CHICAGO, May 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks Equity Research highlights: Lincoln Electric (Nasdaq: LECO) as the Bull of the Day and Fujifilm Holdings (OTC: FUJIY), as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Paychex Inc. (Nasdaq: PAYX), Citibank (NYSE: C), and SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE: STI).
Full analysis of all these stocks is available at http://at.zacks.com/?id=2678.
Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:
Lincoln Electric's (Nasdaq: LECO) first quarter adjusted earnings were ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The company is pursuing a multi-year strategy to become more cost competitive by building manufacturing facilities in Eastern Europe and Asia.
Recently, Lincoln Electric strengthened its Russian presence through the acquisition of Mezhgosmetiz-Mtsensk OAO and OOO Severstal-metiz. The company also partnered with IPG Photonics Corporation to explore global opportunities in the high-power laser welding and cutting market.
Furthermore, demand for its products is on the rise, leading us to believe that the company will post strong growth on the heels of an economic recovery and investments in the emerging markets. Our six-month target price of $94.00 equates to about 22.5x our earnings estimate for 2011. We view the $1.24 per common share annual dividend as secure, implying an expected return of about 21% over the period.
We downgrade our rating of Fujifilm Holdings (OTC: FUJIY) to Underperform, backed by Fuji's stock performance primarily based on currency fluctuation impact, rising raw material prices and the recent Great East Japan earthquake aftermath.
Moreover, decrease in demand for FDP materials and declining profitability at the digital camera business due to intense price competition weakens our outlook on the stock. The company's earnings per ADR in fiscal 2011 were recorded at $1.47, below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.62 per ADR.
However, Fuji's plan for establishment in the emerging markets with innovative products, sales promotion as well as its structural reforms in the existing business may help to recover the anticipated bullish performance.
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Paychex Takes Over ePlan Services
New York-based outsourcing service provider Paychex Inc. (Nasdaq: PAYX) recently completed the acquisition of recordkeeping and administrative solutions provider, ePlan Services. Financial details of the transaction were not divulged. Post acquisition, ePlan Services will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Paychex and all the employees will be retained.
Denver-based ePlan Services serves the financial advisory market with its software tools that automate the administration of 401(k) plans (a retirement plan under which both employees and employers can contribute). The tool also provides greater transparency to the fee structures for services, through a fee disclosure option built into the tool. Currently, the company serves roughly 4000 retirement plans.
ePlan Services' Web-based platform will complement Paychex' existing recordkeeping business. With years of experience, Paychex was acknowledged as the leading recordkeeper in the U.S. by PLANSPONSOR magazine.
With ePlan Services' under its wing, Paychex will be able to serve financial advisers with clarity into fee structures as the market transitions to full disclosure models to keep pace with consumer and legislative demand.
We find enhanced financial advisory services encouraging as these are likely to attract more clients, and in turn drive revenue growth in Paychex' HR Solutions segment.
Apart from this, Paychex also solidified its Payroll Services segment with the acquisition of the online payroll solutions provider, SurePayroll Inc. in December 2010. The deal cost the company $115.0 million in cash.
SurePayroll's user-friendly online payroll solutions are specifically targeted at small businesses. It serves about 30,000 small businesses with its online software-as-a-service (SaaS) payroll product.
Apart from this, SurePayroll shares channel partnerships with renowned financial institutions, such as Citibank (NYSE: C), Harris Bank and SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE: STI), which forward the company's offerings to their respective small business customers through private-label and referrals.
Get the full analysis of all these stocks by going to http://at.zacks.com/?id=2649.
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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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