Welcome!

News Feed Item

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Home Depot, Wal-Mart Stores, Microsoft, United Technologies and Goldman Sachs Group

CHICAGO, Aug. 25, 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 Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD-Free Report), Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT-Free Report), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT-Free Report), United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX-Free Report) and Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS-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 Friday's Analyst Blog:

Dow 30 Stock Roundup

The Dow had an excellent week, driven upward primarily by positive economic data. New deals and bullish consumer confidence data boosted the blue-chip index higher on Monday. Encouraging housing data and upbeat earnings results helped the Dow post gains on Tuesday.

The blue chip index managed to pare losses on Wednesday, following a choppy session after Fed minutes revealed differing views on the timing of a rate hike. A host of positive economic reports helped the Dow post gains once again on Thursday. The Dow has gained 1.2% during the first four trading days.

Last Week's Performance

The Dow dropped 0.3% last Friday after renewed tension between Ukraine and Russia unnerved investors. Benchmarks reversed initial gains after Ukraine forces destroyed part of a Russian armored column after it entered Ukrainian soil. The incident unnerved investors as they took money out of equities and parked them into safe-haven assets. Economic data came in mixed on Friday. Industrial production rose 0.4%, while PPI increased 0.1% in July.

For the week, the blue-chip index increased 0.7%. Benchmarks had gained last Monday following hopes that tensions between Russia and Ukraine would recede. On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin's comments eased concerns related to geopolitical tensions.

Positive earnings results, gains in biotech stocks, ceasefire agreement in Gaza and subdued Chinese inflation data also boosted the markets. Downbeat European growth numbers, discouraging retail sales numbers and disappointing Germany's investor confidence data were some of the negatives for the week.

The Dow This Week

New deals, upbeat homebuilder confidence data and easing tensions between Russia and Ukraine handed markets strong gains on Monday. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market index rose 2 points to 55 in August, hitting its highest level in seven months. Homebuilder sentiment also rose for the third straight month in August. The blue-chip index registered its biggest one-day percentage gain since Aug 8, increasing around 1.1%.

The Dow gained 0.5% on Tuesday following encouraging housing data and upbeat earnings results. Housing starts surged 15.7% in July. Construction on new U.S. homes touched the highest level in July since Nov 2013. Building permits also increased 8.1% from June.

Strong earnings results from The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD-Free Report) were welcomed by investors. Home Depot advanced the most among the Dow components. The positives offset negative sentiment arising from ongoing geopolitical tensions in Ukraine.

Benchmarks finished a choppy session on a mixed note on Wednesday after Fed minutes showed officials had differing views about the timing of rate hike. The Dow finished in the green for the third straight day after it was able to pare losses following jitters from the Fed minutes.

Fed minutes showed some Fed officials were in favor of tightening monetary policy. They debated the timing of a rate hike following a recovery in the job market and pickup in inflation. However, there were other Fed officials who contradicted these views and sought further indications before deciding on hiking federal funds rate. The blue chip index gained almost 0.4%.

The Dow gained nearly 0.4% to close at its best level since Jul 24 on Thursday. Economic data on manufacturing, existing home sales, initial claims and leading economic indicators all came in positive. Existing home sales rose for the fourth consecutive month in July. The metric increased 2.4% touching the highest level since Sep 2013.

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve's manufacturing index surged to its highest level in August since Mar 2011. Additionally, claims for unemployment benefits declined in the week ending Aug 16. Meanwhile, investors waited for what Janet Yellen and Mario Draghi have to say at Jackson Hole, Wyo on Friday.

Components Moving the Index

The Home Depot Inc. reported year-over-year improvement in its financial results for the second quarter of fiscal 2014. The company's adjusted earnings of $1.52 per share jumped 22.6% from the year-ago quarter's earnings of $1.24 and surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.44.

This strong performance was primarily driven by the recovery in its spring season sales as well as strength in its core store activities and in all geographies. Net sales increased 5.7% to $23,811 million year on year and beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $23,570 million.

The company's overall comparable store sales (comps) increased 5.8% while comps in the U.S. stores grew 6.4%. The year-over-year improvement in top-line was mainly attributable to a 4.2% rise in the number of customer transactions and an increase of 1.8% in average ticket size.

Home Depot reaffirmed its sales growth outlook of 4.8% for fiscal 2014. However, the company raised its diluted earnings per share growth guidance for the fiscal to 20.2% from the earlier anticipated growth of 17.6%.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s (NYSE:WMT-Free Report) shares went down 1% after it lowered its fiscal guidance. However, the company posted in-line earnings and better-than-expected revenues.

Walmart's fiscal second quarter 2015 adjusted earnings of $1.21 per share matched the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, earnings declined 1.6% from the year-ago earnings of $1.23 per share due to soft comps in the U.S. and Sam's Club and a decline in operating income. Earnings were within management's guidance range of $1.15 and $1.25 per share.

Total revenue of the retailer increased 2.8% to $120.1 billion (including membership and other income) and beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $119.1 billion. The better-than-expected sales were encouraging as the company delivered weak results in the past five quarters due to a tough economic environment.

For the third quarter of fiscal 2015, Walmart expects its adjusted earnings to range between $1.10 and $1.20 per share, lower than last year's earnings of $1.24 per share. Walmart expects U.S. comp sales to be relatively flat for the 13-week period ending Oct 31, as against a decline of 0.3% last year.

