For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL - August 27, 2015 - Zacks Equity Research highlights Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. ( TAST ) as the Bull of the Day and Baidu, Inc. ( BIDU ) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Tesla Motors, Inc. ( TSLA ) , PACCAR Inc. ( PCAR ) and U.S. Auto Parts Network, Inc. ( PRTS ).
Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:
You might not have ever heard of Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. ( TAST ) but you know its brand as its the largest Burger King franchisee in the United States. Burger King is back.
This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) has rising earnings estimates and is expected to grow earnings by the triple digits next year.
Carrols operates 657 in 15 states in the Midwest, the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast. It has operated Burger King restaurants since 1976.
Big Beat in the Second Quarter
On Aug 4, Carrols reported its second quarter results and easily beat the Zacks Consensus by 10 cents. Earnings were $0.10 compared to the consensus of zero.
Comparable restaurant sales rose 10.3%, up from a decrease of 2% in the same quarter a year ago as new Burger King promotions and marketing drove sales and customer traffic.
Average check was 4.9% higher and customer traffic increased 5.4% from the prior year period. Burger King has been promoting new items like the Chicken Fingers which are boosting traffic and brand awareness.
It has also remodeled 350 restaurants over the past 3 years which is also driving sales growth.
Carrols added 127 Burger King's in 2014 and 2015 so it is working on getting those up to the same level as its already-owned franchises.
The company also has $60 million cash on hand as of the end of the quarter so it has some firepower to continue with expansion, remodeling and improvement.
Baidu, Inc. ( BIDU ), the Google of China, is taking it on the chin due to economic events in China and its decision to spend more on sales and marketing for its online-to-offline business. This Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) is expected to see falling earnings this year.
Baidu is one of the top Chinese language Internet search providers.
Another Miss in the Second Quarter
On July 27, Baidu reported its second quarter results and missed on the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the third quarter in a row.
Earnings were $1.64 versus the consensus of $1.80.
On the conference call, the company said that it expected higher than previously disclosed sales and marketing expenses in the online-to-offline business. This was a surprise to the analysts.
Baidu is up against a very competitive space in the online-to-offline world, including some Alibaba affiliates. It is going to have to spend more to be competitive.
The spending appears to be a multi-year event.
Given the nearly doubling of spending on marketing and sales, analysts have had to cut estimates sharply for 2015.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate has fallen to just $5.60 from $7.14 ninety days ago. That is actually an earnings decline of 6.8% from 2014.
While a rebound is expected in 2016, even those estimates had to be cut. 2016's Zacks Consensus Estimate has fallen to $7.10 from $9.92 just 60 days ago.
Tesla Model S Sets Distance Record on Single Charge
Tesla Motors, Inc. 's ( TSLA ) Model S set a new world record for the distance traveled by an electric car on a single charge. Bjorn Nyland, a Model S P85D owner, recently drove his vehicle for 728 kilometers or 452.8 miles on a single charge. This is nearly double the estimated range of 253 miles per charge for the vehicle. The previous record for the Model S, which was achieved in May 2012, stood at 423.5 miles.
Nyland set the new record by driving the Model S P85D at a speed of 25 miles per hour, which provides the best range according to him. He uploaded a video of the drive on his YouTube channel, which focuses mainly on his travels in his Tesla vehicle. Interestingly, Nyland has been recognized by Tesla CEO Elon Musk as the first Tesla owner to fetch 10 referrals.
This impressive feat should help reduce the range anxiety of prospective buyers. Range anxiety refers to the concern of electric vehicle owners that their vehicle will run out of charge before the battery can be recharged. The limited number of charging stations and low range of most electric cars are the main reasons for this anxiety.
In Mar 2015, Tesla announced a new software update that added two applications to the Model S to end the range anxiety of owners. The Range Assurance application communicates with Tesla's Superchargers and destination chargers, and warns a Model S driver before the car drives out of one's range. The navigation system also displays a map of the suitable charging locations and guides the car to the nearest one. The Trip Planner application figures out the best route to a destination, based on the charging stations along the way.
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