Welcome!

News Feed Item

Alaska Air Group, ArcelorMittal, Visa, MasterCard and Global Payments highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

CHICAGO, April 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks Equity Research highlights Alaska Air Group (NYSE:ALK-Free Report)  as the Bull of the Day and ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT-Free Report)  as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis onVisa Inc. (NYSE:V-Free Report), MasterCard Inc. (NYSE:MA-Free Report) and Global Payments Inc (NYSE:GPN-Free Report).

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

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

The airline sector was looking pretty strong thanks to more fuel efficient planes, lower competition, and higher demand for air travel. However, many were worried that the recent batch of bad weather would ground this rally and send airline stocks lower.

This really hasn't been the case though, as many airline stocks have powered through the bad weather and easily beaten out the S&P 500 in the year-to-date time frame. In fact, several companies have put up gains in excess of 20% to kick-off 2014, shaking off the overall market's turbulence effortlessly.

One company sticks out in this continued airline stock rally though, as it has outgained many of its competitors in the time period, while it is generally overlooked as well. This stock, Alaska Air Group (NYSE:ALK-Free Report), has also avoided much of the bad weather thanks to its West Coast focus, and it could actually still be a great pick for investors in the near term.

Alaska Air Group, as you might guess from the name, has a big operation in Alaska, including a hub in Anchorage. The company also has heavy exposure in the Washington/Oregon area as well though, as the firm has hubs in Seattle (where it is actually headquartered) and Portland too.

ALK is also rapidly expanding to other markets as the airline is adding more than a dozen city pairs by the end of the summer. This looks to continue the solid momentum for the company which just reported March traffic figures that represented a 4% increase over last year's numbers, along with a record 88.1% of flights arriving on-time for Alaska Airlines' mainline division.

Bear of the Day:

Even with news of a mini stimulus from China, events haven't been shaping up nicely for the steel industry. Demand for steel from key developed markets in North America and Europe haven't picked back up leading to a glut in production.

And since many steel companies have huge fixed costs, this continued slump in demand has hit the industry pretty hard. Some have looked to make back some profits on volume, but heavy competition has kept a lid on prices, leading to the current rough patch for the industry.

While a number of firms have been impacted by these trends a good barometer of the overall space is ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT-Free Report) the world's largest steel producer when looking at sales. MT is actually up significantly over the past 52 weeks, but its record in 2014 has been quite poor as it is down about 6% in the year-to-date time frame as concerns have begun to build again over the industry.

MT is based in Luxembourg but it has a global reach, selling steel in more than 150 countries around the world. The firm is broken down into six divisions-- Flat Carbon Americas; Flat Carbon Europe; Long Carbon Americas and Europe; AACIS; Distribution Solutions; and Mining—with a broad focus on producing a variety of finished and semi-finished steel products for customers.

The company, while holding up in the past 52 weeks, still hasn't recovered from the 2008 collapse, as shares are well below the peak set during the beginning of that year. The firm has also been posting horrendous numbers on the earnings front as well, suggesting that it is still working through some turbulence as it attempts to get back to profitability.

Additional content:

Russia Effect: Visa, Mastercard at Stake?

The U.S. sanctions on Russia led to the suspension of purchase payment services by Visa Inc. (NYSE:V-Free Report) and MasterCard Inc. (NYSE:MA-Free Report) in some of the approved banks in that country. While the suspension has been withdrawn, Russia has decided to have its own domestic payment system within six months to become more self-dependent in the future.  

The Sanctions & Payment Suspension

Some Russian investors were sanctioned by the U.S. including co-owners of SMP Bank, Boris Rotenberg and Putin's elder brother Arkady Rotenburg over the Crimean issue. Following these sanctions, Visa and MasterCard had terminated the service of credit card purchasing payment for some of the authorized banks in Russia, including Bank Rossiya and SMP Bank. Yuri Kovalchuk, the largest stake holder of Bank Rossiya, also had his name in the list of sanctions.

As a result, clients of these banks faced troubles. However, the cash withdrawal service was not included within the suspensions.

How Russia is Getting Ready?

For a long time, the Russian government had been discussing about introducing an electronic payment card for their citizens to carry on government related transactions like payment of tax, pension, etc. Reportedly, apart from these services, the government now wants to include private purchase payment in this particular card.

How Tough Is the Competition?

