February 17, 2009 at 06:00 AM EST
Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: ABB Ltd., Baxter International, Inc., Abercrombie & Fitch, Cognizant Technology Solutions Holdings, Inc. and Satyam.

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: ABB Ltd. (NYSE: ABB), Baxter International, Inc. (NYSE: BAX), Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF), Cognizant Technology Solutions Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTSH) and Satyam (NYSE: SAY).

Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=4579

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

ABB Reports with Murky Outlook

ABB Ltd. (NYSE: ABB) (known in yesteryears as Asea Brown Bovari) reported Q4-08 and year-end 2008 results, which included the effects of the previously-announced approximate charge of $870 million brought about by reserves for ongoing compliance investigations as well as an adjusted value-added tax (VAT) payment and restructuring measures, mostly taken in Q4-08.

Specifically, for the fourth quarter, Revenues rose by 5.3% to 7.8 billion, while Pre-Tax Income declined by 73.2% to $314 million and EPS from Continuing Operations came in at $0.10, off by 80.8% from the $0.52 reported for Q4-07.

Baxter Int'l Cures What Ails

Baxter International, Inc. (NYSE: BAX) is a global medical products and services company with expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology. The company is comprised of three operating segments: BioScience, Medication Delivery and Renal.

We believe these markets will remain relatively insulated from the current economic turmoil and provide investors with good quality returns on a risk-adjusted basis. Baxter's strong market position is demonstrated in its recent quarterly and annual performance that exceeded their prior estimates.

Abercrombie Surprises to Upside

This morning, Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF) was the first big retailer to report 4th quarter results. Sales were in line, declining 18.8% to $998 million with a comp-store sales decrease of 25%. The company earned $1.10 per share (excluding one-time costs), down 54% year-over-year.

Still, its EPS did beat the Zacks consensus estimate by $0.12. The upside surprise was due to savings derived from payroll cost cuts and bonus reductions. Citing difficult economic conditions, management did not provide guidance for 2009.

Cognizant's Good News from India

Cognizant Technology Solutions Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTSH), an IT services provider, reported Q4 and FY08 results early today. Q4 GAAP EPS of $0.38 came in line with consensus and beat our estimate by a penny. Q4 revenues, at $753 million, also came in higher than our $742 estimate and guided FY09 revenue to "at least" $3.1 billion (i.e. 10% growth), in line with our estimate and slightly higher than Street's expectation. FY2009 GAAP EPS guidance of $1.54, however, is short of our $1.58 estimate. The shares are reacting positively to the news, trading up nearly 2% so far today.

CTSH’s results and guidance is like a breath of fresh air, as it is the first of the major Indian firms to offer full-year 2009 guidance in the face of the current economic turmoil and the Satyam (NYSE: SAY) scandal. Investors appear to be assuming that the worst of the bad news is behind us and that Cognizant could be an early beneficiary of a cyclical upturn given its high exposure to discretionary IT projects and to the financial services sector (representing 45% of its revenue mix) in particular.

Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=2649.

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: http://at.zacks.com/?id=2677

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leonard Zacks. As a PhD in mathematics Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which 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 at http://at.zacks.com/?id=4580.

Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Contacts:

Zacks.com
Mark Vickery
Web Content Editor
312-265-9380
Visit: www.zacks.com
Stock Market XML and JSON Data API provided by FinancialContent Services, Inc.
Nasdaq quotes delayed at least 15 minutes, all others at least 20 minutes.
Markets are closed on certain holidays. Stock Market Holiday List
By accessing this page, you agree to the following
Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.
Press Release Service provided by PRConnect.
Stock quotes supplied by Six Financial
Postage Rates Bots go here