The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Standard Motor Products, Amtrust Financial Services, Vipshop Holdings, Aetna and Boston

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Standard Motor Products, Amtrust Financial
           Services, Vipshop Holdings, Aetna and Boston Scientific

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, July 10, 2013

CHICAGO, July 10, 2013 /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 Standard Motor Products, Inc.
(NYSE:SMP-Free Report), Amtrust Financial Services (Nasdaq:AFSI-Free Report),
Vipshop Holdings, Ltd. (NYSE:VIPS-Free Report), Aetna (NYSE:AET-Free Report)
and Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE:BSX-Free Report).

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

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of
the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

Zacks Market Strategy: Home on the Range



The Big Picture

The jobs picture continued to brighten to the end of June. In the first half
of 2013, in response, U.S. stock markets rallied to levels not seen in six
years. Global markets stagnated. The S&P 500 index traded above the 1670
level in early June. Then, it settled down. 

Strong evidence showed capital leaving bonds funds after Fed taper talk picked
up. A rising 10-year U.S. risk-free rate is the major issue now. 

Fed and Japanese BoJ bond buying is at work, month-to-month. With more job
additions, most U.S. stimulus timelines move into this year.

Is it time to buy in early July? 

We're onboard for a further rise in U.S. stocks under global QE. If a Fed
taper hits this fall, look for a sell-off. This fall downside risk puts a
range-bound market into play for the summer. Markets don't like uncertainty.

Fair Value Shapes the Summer Range

At 15.4 times this year's conservative earning estimate, stocks look fairly
valued. Consider the average stock market P/E is 15. Apply that to $111.5 per
share optimists expect for the S&P 500 in 2H-13 and 1H-14. That computes to
fair value at 1672! If you say those earnings projections are high, trim it
to a conservative $105 per share. That gives the S&P 500 a fair value of
1575, a nice low in a summer range.

Total S&P 500 earnings in Q2 are now expected to be down -0.3% on -0.5% lower
growth in revenues; a drop from the +3.9% total earnings growth expected in Q2
on +0.5% higher revenue growth in early April. Total earnings were up +2.8% in
Q1 on barely positive growth in S&P 500 revenues. 

Zacks Sector, Industry, Company Telescope

(1) In the Consumer world, investor focus should be on Autos, Tires, Trucks
and the Home Furnishing-Appliance industries within Discretionary spending.
Buying a new car, or fresh parts for an old one, and refurbishing a home
remain attractive. Other Consumer Discretionary industries, notably the
Consumer Electronics one, have also seen a large upgrade from the last
report. Soaps & Cosmetics is the leading Staples industry.

Stay away from the Packaged Food and Beverage industries now.

Company to look at: Standard Motor Products, Inc. (NYSE:SMP-Free Report)

SMP has three primary operating segments: Engine Management (70% of sales),
Temperature Control (28%), and All Other (2%). Engine Management manufactures
ignition and emission parts, on-board computers, ignition wires, battery
cables, and fuel system parts. Temperature Control manufactures and
remanufactures air conditioning and heater parts.

The company sells its products primarily to warehouse distributors such as
CARQUEST and NAPA Auto Parts; large retail chains such as Advance Auto Parts,
AutoZone, CSK Auto, O Reilly Automotive, and Pep Boys; and original equipment
manufacturers (OEMs).

(2) The Financial sector has three industries that are strong: Insurance
leads, with Banks & Thrifts and Real Estate not far behind. This is broad
based strength across a diverse set of activities speaks well of a modest U.S.
growth story remaining in place in the second half of 2013.
 
Company to look at: Amtrust Financial Services (Nasdaq:AFSI-Free Report)

AMTRUST is a multinational property and casualty insurer specializing in
coverage for small businesses. They offer workers' compensation insurance,
extended warranty coverage, specialty middle market property and casualty
insurance, and a host of related products and services.

(3) The IT sector has strength in Semi-conductors and Misc. Tech, and
Computer-Office Equipment. This speaks to a growing use of small devices and
components. Hardware and Software companies are lagging.

In the Telco sector, Telco Services is Very Attractive. The small device
world is supporting growth here too.

Company to look at: Vipshop Holdings, Ltd. (NYSE:VIPS-Free Report)

Vipshop Holdings Ltd. is an online discount retailer for brands. The Company
offers branded products to consumers in China through flash sales on its
vipshop.com website. It offers a wide selection of various famous branded
discount products including apparel for women, men and children, fashion
goods, cosmetics, home goods and other lifestyle products, through its
website. Vipshop Holdings Ltd. is headquartered in Guangzhou.

(4) In the Health Care sector. Medical Care is now attractive. Drugs and
Medical Products are Unattractive. This is a reversal.

Company to look at: Aetna (NYSE:AET-Free Report)

Aetna Inc. is one of the nation's largest health benefits companies and one of
the nation's largest insurance and financial services organizations.

(5) In the Energy sector, Oil Exploration & Production now looks Attractive.
Plays that focus on domestic production in the Bakken and Marcellus shale are
worth a comment and further investigation. 

Coal and the Oil & Gas Integrated companies are to be avoided.

(6) The Industrials sector has pockets of strength, Construction-Building
Services and Industrial Products-Services and Aerospace & Defense. However,
eight industries are showing weakness. It looks like the home construction
boom is keeping parts of the sector aloft. Industrial industries exposed to
global growth conditions are lagging.

(7) No Materials sector industry is above a Market Perform. Global growth
worries really hits this sector hard. It is to be avoided until a turn is
noted, and that turn is not happening this month.

(8) No Utilities sector is Attractive.







Boston Scientific Lowered to Sell



On Jul 9, 2013, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Boston Scientific
Corporation (NYSE:BSX-Free Report) to a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Why the Downgrade?

Boston Scientific has been witnessing sharp downward estimate revisions after
the company reported dismal first-quarter 2013 results that prompted
management to take a conservative stance on its fiscal sales and earnings
outlook.

Over the last 30 and 60 days, out of 11 analysts covering the stock for the
second quarter of 2013, 3 revised estimates downward with none in the opposite
direction. Similarly, 2 and 3 out of 11 analysts covering the stock for 2013
revised estimates downward over the last 30 and 60 days, respectively, with no
upward revisions.

Boston Scientific incurred losses during the first quarter of 2013 due to a
challenging economic and competitive environment, pressure on core segments
and a larger-than-expected currency headwind.

These factors are expected to adversely impact the company through the next
quarter. Moreover, for full year 2013, the company lowered its revenue
guidance to the band of $6.950 to $7.150 billion (earlier band being
$7.168−$7.243 billion) with adjusted EPS in the range of 65–70 cents
(previously 64–70 cents).

Despite Boston Scientific's initiatives to revive its top line, we remain
cautious as the company's core segments, ICDs and DES (contributing 35% of
sales), continued to witness several headwinds. Due to lower procedure volume
and pricing pressure in the US, the company's share in the defibrillator
market dropped by 100 basis points compared with the year-ago period.

The CRM market is expected to remain sluggish throughout 2013. The DES
business in the US continues to witness pricing pressure, lower procedural
volume and lower penetration rates, although the situation is improving
gradually. As a result, the company's top line continues to remain under
pressure.

Earnings Whispers?

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Boston Scientific is likely
to beat earnings this quarter. That is because a stock needs to have both a
positive Earnings ESP (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method ) and a Zacks
Rank of #1, 2 or 3 for this to happen. That is not the case here as you will
see below.

Negative Zacks ESP: The stock has an ESP of -6.25%.



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