Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day Highlights: Unilever, NuStar Energy, Toyota
Motor, Honda Motor and Nissan Motor
CHICAGO, Nov. 30, 2012
CHICAGO, Nov. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --Zacks Equity Research highlights
Unilever Plc (NYSE:UL) as the Bull of the Day and NuStar Energy (NYSE:NS) as
the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on
Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM), Honda Motor Co. (NYSE:HMC) and Nissan Motor Co.
Full analysis of all these stocks is available at
Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:
Bull of the Day:
We are upgrading our recommendation on Unilever Plc (NYSE:UL) to Outperform
from Neutral based on impressive third quarter 2012 results. Despite high
input costs and a tough currency environment, Unilever posted healthy
underlying sales growth of 5.9% on the back of both volume and pricing gains.
Increased investment in innovation and brand building also contributed to the
growth. Organic sales in the emerging markets improved as well. The company
maintained its dominant market share in all the business segments and recorded
decent growth in spite of global economic crisis.
We are encouraged by Unilever's solid fundamentals and a wide portfolio of
globally recognized flagship brands. Moreover, continuous innovation in all
the segments adds to its growth prospects.
Bear of the Day:
Following NuStar Energy's (NYSE:NS) grim third quarter results, we are
recalibrating our investment thesis on the midstream energy partnership to
Underperform from Neutral. In particular, losses in its asphalt and fuel
marketing segments (which together contribute roughly half of total income)
adversely impacted NuStar's third quarter profits.
Though we welcome the partnership s decision to sell a 50% stake in its
volatile asphalt operations, the continued poor outlook for the sector will be
a further drag on NuStar's near-to-medium term EBITDA. We are also concerned
by the partnerships high leverage. Considering these headwinds, we expect
NuStar to perform below the industry, which gives investors little reason to
hold the stock.
This is corroborated by our new Underperform recommendation. Our $40 price
objective reflects a 2013 P/E multiple of 17.7x.
Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:
Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM) expects that its sales in the U.S. will top 2
million vehicles in 2012 depending on burgeoning demand for Camry sedan and
Prius hybrid. Last time, when the automaker's sales reached that level was in
2007, at 2.62 million vehicles. Logging a sales of more than 2 million
vehicles in the year implies a 22% growth from 2011.
In the first nine months of the year, Toyota's sales grew 29.5% to 1.72
million vehicles. Sales of Camry surged 36.5% to 344,714 units while sales of
Prius leapt 91.2% to 200,114 units during the period (all on a daily selling
Toyota saw more than threefold increase in profits to ¥257.92 billion ($3.28
billion) or ¥81.44 ($1.04) per share in the second quarter of fiscal year
ended September 30, 2012 from ¥80.42 billion or ¥25.65 in the same quarter of
prior fiscal year.
The increase in profits can be attributed to strong demand for Toyota vehicles
as well as positive impact from the company's cost control measures. However,
profits were lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.62 per share.
Revenues in the quarter grew 18.2% to ¥5.41 trillion ($68.75 billion) on a
14.9% rise in sales volume to 2.16 million units. Vehicle sales increased in
all the regions, except Europe. Operating income more than quadrupled to
¥340.61 billion ($4.33 billion) from ¥75.39 billion in the second quarter of
previous fiscal year.
For fiscal 2013 ending March 31, 2013, Toyota projected lower consolidated
vehicles sales of 8.75 million units, down 50 thousand units from the prior
guidance. The automaker also lowered its consolidated revenue outlook to
¥21.30 trillion (up 14.6% from fiscal 2012) from the prior guidance of ¥22.00
trillion. The downward revision of sales outlook was based on difficulties in
Chinese and European markets.
However, it raised operating income guidance to ¥1.05 trillion (up 195.3% from
fiscal 2012) from the prior level of ¥1.00 trillion and profits to ¥780.0
billion (175.1%) from the previous projection of ¥760.0 billion.
Toyota is the leading automaker in the world. Its product portfolio consists
of a full range of models from passenger cars, minivans and trucks as well as
related parts and accessories.
The company's domestic competitors include Honda Motor Co. (NYSE:HMC) and
Nissan Motor Co. (OTC:NSANY). Despite better results, the company currently
retains a Zacks #3 Rank on its shares, which translates to a short-term (1 to
3 months) rating of Hold, owing to the global economic weakness and problems
in China, the company's one of the biggest markets.
Get the full analysis of all these stocks by going to
About the Bull and Bear of the Day
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