Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Shelly Palmer, Glenda Sims, Paul Simmons, APM Blog

News Feed Item

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: ConAgra Foods, H J HEINZ, BRF Brasil Foods, Calpine and Alliant Energy

CHICAGO, Dec. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE:CAG), H J HEINZ CO. (NYSE:HNZ), BRF Brasil Foods (NYSE:BRFS), Calpine Corporation (NYSE:CPN) and Alliant Energy Corporation (NYSE:LNT).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5513

Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Earnings Scorecard: ConAgra

ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE:CAG), a leading North American food company, reported impressive fiscal second quarter 2013 (ended November 25, 2012) results. The company saw a significant rise in the earnings due to improvements in the Lamb Weston potato operations coupled with improved pricing. ConAgra, hopeful of further improvement in the future, also increased its earnings outlook for fiscal 2013.

Let's take a brief look at the company's financials for the fiscal second quarter 2013:

Earnings Review

The manufacturer of branded and non-branded food posted a 16.3% increase year over year in the earnings on a continuing basis, adjusted for comparability, to settle down at 57 cents for the quarter. The results surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 55 cents by 3.6%.

Revenue for the reported quarter improved 8.9% to $3,735.5 million from $3,431.7 million in the year-earlier quarter. Results in the quarter were driven by improved potato operations, moderating inflation and contribution from acquired businesses. Revenue outshined the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,691 million by 1.2%.

Agreement/Magnitude of Estimate Revisions

The recent quarter results along with the increase in guidance for fiscal 2013 by the management have triggered an estimate revision for the company in either direction. In the last 7 days, of the 7 estimates for 2013, 5 were revised upwards by the analysts covering the stock. However, out of the 12 estimates for 2014, 5 were revised upwards while 2 were lowered by the analysts in the last 7 days.

For the fiscal third quarter of 2013, from a total of 11 estimates, there were 2 positive revisions.

As for magnitude of estimate revision, in the last 7 days, estimate for the third quarter remained neutral at 55 cents. However, for 2013, estimates increased from $2.06 to $2.09 along with an increase from $2.25 to $2.30 for 2014.

The Zacks Consensus Estimates represents a year-over-year growth of 7.3% for third quarter, 13.6% for 2013 and 10.1% for 2014.

Our Take

The company seems to have a bright future in the Consumer Foods segment, following the acquisitions it has undertaken so far. The cost reduction activities are in place, leading to the possibility of higher earnings. The pending acquisition of Ralcorp Holdings Inc. is an added advantage, as it will lead to cost synergies in the future. We continue to expect the company to earn high revenues along with an increase in the earnings.

Currently, we maintain a Neutral recommendation on ConAgra Foods Inc. The stock also bears a Zacks #2 (Buy) Rank, while its prime competitors H J HEINZ CO. (NYSE:HNZ) and BRF Brasil Foods (NYSE:BRFS) carry a Zacks #3 (Hold) Rank.

Calpine Closes Nat Gas Asset Sale

Wholesale utility play, Calpine Corporation (NYSE:CPN) closed its Broad River Energy Center divestiture for an amount of $427 million plus adjustments (roughly $504 per kilowatt) to Broad River Power LLC, an associate of Energy Capital Partners LLC. Calpine received the go-ahead for the sale from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") on December 18, 2012.

The news of the divestment was earlier divulged during November 2012 at the time of the company's third quarter earnings release. The Broad River Energy Center, situated in Gaffney, South Carolina is an 847 megawatt simple-cycle, natural gas-fired establishment.

Calpine has planned to realign its asset portfolio via a string of non-core asset sales. The Broad River Energy sell off was made to complement Calpine's $432 million acquisition of Bosque Power Plant, which happens to be a combined cycle gas turbine ("CCGT") facility in Central Texas. The CCGT acquisition will enable Calpine to achieve thermal efficiency of about 60% compared to a simple cycle plant.

Followed by the Broad Energy sale, Calpine expects to earn $392 million from the year-end divestment of its Riverside Energy Center in Wisconsin. The company intends to plough back the proceeds from these sales for the development of its high-return resources.

Other key initiatives include the company's development of the proposed 309 megawatt Garrison Energy Center, an energy-efficient natural gas based facility in Dover, Delaware.

With natural gas becoming a hotshot energy source in the U.S. utility market, we believe Calpine's purchase of high-quality gas units will certainly boost the near-term earnings stream and bring future growth opportunities.

However, weather-induced demand volatilities leading to price fluctuations and unplanned outages resulting from winter storms could act as negative catalysts to growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimates for the fourth quarter and full year 2012 presently stand at a loss of 4 cents and earnings of 43 cents per share, respectively. 

Another utility player, Alliant Energy Corporation (NYSE:LNT) is also eyeing to enhance its natural gas prospects. The company recently sought regulatory approval for the planned building of a 650 megawatt Marshalltown Generating Station ("MGS") with the Iowa Utilities Board.

With a market capitalization of $8.38 billion, Texas-based Calpine Corp. has 2,101 employees in total. It owns and operates natural gas-fired and geothermal power plants in North America and currently retains a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold rating).

Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5515.

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 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.

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5517

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leon Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=5518.

Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts

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.

Media Contact

Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339

[email protected]

http://www.zacks.com

SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.