Click here to close now.


Adobe Flex Authors: Matthew Lobas, Newswire, Shelly Palmer, Kevin Benedict

News Feed Item

Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day Highlights: Allstate, Adobe Systems, American Financial Group, Emc Insurance Group and Global Indemnity

CHICAGO, Jan. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks Equity Research highlights Allstate (NYSE:ALL) as the Bull of the Day and Adobe Systems (Nasdaq:ADBE) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on American Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:AFG), Emc Insurance Group Inc. (Nasdaq:EMCI) and Global Indemnity Plc Ireland (Nasdaq:GBLI).


Full analysis of all these stocks is available at

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

Allstate's (NYSE:ALL) third quarter earnings solidly beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate due to significant reduction in catastrophe losses and claims coupled with improved premiums, ROE and book value. An appreciated investment portfolio also boosted the operating cash flow and liquidity.

Agency expansions, ratings affirmation, dividend increment, product restructuring and acquisitions validate Allstate's long-term stability. Though the current volatile economy and catastrophe losses will continue to impact the results in the fourth quarter of 2012, continued synergies are expected from Allstate's industry-leading position, diversification and pricing discipline.

Our six-month target price of $48.00 per share equates to about 13.0x our earnings estimate for 2012. Combined with the $0.88 per share annual dividend, this target price implies an expected total return of 20.6% over that period, which is consistent with our Outperform recommendation.


 Bear of the Day:


Adobe Systems' (Nasdaq:ADBE) fourth quarter earnings exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate, but we feel the subscription service will hurt Adobe's revenue growth. Hence, we are downgrading our recommendation on Adobe shares from Neutral to Underperform.

Adobe lowered its fiscal 2013 guidance from $4.4 billion to $4.1 billion, considering the faster uptake the of Creative Cloud subscription model. We expect near-term revenue to remain under pressure.

The company's expected earnings growth rate over the next 5 years is well below the average for the industry. Hence the downgrade in recommendation. Our $34.00 target price, 26.0X 2014 EPS, reflects this view.

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

American Financial: A Strong Buy


On January 2, Zacks Investment Research upgraded American Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:AFG) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Why the Upgrade?

American Financial has been witnessing rising earnings estimates on the back of a strong solid third-quarter performance and an enhanced guidance for 2012. Moreover, this property & casualty insurer delivered positive earnings surprises in all the 4 quarters with an average beat of 18.7%. The long-term expected earnings growth rate for this stock is 8%.

American Financial reported third-quarter results on October 29. Non-GAAP earnings per share came in at 82 cents, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 39%. However, it lagged the year-ago number by 8.9%.

The upside was largely due to higher income in the Annuity and Supplemental Insurance Group.

Based on its progress and to accommodate the expected loss from Hurricane Sandy, the company revised its earnings per share projection for 2012 to $3.10–$3.30 from $3.10–$3.50.

Additionally, American Financial declared a special dividend of 25 cents per share, besides an 11.4% hike in its regular quarterly dividend.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2012 is $2.66 per share as 3 of the 7 estimates were revised upward over the last 60 days. The current estimate is below the guidance range provided by American Financial. For 2013, one estimate moved higher over the same time frame, lifting the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.1% to $3.71 per share.

Other Stocks to Consider

The following property & casualty insurers with a favorable Zacks Rank are also performing well and are worth considering.

1) Emc Insurance Group Inc. (Nasdaq:EMCI) carries a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy)
2) Global Indemnity Plc Ireland (Nasdaq:GBLI) holds a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy)



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


Visit for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.


Follow us on Twitter:


Join us on Facebook:


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]





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
Countless business models have spawned from the IaaS industry – resell Web hosting, blogs, public cloud, and on and on. With the overwhelming amount of tools available to us, it's sometimes easy to overlook that many of them are just new skins of resources we've had for a long time. In his general session at 17th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, an IBM Company, broke down what we have to work with, discussed the benefits and pitfalls and how we can best use them to design hosted applications.
Most of the IoT Gateway scenarios involve collecting data from machines/processing and pushing data upstream to cloud for further analytics. The gateway hardware varies from Raspberry Pi to Industrial PCs. The document states the process of allowing deploying polyglot data pipelining software with the clear notion of supporting immutability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Shashank Jain, a development architect for SAP Labs, discussed the objective, which is to automate the IoT deployment process from development to production scenarios using Docker containers.
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...