The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Loews, Diamond Offshore, CNA Financial, Nokia and Microsoft - Press Releases

By
A A A
Share |

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - March 7, 2012 - 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 Loews Corporation  ( L ), Diamond Offshore  ( DO ), CNA Financial Corporation ( CNA ), Nokia Corp.  ( NOK ) and Microsoft Corp.  ( MSFT ).

Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5513

Here are highlights from Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

Loews Corp. to Underperformed

We are downgrading  Loews Corporation  ( L ) to Underperform from Neutral on the back of weak fourth quarter results. Operating earnings in the fourth quarter lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate owing to lower investment income from the limited partnership, increase in insurance reserves for its payout annuity business, lower earnings at Diamond Offshore and weak equity investments.

Loews' subsidiary -  Diamond Offshore  ( DO ) - again posted lower earnings in the fourth quarter due to a higher number of planned downtime days for scheduled maintenance, survey, mobilization and upgrades. For 2012, Diamond Offshore estimates a year-over-year decline in contract drilling revenues due to downtime for rig mobilizations, regulatory surveys and shipyard projects.

Also,  CNA Financial Corporation 's ( CNA ) exposure to catastrophe loss cost it $208 million, a substantial deterioration from $113 million in the year-ago quarter.

HighMount, the exploration and production business wing, generated weaker revenues and net income on lower sales volumes. The downside resulted from less drilling activity and low natural gas prices. 

However, CNA's property and casualty operation continues to deliver solid performance on the back of new business, continued rate improvement and higher retention. Besides, 2011 marked the fifth consecutive year of favorable prior-year property and casualty loss development. Also, CNA's merger with CNA Surety, completed in June 2011, will help it to expand its Specialty franchise.

Loews maintains a strong balance sheet with minimal debt. It has aggressively bought back shares in the past.  Loews spent $718 million in 2011 to buy back 18.2 million shares, with 0.8 million shares repurchased in the fourth quarter.

The quantitative Zacks #4 Rank (short-tem Sell rating) for the company indicates downward pressure on the shares over the near term.

Headquartered in New York, Loews Corporation is a diversified holding company. The company's principal subsidiaries are CNA Financial Corporation, Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc., Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP, Loews Hotels Holding Corporation and HighMount Exploration & Production LLC.

Nokia Suffers S&P Downgrade

Nokia Corp.  ( NOK ) has suffered a setback as Standard & Poor's Ratings Services (S&P) downgraded its credit rating. Currently, S&P rates Nokia as BBB-, which is the lowest rank of the rating agency's investment grade category. As per S&P, Nokia's partnership with  Microsoft Corp.  ( MSFT ) may help the company to strengthen its competitive position in the global smartphone market, but significant fall in demand for the company's legacy Symbian-based handsets will more than offset the positives of Windows Phone based smartphones.

Quarterly net revenue in the fourth quarter of 2011 was approximately $13,496.7 million, down 21% year over year. Smartdevices (including smartphones and tablets) revenue was $3,705.7 million, down 38% year over year. Mobile Feature Phone revenue was $4,101 million, down 23% year over year. Smartdevices average selling price ( ASP ) was $188.9, down 9% year over year. Mobile Feature Phone ASP was $43.2, down 24% year over year. In the fourth quarter of 2011, Nokia shipped 19.6 million smartdevices and 93.9 million Mobile Feature Phones, down 31% and 1% year over year, respectively.

Despite fairly good market traction for its Lumia series of Windows Phone-based smartphones, Nokia's top line fell primarily due to poor performance of its Symbian-based handsets compared with low-cost handsets from Samsung, LG, and HTC in the Asian markets.

Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5515 .

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5517

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leon Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=5518 .

Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339
support@zacks.com

http://www.zacks.com


 
CNA FINL CORP ( CNA ): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
DIAMOND OFFSHOR ( DO ): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
LOEWS CORP ( L ): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
MICROSOFT CORP ( MSFT ): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
NOKIA CP-ADR A (NOK): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: ASP , CNA , DO , L , MSFT

Zacks.com

Zacks.com

More from Zacks.com:

Related Videos

Stocks

Referenced

Most Active by Volume

152,099,280
  • $16.13 ▼ 1.59%
76,450,549
  • $59.72 ▲ 1.07%
57,375,391
  • $36.35 ▲ 6.26%
50,140,425
  • $26.93 ▲ 0.60%
49,201,544
  • $3.17 ▲ 2.59%
39,533,031
  • $86.18 ▲ 1.33%
36,760,050
  • $13.42 ▲ 2.84%
33,109,047
  • $26.12 ▲ 1.16%
As of 4/16/2014, 04:05 PM