Nanometrics, Apple, Tesla, Priceline and Fitbit highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - May 09, 2016- Zacks Equity Research highlights Nanometrics ( NANO ) as the Bull of the Day and Apple ( AAPL ) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Tesla ( TSLA ), Priceline ( PCLN ) and Fitbit ( FIT ).

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

Nanometrics ( NANO ) is a $430 million technology provider that helps semiconductor companies make better chips and the stock is back to Zacks #1 Rank after a big earnings beat.

More specifically, NANO is a leader in the design, manufacture, marketing, and support of process monitoring systems for the semiconductor, data storage, and flat panel display industries.

The company's primary products are thin film measurement/analysis and overlay metrology systems. These products are used to analyze manufacturing quality at critical steps in production and to provide feedback for production control or notification of out-of-control processes.

Below is how the company describes their evolving expertise. I should first note the definition of nanometer, abbreviated with the international symbol "nm"...

A nanometer is a unit of spatial measurement that is 10-9 meter, or one billionth of a meter.

Smaller, faster, more sophisticated chips. At 22nm and below, novel designs featuring 3D multi-gate transistors are helping to extend the roadmap for smaller devices. But moving to smaller technology nodes with these new structures presents manufacturing challenges.

Nanometrics offers a suite of process control tools to help manufacturers as they shrink designs to sub 30nm nodes and develop robust solutions for vertical IC integration.

Outlook Spurs Analysts to Raise Estimates

In late April, Nanometrics reported first quarter earnings results that exceeded consensus expectations and also delivered an outlook that was a positive surprise.

The company also provided color on its overall trends citing that it expects "a stronger second half compared to the first half." Here were some of the highlights of the report driving this projection..

Record 3D NAND Sales and Bookings. An accelerating customer ramp and tool-of-record positions at every major 3D-NAND manufacturer led to a record 3D-NAND sales quarter, exceeding the prior record quarter by approximately 70%. As previously announced, the first quarter was also a record for 3D-NAND bookings, both in aggregate and for three customers individually.

Successful Launch of Newest Flagship System. The company's next-generation Atlas III launched in the first quarter, with multiple shipments to a leading memory customer. Additional systems are scheduled to ship in the second quarter to multiple leading customers in advanced foundry, DRAM and 3D-NAND.

Analysts responded by raising the full-year 2016 EPS consensus estimate to $1.03 from $0.68, a 51.5% jump and equating to 295% EPS growth for the year.

While 2017 estimates only rose 11% from $1.10 to $1.22, for 18% EPS growth, this company has an impressive record of beating the analysts with the last 4 quarters averaging earnings surprises of over 100%.

This is one company to definitely have on a watch list. As analysts get more visibility about customer and sales growth for NANO, my guess is that those 2017 estimates will be rising more. Keep your on the Zacks Rank and our detailed EPS tables for NANO to stay on top of the story.

Bear of the Day :

Yes, once in a while Apple ( AAPL ) falls into the cellar of the Zacks Rank. Of the over 4,000 stocks we collect and analyze earnings estimates for, it is inevitable that even a company with monster sales, profits, and cash can end up at the bottom of the pile.

I won't regurgitate the changing projections for iPhone sales this year which you can read in a thousand other places. Instead, we just want to focus on why AAPL shares became a Zacks #5 Rank Strong Sell last week.

For this fiscal year ending in September, the consensus EPS projection fell from $9.02 to $8.40 as 14 analysts lowered estimates in the past few weeks. That represents -9% EPS growth vs. last year.

For next fiscal year, estimates were knocked down from $9.92 to $9.21, for +8.6% EPS growth relative to this year.

Additional content:

What Went Wrong for TSLA, FIT & PCLN This Earnings Season?

Stocks have been down lately but things have gone especially poorly for a few choice companies this earnings season. And it is pretty surprising for several since they actually had good reports for the most part. So if you can't surge when you have a good report, then what gives?

Well for the most part, lackluster guidance was at play and it was the primary reason for the struggles in many stocks lately. In particular though, Tesla ( TSLA ), Priceline ( PCLN ), and Fitbit ( FIT ) were impacted by this trend.

Fitbit was arguably the worst of this recent issue, as the company thoroughly crushed earnings estimates, beating expectations by 175%. FIT also raised their full year guidance, but they slashed current quarter guidance as well. Investors really focused in on that problem and sent the shares sharply lower, though we take a look at the charts and discuss why there might be longer term hope for investors.

As for PCLN, they also beat and came ahead of revenue expectations as well. However, a recent scandal involving the CEO of the company is plaguing shares, while they cut revenue guidance and EBITDA projections for the coming quarter. Add that in to a Zacks Rank #4 (sell) and it becomes a tough situation for this online travel booking stock.

And finally, Tesla was also in the news thanks to their earnings, but this is a company where earnings haven't mattered at all. TSLA missed estimates again and actually improved their guidance by pushing their date for 500,000 cars produced up to 2018. This is highly ambitious, and many investors aren't buying the hype. Watch the video for a more in-depth discussion of recent estimates and how this could spell some short-term turbulence for the stock.

Bottom Line

Guidance just wasn't what investors were expecting for any of these companies, and that's why we saw the underperformance. Make sure to watch the video for more earnings insights, and tune in next week for more earnings previews!

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NANOMETRICS INC (NANO): Free Stock Analysis Report

APPLE INC (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report

TESLA MOTORS (TSLA): Free Stock Analysis Report

PRICELINE.COM (PCLN): Free Stock Analysis Report

FITBIT INC (FIT): 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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