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Virgin America, Chevron, Dave & Buster's Entertainment, American Woodmark and Casey's General Stores highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

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Chicago, IL - September 16, 2015- Zacks Equity Research highlights Virgin America ( VA ) as the Bull of the Day and Chevron ( CVX ) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Dave & Buster's Entertainment, Inc. ( PLAY ), American Woodmark Corp. ( AMWD ) and Casey's General Stores, Inc. ( CASY ).

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day :

Although the world of airlines is incredibly competitive, smaller players like Virgin America ( VA ) continue to impress. Airlines like VA tend to offer a bit better service and overall experience, though they might not have the low costs or massive networks that their discount airline cousins possess.

Still, consumers have been embracing this type of airline lately and with expansion possibilities that are nearly unlimited, there is plenty of reason why investors should like this space too. So if you are considering a bet on this corner of the stock market, definitely take a closer inspection of the often overlooked Virgin America.

VA in Focus

Virgin America is a California-based airline with major hubs in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The airline has taken its operations across the country and has expanded to two dozen destinations including a focus city at Dallas' Love Field.

Now with national reach, Virgin America is an intriguing selection for investors seeking to go beyond the discount carriers and into a quickly growing airline. Analysts seem to agree with this sentiment too as many have been drastically raising their estimates for VA's EPS over the past two months.

VA Earnings Estimates

Strong economic conditions and healthy growth for VA are making analysts take a second look at this stock. We have actually seen eight estimates go higher in the past two months for the current fiscal year compared to zero lower, while we have a 7:0 ratio for the next year time frame as well.

The magnitude of these earnings estimate revisions has also been impressive as the current year consensus estimate has gone from $4.19/share to $4.48/share over the past two months. A similar trend is evident in the next year time frame as well, with the consensus rising from $4.09/share to $.461/share.

And before you worry about VA's ability to beat lofty estimates at earnings season, consider that it is riding a streak of two beats of at least 14%. Clearly, this is a stock that has earned its Zacks Rank #1 (strong buy) rating.

Bear of the Day :

It certainly hasn't been a great time to be an energy sector investor as pretty much no corner of this important area has been safe. Take oil behemoth Chevron ( CVX ) for example. This is one of the world's largest oil companies but over the past six months, shares have been crushed to the tune of 25%, while we have seen nearly 38% in losses over the past year.

Things have gotten so bad that CVX is actually now yielding over 5.5%, approaching triple the S&P 500 average for yield. Given some of these numbers and Chevron's status as an oil giant, some investors might think that now is the time to buy the stock. However, there could still be a bit more pain ahead and investors may want to consider holding out a bit longer before buying in to this security.

CVX Earnings Estimates

This projected weakness could definitely materialize if recent earnings estimate revisions are any guide as these continue to go lower. We actually haven't seen any analysts raise their estimates for the current quarter or current year in the past two months, while we only saw one estimate go higher for the next year time frame.

The magnitude of these earnings estimate revisions has also been pretty bad, and especially when you consider they are already significantly reduced from where they were a year ago. In fact, the consensus full year EPS estimate for CVX has fallen from $4.10/share to $3.42/share in the past two months representing a projected decline in EPS of 66% when compared to the previous year.

Additional content:

3 Momentum Buys Surging Back to 52-Week Highs

The two issues plaguing the current market are the Fed-centric uncertainty and concerns regarding the Chinese growth outlook. We can reasonably expect some improvement in visibility as the Fed begins its two-day policy meeting tomorrow, Sep t.16, whether or not a rate hike is announced.

The global growth issue, particularly uncertainty regarding China, is likely to stay. Chinese data released over the weekend about industrial production reconfirmed what we have been seeing for a while now - the country's economy is steadily losing momentum. Recent missteps by Chinese authorities in dealing with the stock market sell-off and the currency devaluation have only aggravated the situation by stoking fears that the reality could be worse.

While a slowdown in the Chinese economy is unlikely to impact the U.S. economy through trade channels, it could snowball into a major global crisis, especially for many commodity-producing emerging markets.

