss the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docke...