MKS Instruments, Emerson Electric, Inovio Pharmaceuticals and Intrexon highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - August 05, 2016 - Zacks Equity Research highlights MKS Instruments ( MKSI ) as the Bull of the Day and Emerson Electric ( EMR ) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Inovio Pharmaceuticals ( INO ) and Intrexon ( XON ) .

Here is a synopsis of all four stocks:

Bull of the Day:

MKS Instruments ( MKSI ) has consistently beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings and revenue. The most recent report was a blowout, yet the stock ended up lower in the session following the report. Let's take a look at the quarter, the earnings history, estimate revisions and of course the valuation. I think you will like what you see from this Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock seeing as it is the Bull of the Day.

The Numbers

MKSI beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.47 when it reported $0.72 last week. This $0.25 beat was good for a 53% positive earnings surprise.

The topline was equally as impressive with the company delivering $326M in sales when the Zacks Consensus Estimate was looking for $293M. That $33M beat was good for an 11% positive revenue surprise.


MKS Instruments makes instruments, components and subsystems used to measure, control and analyze gases in semiconductor manufacturing and similar industrial manufacturing processes. They offer a range of products including but not limited to semiconductors, optical filters and fiber optics cables, magnetic and optical storage devices and media, solar panels, eyeglasses, architectural glass, cutting tools, and freeze-dried pharmaceuticals.

Earnings History

The last time MKSI missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate was in 2012. Since then, there has been a string of 15 consecutive positive earnings surprises. This is a very enviable track record and demonstrates management's ability to guide Wall Street to a beatable number and then still outperforming expectations.

The topline also has a very strong history. The company has not missed on top since September 2012 (the same report in which MKSI missed on the bottom line).


When you have a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) you are going to see positive earnings estimate revisions. Following the most recent beat, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2016 has moved from $2.25 to $2.65. That is a big jump of 17.7%

Bear of the Day :

Emerson Electric ( EMR ) recently missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by $0.04 for a 4.76% negative earnings surprise. As a result, the stock fell about 5% in the session following the release. EMR is a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) and is the Bear of the Day.

The Numbers

EMR missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.84 by $0.04 for a 4.76% negative earnings surprise in the most recent quarter.


Emerson is engaged principally in the worldwide design, manufacture and sale of a broad range of electrical, electromechanical and electronic products and systems. The divisions of the company are organized into the following business segments based on the nature of the products and services provided: Process Control; Industrial Automation; Electronics and Telecommunications; Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning; and Appliance and Tools.

Earnings History

Usually when a stock is the Bear of the Day, the earnings history is filled with misses. This is not the case for EMR, as there are four beats in the last seven reports. The flipside of that is that there are three misses in that same time period.


The Zacks Consensus Estimate has been falling over the last few months. The FY16 estimate stood at $3.10 in May, but slipped to $3.08 in June and lost another penny in July. Following the recent miss the number now stands at $2.94.

Next year has also saw a big move lower in estimates with the 2017 Zacks Consensus Estimate moving from $3.34 in May to the current level of $3.15.

Additional content:

2 Companies Working on the Zika Virus Cure

Mosquitoes have always sucked. They contribute basically nothing to the ecosystem, and they ruin just about every summer outdoor activity. I've hated mosquitoes long before I knew what the Zika virus was, and I'll hate them long after we figure out how to stop it.

The tricky thing about the Zika virus is that it's often not that bad. Many patients experience just mild symptoms, which can include headaches, rash, fever, and joint pain. The concern is that there is a possible link between Zika fever and microcephaly, a neurological condition that causes abnormally small heads, in newborn babies whose mother had Zika.

While the epidemic has mostly been contained to South America, a growing number of cases have started to pop up in the United States. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued a historic travel warning this week, telling pregnant women and their partners to avoid travelling to a small community near Miami where about 15 cases of Zika have appeared.

This is the first time in its history that the CDC has advised citizens to avoid a specific American neighborhood. Furthermore, the Pentagon recently announced that over 30 active-duty American service members, including one pregnant woman, have contracted the virus while serving in areas with known Zika outbreaks.

Of course, this is scary to a lot of people. As a general rule of thumb, parents try to protect their children and provide them with safety. It's pretty obvious why pregnant women wouldn't want to be anywhere near a mosquito right now.

As you probably guessed by now, there is no cure for the Zika virus. With thousands of cases popping up and no cure available, people are becoming more and more concerned about Zika, especially with the Rio Olympics starting on August 5. Several athletes from around the globe have opted out of this year's Games over fears of contracting Zika, and the international travel to the area has the potential to spread the virus around the globe.

While no cure will be available in the near future, a few enterprising companies are already making strides to find a solution for the virus. These things typically take time, but a widespread epidemic like this sometimes sparks innovation. The first company to make a breakthrough here could certainly be in for a big payday.

Leading the Pack

One of the companies fighting the virus is Inovio Pharmaceuticals ( INO ). Inovio has been working on a DNA-based vaccine for the Zika virus since December. The company's vaccine has seen impressive antibody and T cell responses in small and large animals, and Inovio announced in June that it received approval to initiate a phase I human trial to evaluate the treatment.

The key detail here is that Inovio's vaccine is DNA-based. Unlike virus-based vaccines, which can take 10-15 years to be approved, DNA-based treatments are seen as safer and the approval process is much more expedited.

The other leader in the fight against Zika is Intrexon ( XON ). Via Oxitec, a subsidiary that Intrexon purchased last summer, the company is working on what is called a "vector control" program to eliminate the Zika virus.

This program is my personal favorite solution because its goal is to completely wipe out dangerous mosquito populations. The species that carries the Zika virus is called the Aeds aegypti mosquito , and Oxitec's solution is to kill them all.

Oxitec plans to do this by developing mutant mosquitos and releasing them into the wild. Although I would normally be against intentionally releasing more mosquitos, these mutants create offspring that cannot reproduce. These little scientifically engineered bugs literally eliminate the gene pool. In controlled field trials, this vector control program has reduced Aeds aegypti populations by 92%-99%.

Oxitec announced this week that it has been invited by Florida officials to propose a pilot study in the Florida Keys.

Bottom Line

With the world converging on the hotbed of the Zika virus for the Olympics, this summer is bound to be interesting. You can bet that I'll my bathing in Off! Spray before I step outside. Of course, what we really need is a permanent solution to this outbreak, and it looks like Inovio and Intrexon are the closest to finding that solution.

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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.

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MKS INSTRUMENTS (MKSI): Free Stock Analysis Report

EMERSON ELEC CO (EMR): Free Stock Analysis Report

INOVIO PHARMAC (INO): Free Stock Analysis Report

INTREXON CORP (XON): 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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