Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day Highlights: Equifax, Diamond Foods, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Dell

      Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day Highlights: Equifax, Diamond Foods,
                        Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Dell

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Jan. 3, 2013

CHICAGO, Jan. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Zacks Equity Research highlights Equifax
(NYSE:EFX) as the Bull of the Day and Diamond Foods (Nasdaq:DMND) as the Bear
of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on
Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ), IBM (NYSE:IBM) and Dell Inc. (Nasdaq:DELL).


Full analysis of all these stocks is available at

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

Equifax (NYSE:EFX) delivered decent third quarter 2012 results, surpassing the
Zacks Consensus Estimate on the top and bottom lines. Fourth-quarter guidance
was encouraging.

We believe that Equifax is well positioned to benefit from its leadership in
important markets and strength in international markets. Given its strong
correlation to consumer and financial markets, as well as its U.S. exposure,
improvement in results will be directly proportional to the country's economic

Moreover, stronger mortgage activities are expected to boost Equifax
fundamentals. We upgrade the stock from Neutral to Outperform and set a target
price of $64.00.

Bear of the Day:

We have downgraded our long-term recommendation on Diamond Foods (Nasdaq:DMND)
to Underperform following its dismal first quarter fiscal 2013 results. Its
adjusted earnings of $0.23 per share plunged 67.6% from the year-ago quarter,
primarily due to weak top-line performance and increased operating expenses as
a percentage of sales.

Total sales dipped 10.1% year over year to $258.5 million, and missed the
Zacks Consensus Estimate of $274.0 million. The company's performance may also
get a hit due to difficulty on its part to secure walnut supplies and repair
its ties with growers.

Otherwise, a highly leveraged balance sheet may stop it from taking strategic
initiatives. Further, continued macroeconomic headwinds, intense competition,
product recalls and fluctuations in raw material prices may undermine the
company's future growth prospects and sustainability.

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

Finally Some Good News for H-P

Despite the tumultuous situation surrounding the autonomy issue, PC giant
Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ) ended the year on a positive note. The company
(aka H-P) retained a federal contract worth $543.0 million despite IBM's
(NYSE:IBM) protest. The contract was held back for evaluation issues, reports

Back in June, a contract was announced by the Department of Veterans Affairs
(VA). The 5-year wireless tracking contract required the 90 competing
companies to provide a technology to reduce the number of lost equipment,
monitor sterilization of medical devices and identify patients receiving
recalled products.

H-P was initially awarded the contract. In response, IBM challenged the
agency's decision and its evaluation process before the U.S. Government
Accountability Office (GAO), the agency to resolve contract disputes.

The GAO held the Department of VA guilty of not evaluating the proposal
properly and ordered a re-run of the selection process.

The re-evaluation process turned out to be positive for H-P as the agency
found H-P's technological support to be the most competent.

A win against IBM and the federal agency's continued reliance on its services
is certainly a reason to cheer for H-P. But the pending decision regarding the
authenticity of accounting irregularities in Autonomy's financials (before the
acquisition deal) and declining revenue trend (owing to soft PC market and
strained IT spending) is keeping the tech giant under pressure.

Currently, H-P has a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold). Its archrivals Dell Inc.
(Nasdaq:DELL) and IBM also have a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold).

Get the full analysis of all these stocks by going to

About the Bull and Bear of the Day

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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Updated throughout every trading day, the Analyst Blog provides analysis from
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