Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: ABB Ltd., Baxter International, Inc., Abercrombie & Fitch, Cognizant Technology Solutions Holdings, Inc. and Satyam. 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).

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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.

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