For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – May 7, 2010 – Analyst Blog features: Ford (F), Whirlpool (WHR), Kellogg (K), Altria (MO), Evergreen Solar Inc. (ESLR) and UBS AG (UBS).

Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit from the Pros newsletter:

Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

Productivity Still Popping

There are very real limits on how much productivity can increase in many service industries. For example, there has been no real increase in the productivity of barbers in about a century, as the amount of time it takes to cut someone’s hair really has not changed. Health care is one larger sector that has historically been immune to higher productivity as well, or at least the increases there have not been as well measured.

The first quarter was somewhat of an anomaly in that regard, as manufacturing productivity rose by just 2.5% (still a solid showing) but it is up 7.5% year over year. Manufacturing output in the quarter was up a sharp 7.5%, but hours worked rose by 4.9%. On a year-over-year basis, output is up 3.3% and hours worked are down 3.9%. Given how much smaller manufacturing is as a share of the overall economy now than it was in the 1950’s or 1960’s when we last saw these sorts of overall productivity gains, the current increase is especially impressive.

Durable goods manufacturers like Ford (F) and Whirlpool (WHR) were able to continue increasing productivity at a faster rate than the economy as a whole, with growth of 3.8% on the quarter as output surged 10.5% while hours worked increased 6.4%. On a year-over-year basis, durable goods manufacturing productivity is up 9.0% as output is up 3.1% while hours worked are down 5.4%.

It has been non-durable manufacturing where productivity gains have lagged somewhat, with productivity up 2.2% on the quarter with a 4.8% gain in output and a 2.5% increase in hours worked. On a year-over-year basis, non-durable manufacturing productivity is up 5.0% on a 3.4% increase in output and a 1.6% decline in hours worked. It is not surprising, then, that the earnings gains for non-durable manufacturing firms such as Kellogg (K) and Altria (MO) have not seen the same sort of pop that more cyclical durable goods firms have (nor did they have the implosion in earnings earlier).

Evergreen Solar Loss Widens

Massachusetts-based Evergreen Solar Inc. (ESLR) reported fiscal 2010 first-quarter loss per share of 10 cents, widening the gap by a cent compared to the year-ago quarter. This is also worse than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of an 8 cent loss.

On a reported basis, Evergreen Solar reported a loss of 40 cents per share compared to 12 cents in the year-ago quarter. The fall came from lower average selling prices, due mainly to a stronger U.S. dollar.

UBS Profits, Outflows Fall

UBS AG (UBS) has posted its second consecutive quarter of net profit, aided by strong contribution from its Investment Bank division and a drop in client money outflows.

UBS AG reported a first quarter net profit of CHF 2.2 billion ($2.08 billion) compared with a profit of CHF 1.21 billion in the prior quarter and a loss of CHF 1.98 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Solid performance in the fixed income, currencies and commodities business led to significant improvement in the Investment Bank results. Pre-tax profit increased to CHF 1.19 billion from CHF 297 million in the prior quarter.

Invested assets of CHF 2,267 billion on Mar 31, 2010, were up 2% sequentially and 4% year over year, reflecting favorable market performance and positive currency impacts. The results were partially offset by net new money outflows.


Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the Pros newsletter:

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:

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

Mark Vickery
Web Content Editor



Zacks Investment Research