The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: United Parcel Service, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: United Parcel Service, JPMorgan Chase, Bank
                    of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, July 16, 2013

CHICAGO, July 16, 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 United Parcel Service, Inc.
(NYSE:UPS-Free Report), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM-Free Report), Bank of
America Corp (NYSE:BAC-Free Report), Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) and Wells Fargo &
Company (NYSE:WFC-Free Report).

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

Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

UPS Cuts EPS Outlook, Price Falls

Leading freight carrier, United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS-Free Report)
has slashed its earnings forecast for 2013 to $4.65 to $4.85 per share from
$4.80 to $5.06. The current projection represents a year-over-year growth of
3% to 7%, lower than the previously estimated 6% to 12%. The company in its
press release stated that the present macroeconomic conditions could hamper
its growth and quarterly performance going forward.

The company's latest revelation has led to a negative market sentiment,
pushing stock prices 5.83% down on Friday trading over the previous day's
adjusted closing. UPS now expects second quarter earnings per share of $1.13,
below the earnings of $1.15 in the corresponding quarter last year but up from
$1.04 earned in the preceding quarter.

Previously, the company had already hinted that earnings per share growth
would remain at low single digits for the second quarter due to operating
margin pressure. Despite several profitability measures, the company is
struggling to cope with the changing market scenario that resulted in
customers shifting from premium products as they seek more cost effective
logistic solutions.

Over the past year, the company has been registering lower demand from
international business lanes, in particular from Asian routes. As a result,
the company has been seeking several capacity adjustment measures to maintain
parity with the changing demand environment. According to reports, UPS had
undertaken restructuring worth $1.7 billion last year to adjust with the
overcapacity issues in the freight forwarding market.

In Feb, UPS reported of expanding its Less Than Container Load (LCL) services
to additional networks in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and South
America, bringing its network to 17,000 direct LCL lanes serving 116
countries. The company's expanding presence in the LCL space implies a shift
from its airfreight business. This would ultimately benefit the cost structure
and serve as an attractive opportunity to add customers in the present
economy. Further, not only will UPS' ocean business will get a boost from this
move, shippers too can gain from cost savings against the expensive
airfreight.

Foreclosure Activity Tumbles in 1H13

Indicating a rebound in the housing sector, the foreclosure market report –
released by RealtyTrac – showed overall foreclosure activity in the first half
of 2013 to be on a downward trend. As per this leading online marketplace of
foreclosure properties, foreclosure filings plunged 23% year over year and 19%
from the last 6 months, bringing the total number of properties receiving
default, auction or repossession notices to 801,359.

For the first six months of 2013, 409,491 foreclosure starts – default notices
issued and foreclosure auctions (depending on the state's foreclosure
procedure) – were filed across the U.S. As per the report, foreclosure starts
are expected to reach 800,000 by the end of this year, down from 1.1 million
in 2012.

Meanwhile, an aggregate of 248,538 bank repossessions (REOs) occurred in the
first six months of 2013. Given this pace, REOs are anticipated to reach
500,000 by the year-end, down from approximately 671,000 in 2012.

Nevertheless, foreclosure activity continues to remain a drag for many states.
The top 5 states with the highest foreclosure rates in the first half of the
year were Florida, Nevada, Illinois, Ohio and Georgia. Additionally, the
procedure to complete the foreclosure of properties in the second quarter took
an average of 526 days, up from 477 days in the previous quarter.

The drop in foreclosure activity is a result of the switching of mortgage
servicers and the government to other options to prevent foreclosures.
However, foreclosure activity is expected to remain volatile, as processes
that are being used in handling these differ from state to state.

Foreclosure activity is expected to increase in the judicial states as the
latter have substantial backlogs to clear. This is evident from Jun 2013 data,
as judicial foreclosure auctions were scheduled for 28,296 properties, up 34%
from Jun 2012 and nearly 1% from May 2013.

This increase demonstrates that delayed foreclosure cases in judicial states
are now moving at a faster pace through foreclosure completion. Further, as
the major servicers – JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM-Free Report), Bank of
America Corp (NYSE:BAC-Free Report), Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C), Ally Financial
Inc. and Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC-Free Report) – adjust to the new
rules set under the National Mortgage Settlement as well as several other
state laws, foreclosure activity is bound to rise in the near term.

However, stabilizing housing prices are likely to aid homeowners in avoiding
foreclosures. Further, the rate at which properties are entering the
foreclosure procedure is expected to gradually slacken, thereby raising
housing prices going forward.

The housing market will get an opportunity to regain a strong foothold if
there are sufficient buyers for these properties. Moreover, with the gradual
recovery of the U.S. economy, reduction of unemployment, improving consumer
confidence and a rise in demand for homes, property prices are poised to rise
further in the future.

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

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