Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day Highlights: Celanese, China Life Insurance, Urban Outfitters, Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch - Press Releases

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - December 14, 2011 - Zacks Equity Research highlights: Celanese Corporation ( CE ) as the Bull of the Day and China Life Insurance ( LFC ) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Urban Outfitters Inc . ( URBN ), Gap Inc. ( GPS ) and Abercrombie & Fitch Co. ( ANF ).

Full analysis of all these stocks is available at .

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day :

Celanese Corporation ( CE ) reported adjusted earnings of $1.27 per share for the third quarter of 2011, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.11. Quarterly revenues grew 20% year over year to $1.81 billion, primarily driven by higher pricing across all operating segments and favorable currency impacts. The results surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.69 billion.

Celanese raised its full-year 2011 outlook, encouraged by the strength of its third-quarter 2011 performance, its confidence in its earnings growth programs, and its expectations for a continued modest global economic recovery. The company now expects 2011 operating EBITDA to be at least $280 million, higher than 2010's results of $1,122 million.

In addition, adjusted earnings per share are anticipated to be at least $1.30, higher than 2010's results of $3.37, based on a tax rate and diluted share count of 17% and 159 million shares, respectively. We maintain our Outperform recommendation on the stock with a target price of $52.00.

Bear of the Day :

China Life Insurance's ( LFC ) third-quarter earnings witnessed a steep decline from the comparable period of last year. High surrenders, low premium income and increased impairment losses led to a decline in the net income, while increased unrealized losses in the investment portfolio led to reduced shareholders equity.

Additionally, China Life inherently faces substantial interest rate, market and currency risk. Although the company has a strong brand name, it has to deal with considerable competition on the domestic front, which limits earnings growth.

Overall, we expect some downside in the near term due to lack of any significant growth catalyst. The quantitative Zacks Rank for China Life is currently #4, indicating slight downward pressure on the ADRs over the near term.

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog :

Urban Outfitters Hears Cha-Ching

According to Reuters, the holiday season has started off well for Urban Outfitters Inc . ( URBN ), the retailer of apparel, footwear and accessories.

So far in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, comparable store sales for the retail segment marked an increase of mid-single digits as per a recent filing by the company.

Urban Outfitters continues to offer a diversified merchandise mix with trendy products and a compelling shopping experience. We believe that the company's rapidly expanding online presence will bring in incremental sales during the holidays as increasing number of consumers are using smartphones and tablets to purchase items.

Prior to the holiday sales, Urban Outfitters, which competes with Gap Inc. ( GPS ) and Abercrombie & Fitch Co. ( ANF ), marked a 3% decline in the comparable store sales at its retail segment during the third quarter of fiscal 2011.

Comparable retail segment net sales by brands rose 14% at Free People but fell 7% at Anthropologie while remaining flat at Urban Outfitters. Direct-to-consumer comparable net sales surged 15%.

The company's gross profit during the third-quarter tumbled 8.4% to $216.1 million, whereas gross margin contracted 571 basis points to 35.4% due to higher merchandise markdowns to sell the slow-moving stock of women's clothing at both Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters.

Going forward, we believe that the company's increasing inventory level remains a matter of concern as it might weigh upon the margins in the coming quarters. Total inventories were $367.4 million at the end of the third quarter, reflecting an increase of 27% year over year. Besides, young men's and women's apparel market included extremely competitive players.

Moreover, the company's customers remain sensitive to macroeconomic factors including interest rate hikes, increase in fuel and energy costs, credit availability, unemployment levels, and high household debt levels, which may negatively affect their discretionary spending, and in turn, the company's growth and profitability.

Currently, Urban Outfitters holds a Zacks #5 Rank, which translates into a short-term 'Strong Sell' rating.

Get the full analysis of all these stocks by going to .

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 the Analyst Blog

Updated throughout every trading day, the Analyst Blog provides analysis from Zacks Equity Research about the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.

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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Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

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ABERCROMBIE ( ANF ): Free Stock Analysis Report

CELANESE CP-A ( CE ): Free Stock Analysis Report

GAP INC ( GPS ): Free Stock Analysis Report

CHINA LIFE INS ( LFC ): Free Stock Analysis Report

URBAN OUTFITTER ( URBN ): Free Stock Analysis Report

Zacks Investment Research

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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