Mastercard, Express, Home Depot, Cisco Systems and Walmart highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - May 14, 2018 - Zacks Equity Research highlights Mastercard MA as the Bull of the Day, Express EXPR as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis onThe Home Depot, Inc. HD , Cisco Systems, Inc. CSCO and Walmart Inc. WMT .

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day :

Headquartered in Purchase, NY, Mastercard is a leading global payment solutions company that provides an array of services in support of the credit, debit, mobile, web-based and contactless payments, and other related electronic payment programs to financial institutions and other entities.

The company operates the world's fastest payment processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries.

Better-than-expected Results

The company reported excellent results, beating on both the top and bottom lines and also upgraded its guidance.

Adjusted earnings per share of $1.50 per share, were ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.26. Earnings were up 43% year over year (on a currency neutral basis). Revenues of $3.6 billion were up 27% year over year (on a currency neutral basis).

Rising consumer spending and confidence drove the growth.

"We are investing in areas such as safety and security and our digital solutions to drive long-term growth, with a focus on delivering simple and secure transactions across all channels," said the CEO.

Rising Estimates

Analysts have been raising the estimates for the company after strong results. Zacks Consensus Estimates for the current and next year have surged to $6.22 per share and $7.25 per share, from $5.94 and $6.96 respectively, before the results. Rising estimates sent the stock back to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Bear of the Day :

It has been a very challenging environment for mall based retailers due to declining traffic, rising trend for online shopping and increasing competition from off-price fashion chains. Many of them have seen declining sales of late despite improving labor market.

About the Company

Founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Columbus, OH, Express is a retailer of specialty apparel and accessories for women and men. The company targets the 20 to 30 year old customer. They currently operate over 600 retail stores, located primarily in shopping malls, lifestyle centers, and street locations across the US, in Canada and in Puerto Rico.

Their merchandise is also available at franchise stores in the Middle East and Latin America. Further, the Company also markets and sells its products through its e-commerce website.

Weak Guidance Sends Stock Lower

The retailer reported its Q4 results on Mar 14. Adjusted earnings came in at $0.34 per share, slightly ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.32.

Net sales increased 2% to $693.8 million from $678.8 million in the same quarter a year ago. They benefited from an extra week in the quarter.

However, comparable sales fell 1%.

E-commerce sales increased 20% and 17% on a comparable sales basis.

However, guidance was weaker than street consensus. They expect FY 2018 comparable sales to be between -1% and 1% and earnings to be between $0.32 and $0.46.

Shares fell after the report.

Falling Estimates

Analysts have slashed their estimates for the company after weak results and downbeat guidance. Zacks Consensus Estimates for the current and next fiscal year have plunged to $0.41 per share and $0.55 per share from $0.50 and $0.70 respectively, before the report.

Declining estimates sent the stock to a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

The Bottom Line

In addition to disappointing consumer spending and mall traffic, the retail space is going through a shift toward online shopping. With tightening labor markets, "wage pressure' has also started hurting retailers.

Zacks Industry Rank of 156 out of 265 (Bottom 41%) for "Retail-Apparel and Shoes" also indicates more pain ahead.

Additional content:

Upcoming Earnings Reports to Watch: HD, CSCO & WMT

Stocks moved higher throughout the week, with solid earnings results and encouraging CPI figures proving stronger than concerns about tensions in the Middle East after the U.S. pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal.

Still, investors probably need another batch of great reports if indexes truly want to break out of their recent range-bound trading, and Wall Street bulls will hope that comes from the retail and tech behemoths reporting next week.

With that said, investors can always use the Zacks Earnings Calendar to plan out their schedules for earnings, dividend announcements, and other important financial releases. This handy tool is your perfect one-stop-shop to properly prepare for the market events that will have an impact on your own portfolio.

And today, we've made that task even easier for you. Using the Earnings Calendar, we looked ahead to next week and selected the biggest reports to watch. Make sure to keep an eye on these companies as they prepare to report during the week of May 14.

1. The Home Depot, Inc.

Home improvement giant Home Depot is slated to release its latest quarterly financial results before the market opens on May 15. The stock tumbled about 16% from the all-time high it reached in January, but shares have rebounded-moving about 8% higher over the past month. Still, analyst sentiment has been mixed and HD currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Based on our latest Zacks Consensus Estimates, Home Depot is expected to post earnings of $2.07 per share and revenue of $25.23 billion. These results would mark year-over-year growth of 24.0% and 5.6%, respectively. However, this EPS estimate has trended downward recently, and our Most Accurate Estimate-which only looks at the most recent earnings estimates-sits two cents lower than the consensus.

2. Cisco Systems, Inc.

Information technology behemoth Cisco will announce its latest quarterly earnings figures after the market closes on May 16. The stock has surged about 9% in the past month and currently sports a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Our consensus estimates are calling for adjusted earnings of $0.65 per share and revenue of $12.42 billion.

These earnings and revenue results would represent year-over-year growth of 8.3% and 4.0%, respectively. The consensus mark for earnings has trended upward over the duration of the quarter. For the full fiscal year, Cisco has witnessed three earnings estimate revisions in the past 30 days, with 100% agreement to the upside.

3. Walmart Inc.

Big box retail powerhouse Walmart is scheduled to release its latest quarterly earnings report before the market opens on May 17. Shares of the company have slipped nearly 4% in the past month, and sluggish analyst sentiment has earned the stock a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Still, investors will be excited to hear about key growth catalysts such as e-commerce sales.

According to our latest Zacks Consensus Estimates, Walmart is expected to report earnings of $1.13 per share and revenue of $120.13 billion. These results would represent year-over-year growth of 13.0% and 2.2%, respectively. The consensus estimate for earnings has trended a bit higher recently, and the Most Accurate Estimate sits a penny higher.

Want more market analysis from this author? Make sure to follow @ Ryan_McQueeney on Twitter!

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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.

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 analyst 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.

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Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO): Free Stock Analysis Report

The Home Depot, Inc. (HD): Free Stock Analysis Report

Express, Inc. (EXPR): Free Stock Analysis Report

Walmart Inc. (WMT): Free Stock Analysis Report

Mastercard Incorporated (MA): Free Stock Analysis Report

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

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

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