Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day Highlights: Evercore Partners, Titan International, Altria Group, Philip Morris International and

     Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day Highlights: Evercore Partners, Titan
International, Altria Group, Philip Morris International and British American

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, March 22, 2013

CHICAGO, March 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Zacks Equity Research highlights
Evercore Partners (NYSE:EVR) as the Bull of the Day and Titan International
(NYSE:TWI) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides
analysis on Altria Group Inc. (NYSE:MO), Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM)
and British American Tobacco plc. (AMEX:BTI).


Full analysis of all these stocks is available at

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

One of the most interesting debates I've heard lately about this market is
whether or not the increase in M&A activity is bullish. The bearish Doug Kass
says it's not and the ever-eBULLient Jim Cramer says it is.

I'm not sure who is right. But I'll tell you what is right: putting money on
the focused, experienced deal-makers at Evercore Partners (NYSE:EVR)

This "boutique" investment bank -- I've always loved that phrase, like it's a
shop on Fifth Avenue for the 1% (which it is I guess) -- was founded in 1996
by current Chairman Roger Altman, a veteran of Wall Street and Washington.

Altman served as Deputy Secretary of the US Treasury in the late 1970's and
again in the 90's and was head of M&A for Blackstone Group before launching
his own firm on the premise that clients would be best served by an investment
banking firm free of the conflicts of interest inherent to large,
multi-product financial institutions.

Altman believed that this pure advisory model, undistracted by proprietary
trading and sell-side research, would serve clients the best and attract the
most talented senior finance professionals to the firm.

This is important because while M&A deals seem like quick cash grabs on the
surface where big money simply has to make a deal that makes both sides
richer, there is a lot more to Evercore's business, including advising on
divestitures, restructurings, specialized financings, public offerings,
private placements and other strategic transactions.

Bear of the Day:

The industrial sector has been hot this year, always a percent or two ahead of
the broad market. The reasons for optimism have been sound, from a turn-around
in the Chinese economy to the US housing recovery gaining steam.

But that optimism may be cooling off and we need look no further than two big
name equipment manufacturers to see it unfolding: Caterpillar and Deere.

And one company in the direct line of fire of a machinery slow-down could be
Titan International (NYSE:TWI) a global manufacturer of off-highway steel
wheels and tires in the agricultural, earthmoving/construction and consumer

The mining industry, from metals to iron ore, has also seen earnings and
outlooks take a hit recently, with names like Cliffs Natural Resources and Joy
Global being sold as estimates soften. The gold miners are currently one of
the lowest ranked industry groups in Zacks classification of 265 industries.

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

New York Hides Its Cigarettes

The shops in New York will no longer be allowed to display cigarettes on the
shelves of their stores, per a plan by the mayor of the city. The plan also
compels shops which derive less than 50% of their revenue from selling
cigarettes to keep tobacco products away from public view in cabinets,
drawers, under the counter, behind a curtain or in other concealed spots.

New York City , which has the reputation of levying the highest cigarette
taxes in the country, is also going to be the first city in the U.S. where
public display of cigarettes will be banned. Such a ban, however, already
exists in Iceland , Canada , England and Ireland .

Anti smoking advocates like The American Cancer Society, Cancer Action
Network, the American Lung Association, other anti-smoking groups and several
City Council members hailed the proposal, as the measure will dramatically
reduce the growth rate of the city's smoking population.

Anti smoking protagonists are of the opinion that seeing the tobacco products
shelved in the shops every time they visit would only increase the desire to
try the product.

However, this will pose a problem for shops and tobacco companies like Altria
Group Inc. (NYSE:MO), as keeping tobacco products under cover will inevitably
reduce the sale of cigarettes to a considerable extent. Adding to the woes of
the tobacco distributors, the price per pack of cigarette is already the
highest in the city. Altria raised its voice against the decision of the
mayor, saying that the law was overreaching.

The tobacco industry is having a tough time as governments all around the
world are imposing restrictions on tobacco consumption. While the Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) has passed a rule compelling tobacco companies to
print thought-provoking images on cigarette packs inducing smokers to refrain
from smoking, governments of Britain , Australia and New Zealand have made
plain packaging mandatory for cigarette packs.

Moreover, weighted average state cigarette excise tax increased at a
compounded annual rate of about 10% between 2004 and 2010. The scenario has
improved slightly due to mass protests against proposals imposing tax burdens
on smokers. The compound tax growth rate has slowed down a little in the past
two years, following the protests. However, the cigarette industry continues
to carry a heavy tax burden. The industry has been seeing a decline in
shipment volume for the past several years due to unfavorable excise taxes and
growing awareness worldwide.

Tobacco companies are resorting to cigarette alternatives, trying to reduce
the harmful effects of tobacco. In May 2011, Philip Morris International
(NYSE:PM) bought the patent and global rights to an aerosol nicotine-delivery
system for the delivery of nicotine to lungs without cigarette smoking.

British American Tobacco plc. (AMEX:BTI) also created a subsidiary called
Nicoventures focused on nicotine alternatives.

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
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