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Rogers, Baidu, Apple, Facebook and Barracuda Networks highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – May 12, 2016– Zacks Equity Research highlights Rogers Corporation (ROG) as the Bull of the Day and Baidu (BIDU) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Apple Inc. (AAPL), Facebook, Inc. (FB) and Barracuda Networks, Inc. (CUDA).

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day :

Rogers Corporation (ROG) describes itself as a global leader in engineered materials to power, protect and connect our world. Founded in 1832 as a paperboard manufacturer, the Connecticut based company has about 2800 employees and is one of the oldest publicly traded companies remaining. Rogers is the Bull of the Day after it recently became a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Rogers Corporation designs, develops, manufactures, and sells engineered materials and components worldwide. The company markets include a wide variety of industries such as aerospace, automotive, infrastructure, medical and electronics. There are two segments within the company: Polymer Materials and Electronic Materials.

Rogers has a market cap of $1.15 Billion with a Forward PE of 17. The stock sports Zacks Style Scores of “A’ in Momentum and “C” in both Value and Growth. It should be noted that the company trades on low volume, at about 125k shares per day.

Relative Strength

Over the last six months, most stocks have been pretty volatile. During that time Rogers has seen its fair share of volatility and moved in a 20% range up and down verse the market. At the moment the stock sits up 20%, while the market is flat over those six months. A combination of market momentum and earnings momentum will keep this stock strong going forward.

Bear of the Day:

Baidu (BIDU) is a Chinese-language Internet search provider that offers online marketing services to its customers directly and through other distribution networks. The company offers Japanese search services as well, including Web search, image search, video search, and blog search capabilities. The Beijing based company is now a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) after recent EPS and negative news.

The company has a market cap of $57 Billion and has a Forward PE of 29. The stock has Zacks Style Scores of “A” in Growth and Momentum, but “D” in Value. Investors have been impressed by how fast the company has been growing since becoming public in 2005 and revenue growth has always been the driver of the stock price. However, that growth is starting to come into question as long term estimates are falling and recent negative news has the company in hot water.

Earnings

Q1 earnings came in at $1.06 verse the $0.78 expected. The company guided Q2 revenue $3.12-3.19 Billion verse the $2.84 Billion expected. The numbers were solid and the stock surged 8% higher on the news. However, a week after earnings Chinese regulators announced they would investigate the company, causing the stock to fall 14% over the next couple days.

Chinese Regulatory Issues

The Cyberspace Administration of China and the National Health and Family Planning Commission announced they would investigate compliance over paid prominent listings with Baidu internet searches. A Chinese student reportedly died from cancer after a high ranking Baidu search sent him to a misleading form of treatment. Before dying, the student complaints went viral causing uproar amongst Chinese internet public.

Chinese regulators are now expected to clamp down on healthcare advertisements such as the one the student fell for. The problem for Baidu is that healthcare advertisements are 20-30% of total search revenue. If this goes away Baidu growth will stumble and analysts are reducing price targets and lowering long term estimates.

Since the news price targets have been lowered at the following firms:

Deutshce Bank: Cut from $226 to $209

Oppenheimer: Cut from $240 to $225

Morgan Stanley: Cut from $230 to $200

Estimates

While estimates are seen higher for next quarter, long term estimates have been falling. For fiscal year 2016, estimates have fallen 7% over the last 90 days. For 2017, estimates have been revised 16% lower from $9.78 to $8.17.

Additional content:

Apple (AAPL) Down to Strong Sell on iPhone, China Woes

On May 11, 2016, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Apple Inc. ( AAPL) to a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). Going by the Zacks model, companies holding a Zacks Rank #5 are likely to underperform the broader market over the next one to three months.

The iPhone maker has seen downward estimate revisions since it announced second-quarter fiscal 2016 results on Apr 26, 2016.

Why the Downgrade?

Apple delivered soft second quarter results with both top and bottom lines missing expectations. But more importantly, this was the first time in 13 years when the tech giant saw its sales decline on a year-over-year basis. This was also the first time ever that the company saw a decline in iPhone sales. The company even gave a muted guidance for the current quarter.

The business has been impacted due to weak macroeconomic conditions across most of its key regions, especially in China, which is the second largest market for Apple. Not only China, Apple also saw weak demand (primarily for iPhone) in all other key regions excepting Japan.

It appears that Apple’s growth has become a bit tied to demand in China. Therefore, a weak economy, increasing competition from lower-priced devices and most importantly regulatory hurdles are acting as a speed breaker for the company’s growth.

As a result, over the last 30 days, the company witnessed downward estimate revisions, which pushed down the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in 2016 by 7.4% to $8.40 per share.

Nonetheless, while it’s difficult to predict on Apple’s growth in China, the company should see some revival once it launches the much awaited iPhone 7 in Sep 2016. Meanwhile, Apple is also working on paving its way in emerging markets like India, which can become an important growth driver over the next few years.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector include Facebook, Inc. (FB) and Barracuda Networks, Inc. ( CUDA), which sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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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.

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ROGERS CORP (ROG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
BAIDU INC (BIDU): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
APPLE INC (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
FACEBOOK INC-A (FB): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
BARRACUDA NTWRK (CUDA): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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