Zoes's Kitchen, PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust, Holly Energy Partners, PACCAR and PGT highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day - Press Releases

Chicago, IL - June 15, 2015- Zacks Equity Research highlights Zoes's Kitchen ( ZOES ) as the Bull of the Day and PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust ( PMT ) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Holly Energy Partners ( HEP ), PACCAR Inc. ( PCAR ) and PGT Inc. ( PGTI ).

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day :

The latest Retail sales report shows that US consumers have finally started spending their savings from lower gas prices. In fact, they had increased spending on dining out even before they opened their wallets for clothes and other discretionary items. Sales gain at restaurants during May marked the 15 th increase in the last 16 months, per National Restaurants Association .

With rebounding economy, rising consumer confidence, improving wages and still low gas prices, the outlook for the Restaurant industry remains positive.

Founded in 1995 and based in Plano, TX, Zoes's Kitchen ( ZOES ) is a fast casual restaurant concept serving Mediterranean-style food. The company currently has 149 restaurants in 16 states across the US. They became a public company in April 2014.

The company calls their concept "Contemporary Mediterranean experience with Southern hospitality." Their range of restaurant formats includes in-line, end-cap, and free-standing restaurants. They also grant licenses to qualified franchisees to construct and operate restaurants.

They use traditional Mediterranean preparation methods such as grilling and baking and fresh ingredients that are predominantly free of preservatives.

The company delivered a strong beat for Q1 on earnings as well as revenue. Total revenue increased 36.2% to $63.0 million from $46.3 million in the same quarter last year. Comparable restaurant sales increased 7.7%, with 3.7% increase in traffic, a 2.8% increase in mix and a 1.2% increase in price.

Net income for the quarter was $0.04 per share as compared to a loss of $10.0 million in the first quarter of 2014 or $0.76 per share.

Bear of the Day :

PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust ( PMT ) is a REIT that invests primarily in residential mortgage loans and mortgage-related assets. The company is externally managed by PNMAC Capital Management, an investment adviser.

The company invests in both newly originated prime mortgage loans and distressed mortgage loans but it is primarily focused on investing in distressed mortgage loans available for acquisition from financial institutions and engaging in correspondent lending.

The company reported its Q1 results on May 6. Net income for the quarter was $7.5 million, down 72% from the prior quarter.Net investment income was $37.7 million, down 29% from the prior quarter. ROE declined to 2%, down 7% from the prior quarter.

Net income per share was $0.09, badly missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.63 per share. According to the management, results were adversely affected by a combination of factors, including lower than expected performance in the distressed loan portfolio, higher prepayment speeds that negatively affected MSR and ESS valuations, and hedge losses related to mortgage spread widening in the MBS portfolios.

Due to disappointing results, quarterly and annual estimates have been revised sharply downwards in the past few weeks by analysts.

Zacks Consensus Estimates for the current and next fiscal year now stand at $1.75 per share and $2.48 per share, from $2.58 per share and $2.73 per share, before the results. The company has missed Zacks Consensus Estimates in three out of last four quarters, with an average quarterly negative surprise of 18%.

Additional content:

3 Stocks to Buy on Retail Sales Surge

Retail sales seemed to have shed off the first quarter gloom after extending gains into the third successive month. Auto sector, which account for around 20% of retail sales, was one of the main catalysts behind the surge. Moreover, strong gains witnessed at gasoline stations, and building-materials and gardening stores segment also boosted retail sales in May.

The U.S. Department of Commerce reported that retail sales increased 1.2% in May from previous month to $444.9 billion, significantly higher than the April's revised gain of 0.2%. Though it came in line with the consensus estimate, May's figure increased 2.7% from the year-ago level. It was also reported that retail sales rose 2.1% year over year through March to May period.

Meanwhile, March's gain was revised upward to 1.5%, marking the highest monthly gain in almost five years. Strong gains in retail sales indicated that the economy is recovering at an impressive rate after having a disappointing first quarter.

Sales Ride Gasoline, Auto Rally

Sales at gasoline stations rose 3.7% in May, in contrast with April's loss of 0.6%. It was the biggest gainer among the segments, signaling a gradual recovery for the energy sector after the rampant slump in oil prices over the past one-year period.

Sales in auto sector also played an important role in boosting sales in May. Sales at motor vehicle & parts dealers rose 2% from previous month, compare to 0.7% rise in April. It surged 8.2% from year-ago level. The auto industry witnessed its best May ever in terms of light vehicle sales. Strong demand for light trucks along with crossovers and SUVs boosted auto sales in May. Low level of oil prices and a low-rate environment helped the auto sector to register strong gains.

Separately, most of the housing data released in May were encouraging, which indicated that the housing market has rebounded strongly after getting affected by a severe winter in the first quarter. Apart from existing home sales, all the major metrics registered healthy gains in April. Sales at building-materials and gardening stores gained 2.1% in May, compared to a loss of 0.4% in April. Moreover, sales surged 6.2% year on year.

Catalysts Behind the Surge

After witnessing a slowdown in the first quarter, several indicators signaled that the economy is gradually gaining strength. According to the U.S. Labor Department, the U.S. economy created a total of 280,000 jobs in May, witnessing the largest job addition since Dec 2014. Though the unemployment rate marginally rose to 5.5% in May, the rate is expected to decline gradually to Fed's target this year.

The average hourly wages also witnessed a strong year-on-year gain of 2.3%. These improvements signaled a strong recovery in labor market condition. Moreover, housing market has recovered at an impressive rate over the second quarter, which also had a positive impact on the retail sales.

It is also speculated that Memorial Day weekend had also played an important role in boosting May's retail sales. Low oil prices, improving labor market condition and low rate environment helped consumers to spend more in the retail sector. This sector accounts for one third of consumer spending. It is anticipated that retail sales will continue to register strong gains for the rest of this year on the back of improving U.S. economy.

3 Prominent Picks

Below we present 3 stocks from sectors that played key role in May's retail sales. Each of these stocks has a favorable Zacks Rank. Also, with our style score system we have identified the key statistics to pay close attention to. The attractiveness of these companies as an investment option at this stage is confirmed by its Style Score of 'A' or 'B.' Hence, investors may consider these stocks to strengthen their portfolio.

Holly Energy Partners ( HEP ), through its subsidiaries, carries out operations related to petroleum product and crude pipelines, distribution terminals and storage tanks. This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock primarily operates in West Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah.

HEP has a Growth Style Score of 'B' and a forward PE ratio of 21.96, as compared to industry PE of 31.6x. The company has a current year growth estimate of 17.5%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year EPS has been revised 4.1% upward over the last two months.

PACCAR Inc. ( PCAR ) is a global technology leader in the design, manufacture and customer support of high-quality light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks. This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock also provides financial services and distributes truck parts related to its principal business.

PACCAR has a Growth Style Score of 'B' and a solid forward PE ratio of 14.41. The company has a current year growth estimate of 18.2%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year EPS has been revised 3.2% upward over the last two months.

PGT Inc. ( PGTI ) is the leading manufacturer and supplier of residential impact-resistant windows and doors in the U.S. PGT is also one of the largest window and door manufacturers in the United States.

This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock has a Growth Style Score of 'A.' The company has a current year growth estimate of 46.5%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year EPS has been revised 6.8% upward over the last two months.

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ZOES KITCHEN (ZOES): Free Stock Analysis Report

PENNYMAC MORTGE (PMT): Free Stock Analysis Report

HOLLY EGY PTNRS (HEP): Free Stock Analysis Report

PACCAR INC (PCAR): Free Stock Analysis Report

PGT INC (PGTI): 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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