Both Visa and MasterCard are the dominating force in the global payment services arena. Visa provides its payment services in more than 200 countries. Almost flawless Internet security service has made Visa a popular choice among consumers, merchants and large number of organizations.

MasterCard has upgraded itself from time to time in order to improve its electronic and Internet secured payment services. This has helped it to acquire a notable portion of global card market.

Recently, both the payment service companies have collaborated to form a new cross-industry group that would emphasize on the EMV chip technology adoption in the U.S. and concentrate on tokenization, point-to-point encryption and other online and mobile channel security-related requirements. This would further enhance their security services.

Is the Backup Plan That Strong?

First of all, Russian citizens traveling outside will face trouble to access the payment system in foreign lands without Visa and MasterCard. It is also a fact that Russians are not active credit card users. As reported by Euromonitor International, in the country which has a population of 143 million, only 30 million credit cards are being circulated. Comparatively, circulation of 192 million debit cards in Russia shows that they prefer debit cards.

Now, these two American card giants hold the lion's share of plastic card market in Russia. So it seems difficult for Russia's planned domestic payment service to compete against these card giants.

The Impact on Visa and MasterCard

Even if Russia succeeds with its plan and curbs the market share of these bellwethers in the country, they should easily offset the loss with the increasing global demand for their plastic cards.

Earnings Prospects of Visa and MasterCard

Although both Visa and MasterCard hold Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) at this moment, they have strong growth estimates. The current year earnings growth estimates for Visa and MasterCard stand at 18.6% and 19.8%, respectively, compared with the expected industry growth rate of 13.7%. Moreover, the long-term growth rates are expected to be 17.2% and 17.7% for Visa and MasterCard, respectively, compared with the expected industry growth rate of 15.4%.

Stock That Warrant a Look

While investing in Visa and MasterCard should not disappoint, a secure bet would be Global Payments Inc (NYSE:GPN-Free Report) if you are interested in the Financial Transaction Services sector.

It deals with the electronics transaction services for banks, consumers and other financial institutions, among others. It operates in two sections: North America Merchant Services and International Merchant Services

Currently, Global Payments holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). It has a current year growth estimate of 12.20% compared to industry growth estimate of 13.7%. It also has a strong long-term growth estimate of 11.2%. The company has current year earnings estimate of $4.09.

Get today's Zacks #1 Stock of the Day with your free subscription to Profit from the Pros newsletter:

About the Bull and Bear of the Day

Every day, the analysts at Zacks Equity Research select two stocks that are likely to outperform (Bull) or underperform (Bear) the markets over the next 3-6 months.

About the Analyst Blog

Updated throughout every trading day, the Analyst Blog provides analysis from Zacks Equity Research about the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.

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 analyst 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. Click here to 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 ALK - FREE

Get the full Report on MT - FREE

Get the full Report on V - FREE

Get the full Report on MA - FREE

Get the full Report on GPN - 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

Zacks.com provides investment resources and informs you of these resources, which you may choose to use in making your own investment decisions. Zacks is providing information on this resource to you subject to the Zacks "Terms and Conditions of Service" disclaimer. www.zacks.com/disclaimer.

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
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices 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 business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
Cybersecurity is a critical component of software development in many industries including medical devices. However, code is not always written to be robust or secure from the unknown or the unexpected. This gap can make medical devices susceptible to cybersecurity attacks ranging from compromised personal health information to life-sustaining treatment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Clark Fortney, Software Engineer at Battelle, will discuss how programming oversight using key methods can incre...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
Did you know that you can develop for mainframes in Java? Or that the testing and deployment can be automated across mobile to mainframe? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Vaughn Marshall, Sr. Principal Product Owner at CA Technologies, will discuss and demo how increasingly teams are developing with agile methodologies using modern development environments and automating testing and deployments, mobile to mainframe.
The goal of Continuous Testing is to shift testing left to find defects earlier and release software faster. This can be achieved by integrating a set of open source functional and performance testing tools in the early stages of your software delivery lifecycle. There is one process that binds all application delivery stages together into one well-orchestrated machine: Continuous Testing. Continuous Testing is the conveyor belt between the Software Factory and production stages. Artifacts are ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place in November in Silicon Valley, California.
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore t...
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
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?
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists will examine how DevOps helps to meet th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi LTD., will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City. Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) will be featuring the Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) portfolio. This is the industry’s only offering that allows organizations to bring together object storage, file sync and share, cloud storage gateways, and sophisticated search an...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...