Now, the (multi-)million-dollar question is whether the world's largest economy is safe. Investors should note that the U.S. is showing strong resilience to the persistent slowdown and is, in fact, witnessing growth. Stepped-up economic activities, improving business conditions, renewed optimism in housing recovery and rising consumer confidence will continue to support the U.S. stock market. While the oil price slump is raising fears of global deflation and economic slowdown, it is actually driving consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the U.S. economic growth.

However, the present market weakness and heightened volatility remain headwinds. We can reasonably expect some ray of hope following the Fed announcement later this week, though the questions about China are likely to remain unanswered for some time now.

Amid widespread volatility, investors should be careful. It would be safer to bet on momentum stocks offering high returns in the short term regardless of the market condition. The strategy is to buy hot stocks which have shown an uptrend over the past few weeks or months.

How to Pick the Right Stocks?

While handpicking momentum stocks is quite a daunting task, Zacks stock screener makes this process simpler. First, we selected the stocks with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) and narrowed down the list by screening through the following metrics:

1. Current price at 52-week high

2. Momentum Score of "A" or "B"

The Momentum Style Score indicates when the timing is favorable to enter a stock to take advantage of the momentum with the highest probability of success. The momentum-effect is quite strong among Zacks Rank #1 and 2 stocks because as earnings estimate revisions rise, prices race to keep up and anticipate future estimate revisions, resulting in even bigger gains. For a more in-depth understanding, check out our new style score system .

Here are three stocks for your consideration that are likely to continue to trend higher in the current market.

Dave & Buster's Entertainment, Inc. ( PLAY )

Headquartered in Dallas, TX, Dave & Buster's Entertainment owns and operates restaurants under the Dave & Buster's and Dave & Buster's Grand Sports Café brand names. It offers entrées, appetizers, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages; and an assortment of entertainment attractions such as playing games and watching live sports, and other televised events.

The company delivered a positive earnings surprise of 73.91% in the last reported quarter. Earnings estimates also rose 15% for the current year over the past 7 days. The stock gained about 16% over the past 30 days and hit a new 52-week high of $42.90 as yesterday's trading session opened. The company's Zacks Industry Rank is in the top 21%

Dave & Buster's currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 with a Momentum Score of "A."

American Woodmark Corp. ( AMWD )

Headquartered in Winchester, VA, American Woodmark manufactures and distributes kitchen cabinets and vanities for remodeling and home construction markets in the U.S. The company also offers turnkey installation services to its direct builder customers through seven service centers. It sells its products under the American Woodmark, Timberlake, Shenandoah Cabinetry, Shenandoah Value Series and Waypoint Living Spaces brand names.

The company delivered a positive earnings surprise of 37.31% in the last reported quarter, while its estimates went up 14.4% for the current year over the past 30 days. The stock gained nearly 5% over the same time frame. American Woodmark hit a new 52-week high of $70.39 during yesterday's trading session and belongs to a solid Zacks Industry Rank - in the top 3%.

American Woodmark's shares sport a Zacks Rank #1 and a Momentum Score of "A."

Casey's General Stores, Inc. ( CASY )

Headquartered in Ankeny, IA, Casey's General Stores together with its subsidiaries, operates convenience stores under the brand name Casey's General Store in Midwestern states like Iowa, Missouri and Illinois. The company's outlets offer a selection of food, including freshly prepared foods, such as pizza, donuts and sandwiches; beverage and tobacco products; health and beauty aids; automotive products; and other non-food items. Its stores also offer gasoline or diesel for sale on a self-service basis. In addition, the company operates a store that primarily sells tobacco products.

Casey's delivered a positive earnings surprise of 11.35% in the last reported quarter, and witnessed a 4.4% increase in the earnings estimates for the current year over the past 7 days. The stock gained roughly 2% over the past 30 days and hit a new 52-week high of $110.50 during yesterday's trading session. The stock belongs to a solid Zacks Industry Rank - in the top 1%.

Casey's General Stores has a Zacks Rank #1 and a Momentum Score of "A."

These stocks could be attractive choices for investors looking to make a pretty penny in the market but concerned about its direction.

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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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VIRGIN AMERICA (VA): Free Stock Analysis Report

CHEVRON CORP (CVX): Free Stock Analysis Report

DAVE&BUSTRS ENT (PLAY): Free Stock Analysis Report

AMER WOODMARK (AMWD): Free Stock Analysis Report

CASEYS GEN STRS (CASY): 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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