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT-Free Report) recently released WindUp for Windows Phone, an app that allows users to share messages, photos and videos, which are automatically deleted at a time preset by the user.

The app has reportedly been touted as a prospective competitor to Snapchat, which is still not available on the Windows Phone platform. However, Microsoft denied the reports, claiming that the app is a prototype launched on Windows Phone Store for only research purposes.

The WindUp app can be downloaded free by users of Windows Phone 8 or 8.1 to exchange self-destructive temporary messages, photos and videos where users can select a time depending on how long they want their message to last.

United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX-Free Report) signed a licensing agreement with CGTech to integrate its PromptFM machining process optimization technology into the latter's VERICUT cutting process software. The combination is expected to enhance productivity for machining equipment operators, with applications in a wide spectrum of industries. The financial details of the agreement were kept under wraps.

CGTech specializes in computer numerical control (CNC) simulation software for manufacturing. Its flagship product, VERICUT software, has become the industry standard for simulating CNC machining. United Technologies' PromptFM, designed specifically to ensure compatibility with VERICUT.

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS-Free Report) stopped its attempt to dispose a $1billion lawsuit filed by the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), a sovereign wealth fund at London's High Court. The company earlier looked for a summary judgment on the suit, but finally pulled its request back.

The lawsuit, filed in Jan 2014, pertained to dealings made by the company with the LIA in the earlier part of 2008. These had led to substantial losses for the sovereign fund. Eventually, it became apparent that Goldman had taken undue advantage of the trust LIA had placed on the Wall Street giant.

Goldman applied for the summary judgment request in Apr 2014 as it believed that the chances of LIA's success in a trial were dim. However owing to the withdrawal of its request, Goldman will face a court hearing, which is scheduled in early October. The company believes that "the case is entirely without merit."

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 HD - FREE

Get the full Report on WMT - FREE

Get the full Report on MSFT - FREE

Get the full Report on UTX - FREE

Get the full Report on GS - 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.

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 Outscale, a global pure play Infrastructure as a Service provider and strategic partner of Dassault Systèmes, 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. Founded in 2010, Outscale simplifies infrastructure complexities and boosts the business agility of its customers. Outscale delivers a secure, reliable and industrial strength solution for its customers, which in...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that EARP Integration 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. EARP Integration is a passionate software house. Since its inception in 2009 the company successfully delivers smart solutions for cities and factories that start their digital transformation. EARP provides bespoke solutions like, for example, advanced enterprise portals, business intelligence systems an...
IBM helps FinTechs and financial services companies build and monetize cognitive-enabled financial services apps quickly and at scale. Hosted on IBM Bluemix, IBM’s platform builds in customer insights, regulatory compliance analytics and security to help reduce development time and testing. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Tom Eck, Industry Platforms CTO at IBM Cloud, will discuss how these tools simplify the time-consuming tasks of selection, mapping and data integration, allowing developers ...
Existing Big Data solutions are mainly focused on the discovery and analysis of data. The solutions are scalable and highly available but tedious when swapping in and swapping out occurs in disarray and thrashing takes place. The resolution for thrashing through machine learning algorithms and support nomenclature is through simple techniques. Organizations that have been collecting large customer data are increasingly seeing the need to use the data for swapping in and out and thrashing occurs ...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Brad Winett, Senior Technologist for DDN Storage, will present several current, end-user environments that are using object storage at scale for cloud deployments including private cloud and cloud providers. Details on the top considerations of features and functions for selecting object storage will be included. Brad will also touch on recent developments in tiering technologies that deliver single solution and an end-user view of data across files and objects...
For financial firms, the cloud is going to increasingly become a crucial part of dealing with customers over the next five years and beyond, particularly with the growing use and acceptance of virtual currencies. There are new data storage paradigms on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive financial data around the world without touching terrestrial networks. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Cliff Beek, President of Cloud Constellation Corporation, w...
Most DevOps journeys involve several phases of maturity. Research shows that the inflection point where organizations begin to see maximum value is when they implement tight integration deploying their code to their infrastructure. Success at this level is the last barrier to at-will deployment. Storage, for instance, is more capable than where we read and write data. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Atwell, a Developer Advocate for NetApp, will discuss the role and value...
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assis...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Progress, a global leader in application development, has been named “Bronze 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, NY. Enterprises today are rapidly adopting the cloud, while continuing to retain business-critical/sensitive data inside the firewall. This is creating two separate data silos – one inside the firewall and the other outside the firewall. Cloud ISVs oft...
The 21st International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, 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...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
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...
As cloud adoption continues to transform business, today's global enterprises are challenged with managing a growing amount of information living outside of the data center. The rapid adoption of IoT and increasingly mobile workforce are exacerbating the problem. Ensuring secure data sharing and efficient backup poses capacity and bandwidth considerations as well as policy and regulatory compliance issues.
Interested in leveling up on your Cloud Foundry skills? Join IBM for Cloud Foundry Days on June 7 at Cloud Expo New York at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Foundry Days is a free half day educational conference and networking event. Come find out why Cloud Foundry is the industry's fastest-growing and most adopted cloud application platform.