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In many cases, the end of the year gives you time to step back and take stock of the last 12 months. This is when many of us take a hard look at what worked and what did not, complete performance reviews, and formulate plans for the coming year. For me, it is all of those things plus a time when I u...
Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day Highlights: PerkinElmer, Advance Auto Parts,SurModics, 3M Company and Johnson & Johnson

CHICAGO, Nov. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks Equity Research highlights PerkinElmer, Inc. (NYSE:PKI) as the Bull of the Day and Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on SurModics Inc. (Nasdaq:SRDX), 3M Company (NYSE:MMM) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ).

(Logo: )

Full analysis of all these stocks is available at

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

We upgrade our recommendation on PerkinElmer, Inc. (NYSE:PKI) to Outperform based on its third quarter results. Earnings per share of $0.45 surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. PerkinElmer is a leader in several life science segments.

It has added new related areas as part of its reorganization and divested unrelated businesses. As a consequence, it has emerged as a higher-growth, higher-margin company. Its operations, both sales and manufacturing, are diversified on a geographic basis. The company has implemented cost containment measures. Growing recurring revenue stream and operating margin expansion are its pillars of strength.

In the end, our Outperform recommendation is supported from a valuation perspective and a favorable risk-reward tradeoff. Based on the company's recent performance, we upgrade our price target to $38.00, which is based on a P/E of approximately 18.4x our 2012 EPS estimate.

Bear of the Day:

Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP) aims to improve its supply chain and vendor terms by pursuing an aggressive store expansion strategy. However, the sluggish economy, volatile gasoline prices and pricing are some of the challenges facing the company.

The company's profits fell 14.2% to $1.21 per share in the third quarter of the year due to weak sales in the cold weather markets; however, it was in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The company also lowered its earnings outlook for 2012 due to the short-term softness in sales.

Our long-term Underperform recommendation on the stock indicates that it will perform below the broader market. Our $71.00 target price, 13.9X our 2012 EPS estimate, reflects this view.  

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

SurModics Reverts to Neutral

We are reverting to a Neutral recommendation on SurModics Inc. (Nasdaq:SRDX) from Outperform as we believe that the stock is fairly valued at current levels. Our target price is $19.00. The stock carries a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold rating) in the short run.

In November 2012, SurModics came out with decent numbers for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 (ended September 30, 2012). The company's fourth quarter fiscal 2012 adjusted earnings of 19 cents per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2 cents. Adjusted revenues climbed 12.3% to $13.8 million in the final quarter of fiscal 2012. Strong sales of vitro diagnostics offerings and hydrophilic coatings boosted revenues.

We note that SurModics has taken a number of steps to improve efficiency following its disappointing performance in fiscal 2010. The company trimmed its work-force and made certain changes to its organizational structure to improve efficiencies.

Moreover, following the disappointing performance in fiscal 2010, SurModics revamped its board of directors and also brought about a change at its helm, with the appointment of a new CEO, Gary R. Maharaj. We note that Maharaj is the former President and CEO of Arizant Inc., which was sold to 3M Company (NYSE:MMM) in October 2010. We are positive on the sale of SurModics' Pharmaceuticals unit in 2011 as this has allowed the company to focus on its core businesses.

However, since royalties are a major source of revenues at SurModics, any royalty related setback will affect the top line. For example, Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE:JNJ) decision to stop manufacturing Cypher and Cypher Select Plus sirolimus-eluting coronary stents, from which SurModics earned royalties, affected SurModics' top line. Setbacks of a similar nature will negatively impact SurModics' stock price.

While encouraged by the steps taken by the company to revive itself, we see limited upside potential for the stock from current levels.

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.

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today by visiting

About Zacks is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leonard 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

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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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Zacks Investment Research
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SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

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