The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Bed Bath & Beyond, ExxonMobil, Ocean Rig UDW, Eni SpA and Repsol

 The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Bed Bath & Beyond, ExxonMobil, Ocean Rig
                           UDW, Eni SpA and Repsol

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Sept. 18, 2012

CHICAGO, Sept. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --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 Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.
(Nasdaq:BBBY), ExxonMobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), Ocean Rig UDW Inc.
(Nasdaq:ORIG), Eni SpA (NYSE:E) and Repsol S.A (OTC:REPYY).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

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Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

Earnings Preview: Bed Bath & Beyond

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (Nasdaq:BBBY), one of the leading operators of
specialty retail stores in the U.S. and Canada, is scheduled to report its
second-quarter 2012 financial results following the close of trade on
September 19, 2012.

We presently expect earnings of $1.02 per share for the quarter, which is near
the higher end of the company's projected earnings range of 97 cents and
$1.03. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues is $2,538 million.

Looking Back - First-Quarter 2012

Bed Bath & Beyond reported a solid first-quarter 2012 result with respect to
earnings growth, cash flow generation and overall financial strength. Earnings
in the first quarter rose approximately 24% to 89 cents per share from the
year-ago earnings of 72 cents, handily surpassing its earnings guidance range
of 79 cents and 85 cents per share. Bed Bath & Beyond also outpaced the Zacks
Consensus Estimate of 84 cents per share.

Bed Bath & Beyond's top line augmented almost 5.1% to $2,218.3 million in the
first quarter from $2,110 million in the year-ago quarter. However, the
company's top line missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,243 million.

Guidance

Accounting for the additional 53rd week in fiscal 2012, management forecasts a
comparable-store sales increase of 2% to 4% for both the second quarter and
fiscal 2012. Consequently, the company expects comparable-store sales to boost
net sales by 5% to 7% in the second quarter and 6% to 8% in fiscal 2012.

Bed Bath & Beyond expects to deliver second-quarter 2012 earnings per share
between 97 cents and $1.03. Moreover, the company continues to expect fiscal
2012 earnings per share to increase by a high-single to a low-double-digit
percentage, including one additional week this fiscal year.

In addition to 12 stores opened so far in 2012, the company expects to open a
total of 40 stores across all concepts in fiscal 2012. The company expects the
2012 mix of store openings by concept to remain similar to fiscal 2011.

Agreement of Estimate

For the second quarter of 2012, 1 of the 20 estimates was revised upwards in
the last 30 days and 1 was revised in the opposite direction. In the last 7
days, 1 estimate moved up, while none moved down. Estimates for fiscal 2012
witnessed 1 and 2 (out of 19) upward revisions in the last 7 and 30 days,
respectively, with no downward movements.

Exxon Hires Rig for Ireland Drilling

ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Ireland (Offshore) Limited, a unit of
ExxonMobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), has formally informed partner Providence
Resources P.l.c. the signing of a letter of intent with offshore drilling
contractor Ocean Rig UDW Inc. (Nasdaq:ORIG) for the ultra deepwater
semisubmersible drilling rig, Eirik Raude.

Per the terms of the Letter of Intent, the rig Eirik Raude will be employed to
spud an exploration well at Dunquin, situated in Frontier Exploration Licence
(FEL) 3/04, offshore Ireland. The rig is expected to be operational in the
first quarter of 2013 and drilling will likely be completed in about 6 months.
However, the contract is subject to agreeable contract and corporate and
co-venturer consent.

ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Ireland (Offshore) Limited, the operator
of FEL 3/04, holds an interest of 27.5%. The other co-partners Eni SpA
(NYSE:E), Repsol S.A (OTC:REPYY), Providence Resources and Sosina Exploration
Limited hold 27.5%, 25%, 16% and 4% stakes, respectively.

The deal will augment ExxonMobil's operations as Dunquin forms a vital part of
Dublin-based Providence's ongoing Irish multi-basin, multi-well drilling
program. The company's venture with Providence Resources – which controls most
of Ireland's offshore acreage – will allow joint development of oil fields in
offshore Ireland as well as access to the know-how for developing unreachable
resources. The deal could unlock huge oil reserves in the unexploited offshore
province of Ireland. These developments will boost Exxon's earnings in the
near future.

ExxonMobil boasts diversified operations across the world with several new
projects expected to come online through 2013. While Exxon functions in all
corners of the globe, the main areas of focus for the coming years include the
U.S., Canada, Kazakhstan, West Africa, Australia, Russia, Angola and Iraq for
new volumes. On the exploration front, it includes unconventional natural gas
across North America as well as offshore regions, including the Gulf of
Mexico.

ExxonMobil carries a Zacks #3 Rank, which is equivalent to a Hold rating for a
period of one to three months. Longer term, we maintain our Neutral
recommendation.

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