For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – August 25, 2009 – 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: AutoNation (AN), Ford (F), Honda Motor (HMC), Toyota Motor (TM) and Phillips-Van Heusen Corp. (PVH).

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Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

“Cash for Clunkers” Ends Run

The surge of applications under the program saw dealers run out of stock for popular models, such as Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Nissan Altima. As of Friday, August 21, about half a million cars – worth about $2 billion – had been sold through the program.

However, the sales under the program left many dealers worried about not getting reimbursed by the Government. As of August 21, dealers had been reimbursed for just a small fraction of the billions in sales. About 40% of the claims submitted have been reviewed, but only 7% of the claims have actually been paid.

These had led many dealers to stop Cash for Clunkers sales prematurely, either to make sure the Government reimbursed them for the rebates or because their stocks of eligible cars had dried up.

On August 22, the nation’s largest auto dealership chain AutoNation (AN) withdrew from the program to make sure it could submit the paperwork on thousands of sales to the Government before the deadline. The dealer has alone sold 11,000 cars under the program as of August 20, and has estimated that the Government owes it $45 million.

Cash for Clunkers has generated a huge response since its inception. Ford (F) witnessed its first sales gain for July since November 2007 due to the program. Several automakers have increased production in response to the demand generated by the program. These include Ford, General Motors, Honda Motor (HMC), Toyota Motor (TM), Hyundai Motor and Chrysler Group LLC.

Van Heusen Far Exceeds in Q2

Amidst a challenging global retail environment, Phillips-Van Heusen Corp. (PVH) was able to deliver better-than-expected second quarter results, surpassing both the top and bottom line expectations.

Earnings per share (excluding one-time items), which came in at 60 cents, well exceeded the company’s guidance range of 35 cents to 45 cents and surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 44 cents. However, EPS dipped 9.1% year over year, compared to 66 cents in the prior year quarter.

On a reported basis, Van Heusen posted EPS of 51 cents, down 8.9% from 56 cents in the year-ago quarter.

For the third quarter, management expects EPS in the range of 80 cents to 85 cents. Van Heusen has raised its earnings outlook for full year as it now expects EPS in the range of $2.30 to $2.40, up from a prior view of $2.05 to $2.30.

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