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: Nucor Corporation (NYSE: NUE), Jabil Circuit, Inc. (NYSE: JBL), Diageo Plc. (NYSE: DEO), Satyam Computer Services, Ltd. (NYSE: SAY) and Osiris Therapeutics (NASDAQ: OSIR).
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Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:
Nucor Faces Rising Prices
Nucor Corporation (NYSE: NUE) is the nation's largest recycler of steel scrap. Long-term contracts, constant cost-reduction efforts, higher steel prices, lower interest rates, strong cash flow position and a dominant acquisition strategy inspire our optimism with respect to the stock's performance in the coming quarters. The company's third-quarter 2008 profit nearly doubled, mainly because of robust sales from recently acquired steel and scrap-metal companies.
However, the company expects a 40% decline in steel shipments for the fourth quarter of 2008, which will result in lower earnings. A slowdown in steel demand from the automobile sector and increased production in China are matters of concern.
Jabil Circuit Ests Lowered
We maintain our Hold rating on the shares of Jabil Circuit, Inc. (NYSE: JBL). Although Jabil has been showing signs of improvement from restructuring activities, the near-term risks of a slowing end-market remain. Moreover, the company's restructuring efforts are expected to impede margins.
Jabil reported a soft first quarter of 2009, hit by the deteriorating economic conditions. The company provided a cautious guidance for its second quarter, well below consensus expectations. We have therefore lowered our estimates for the second quarter of 2009 as well as for the full year 2009. However, given improvements in JBL's operations and new business wins, we do believe that the stock should trade in-line with the industry median.
Diageo Risk-Reward Balanced
Diageo Plc. (NYSE: DEO) engages in producing, distilling, brewing, bottling, packaging, distributing, developing, and marketing spirits, beer and wine worldwide.
The company’s full-year results showed strong sales of scotch in Latin America, beer in Africa, and premium brands in North America. The earnings met Diageo's predictions of a 9 percent rise in operating profit and a 7 percent lift in sales.
Satyam Update: No Gov't Bailout
In another blow to the struggling and beleaguered Satyam Computer Services, Ltd. (NYSE: SAY), the Indian government announced earlier today that it would not step up to help Satyam with any financial assistance. We had indicated in our previous post that possibility exists for a government bailout, although there was no precedence in the Indian financial history of a bailout of such magnitude. It appears that the govt. rejection of a request by Satyam Computer Services Ltd. for financial assistance of 1.5 billion rupees ($30.8 million) to meet short-term payment needs puts the company in dire straits.
It is also a clear indication that the company should not expect any financial support, either private or public, until the financial mess is sorted out which, according to the new government-appointed Board, may take between three to six months.
Osiris: Double Good News
This morning, Osiris Therapeutics (NASDAQ: OSIR) release two positive press releases on the company’s leading pipeline candidate, Prochymal. As a result, the shares are bucking the negative overall market trend.
The first announced a successful pre-Biologics License Application (pre-BLA) meeting with the U.S. FDA for Prochymal regarding use in the treatment of graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). The BLA filing, which is expected to be the first of its kind for a stem-cell product, will include data from two ongoing phase III programs in GvHD -- one in steroid refractory patients and another in acute disease.
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