Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day Highlights: RockTenn, Badger Meter, Westamerica Bancorp., Glacier Bancorp and Preferred Bank

Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day Highlights: RockTenn, Badger Meter, Westamerica
                 Bancorp., Glacier Bancorp and Preferred Bank

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, April 29, 2013

CHICAGO, April 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks Equity Research highlights
RockTenn (NYSE:RKT) as the Bull of the Day and Badger Meter (NYSE:BMI) as the
Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on
Westamerica Bancorp. (Nasdaq:WABC), Glacier Bancorp Inc. (Nasdaq:GBCI) and
Preferred Bank (Nasdaq:PFBC).

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

Full analysis of all these stocks is available at
http://at.zacks.com/?id=2678.

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

RockTenn (NYSE:RKT) delivered its third consecutive positive earnings surprise
on April 23, and earnings estimates have been soaring ever since.

This has sent the stock to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Based on current consensus estimates, analysts project 43% EPS growth this
year and 39% growth next year. Despite this stellar growth, shares trade at
just 12.5x forward earnings.

RockTenn manufactures corrugated and consumer packaging. It was founded in
1936 and has a market cap of $7.0 billion.

RockTenn reported better-than-expected second quarter results for the second
quarter of its fiscal 2013 on April 23. Adjusted earnings per share jumped 16%
to $1.12, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 10 cents. It was the
company's third consecutive positive earnings surprise.

Net sales increased 2% to $2.325 billion, driven by a 7% increase in the
Corrugated Packaging segment.

Bear of the Day:

Badger Meter (NYSE:BMI) has seen earnings estimates fall considerably after
reporting a big earnings miss on April 16.

This has sent the stock to a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

Although the stock has pulled back a bit since the earnings report, the
valuation picture still does not look attractive. Shares trade at a premium to
their historical median and the industry multiple on both a price/earnings and
price/cash flow basis.

Badger Meter manufactures flow measurement and control products for water and
gas utilities, municipalities and industrial customers worldwide. It was
founded in 1905 and has a market cap of $638 million.

Badger Meter delivered disappointing first quarter results on April 16.
Earnings per share came in at 20 cents, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate
of 48 cents by 58%. It was also a 52% decline from the same quarter last year.

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

Westamerica Stays at Underperform

On Apr 23, 2013, we reiterated our long-term recommendation on Westamerica
Bancorp. (Nasdaq:WABC) at Underperform. This reflects Westamerica's dismal
first-quarter results, which declined both on a sequential and year-over-year
basis.

Why Underperform?

Westamerica's first-quarter earnings of 64 cents per share declined from the
prior-quarter earnings of 70 cents and year-ago earnings of 75 cents. The
results were adversely affected by sluggish top-line growth and an increase in
operating expenses. However, improving credit quality and stable capital
ratios were the tailwinds.

Following the first-quarter results, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 has
gone down 2.3% to $2.60 per share. Likewise, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for
2014 has declined 5.4% to $2.62 per share. With the Zacks Consensus Estimates
for both 2013 and 2014 going down, Westamerica currently carries a Zacks Rank
#4 (Sell).

Further, Westamerica's net interest margin (NIM) has been falling over the
last several quarters owing to the challenging economic environment. Sluggish
economic recovery and the Federal Reserve's decision to keep short-term
interest rates low through mid-2015 are expected to keep NIM under pressure
going forward.

Moreover, Westamerica's interest earnings assets have remained a matter of
concern due to weak interest rates and low investment returns amid a sluggish
economic recovery.

Also, Westamerica has been continuously experiencing pressure on its credit
quality. Further, Westamerica's securities portfolio has historically remained
higher than its peers, which is expected to adversely affect the quality of
earnings.

Other Banks Worth Considering

While we have a bearish take on Westamerica, we would suggest considering
stocks with a better Zacks Rank. These include Glacier Bancorp Inc.
(Nasdaq:GBCI) and Preferred Bank (Nasdaq:PFBC) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong
Buy).

Get the full analysis of all these stocks by going to
http://at.zacks.com/?id=2649.

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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