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: Wipro, Ltd. (NYSE: WIT), Skechers USA, Inc. (NYSE: SKX), Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Co. (NYSE: CCH), Scientific Games Corp. (Nasdaq: SGMS) and AtheroGenics, Inc. (Nasdaq: AGIX).
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Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:
Wipro ADR Estimates Adjusted
Wipro, Ltd. (NYSE: WIT) ADR is a global provider of IT services, software solutions, and research and development (R&D) services, and is the third largest in India. It has development centers in India and abroad, which utilize its global resource pool and quality processes to provide cost-effective IT solutions to its clients around the world.
We remain concerned that margins may continue to be pressured for currency fluctuations and acquisition-related integration issues in the near-term. However, there has been minimal reduction in operating margins despite salary hikes to onsite employees. The company has also provided improved revenue guidance for 2Q09 and integration of its acquisitions seems to be well on track.
Skechers a Hold in Current Climate
In July, Skechers (NYSE: SKX) issued third-quarter guidance that was below consensus expectations. Macro risks have increased in the last two months, and economic conditions have worsened. These conditions are continuing to pressure consumer discretionary spending, and that is negatively affecting the footwear maker' results. Therefore, we are reducing our estimates for 2008 and 2009.
Longer term, the Manhattan Beach, California-based company's diverse portfolio of brands, international growth opportunities, and retail store expansion should bode well for its stock price. Still, its near-term upside will be limited until macro conditions show signs of improving. We maintain our Hold rating.
Coca-Cola Hellenic Upped to Buy
Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (NYSE: CCH) enjoys an attractive geographic mix with 66% of revenues being derived from developing or emerging markets. In addition, the company's product mix is less dependent on CSDs (carbonated soft drinks) than other bottlers.
Since the company conducts business and reports financial results in Euros, much of the stock's performance is inversely correlated with US dollar's exchange rate with the Euro. However, as management has a sound business strategy and proven execution skills, the recent earnings decline is providing a valuation-based buying opportunity. Therefore, the stock has been upgraded to a Buy.
Scientific Games a Smart Play
Scientific Games (Nasdaq: SGMS) has a leading position in several markets, including the instant ticket and online lottery markets. In addition, Scientific Games continues to win significant contracts in both the instant ticket and online lottery markets from both domestic and international lottery authorities.
Also, the company has made several acquisitions that have accelerated top-line growth. Ron Perelman, a world-renowned private investor, owns 28.1% of the company's stock. The Buy rating is maintained.
AGIX Files for Chapter 11
For those of you still holding onto AtheroGenics (Nasdaq: AGIX), the research-based pharmaceutical company with two clinical-stage drug development programs (according to Zacks senior drug industry analyst Jason Napodano, CFA, who published a report on AGIX last week), the company has just announced today it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The question now seems to be who, if anyone, will pick up the pieces of the late-phase candidates AGIX had been developing. But for anyone shocked by today's announcement, they shouldn't be. From the same AGIX report: "The company previously released phase III data on lead compound AGI-1067 that did not meet the primary end point."
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