For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – November 16, 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: Nordstrom Inc. (JWN), Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF), The Walt Disney Company (DIS), Wells Fargo & Company (WFC) and Bank of America Corporation (BAC).

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Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Nordstrom Ups Guidance, Post-Beat

High-end retailer Nordstrom Inc. (JWN) has reported strong third quarter 2009 results with net income of $83 million or 38 cents per share compared to $71 million or 33 cents per share in the year-earlier quarter. The earnings marginally beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny.

The year-over-year increase in earnings was primarily due to an improvement in same-store sales in each month of the quarter through prudent inventory management policies that focused on sales trends. Quarter-end inventory per square foot declined 10.7% versus the year-ago period. Overall gross profit of the company (as a percentage of sales) increased approximately 90 bps during the quarter compared to the year-earlier quarter.

By segment, same-store sales decreased 4.2% during the quarter in Full-line stores, increased 16.4% in Nordstrom Direct and 3.0% in Nordstrom Rack. During the quarter, the company reported a $10 million increase in retail selling, general and administrative expenses due to an increase in operating costs related to the opening of new stores, along with an increase in variable expenses.

Abercrombie & Fitch Earnings Dip

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF), a leading international specialty retailer, reported relatively weak third quarter 2009 results with a net income of $38.8 million or 44 cents per share, compared to a net income of $63.9 million or 72 cents per share in the year-earlier quarter.

The year-over-year decline in results was primarily due to the continued economic downturn plaguing the industry that has resulted in reduced consumer discretionary income and cuts in non-essential spending.

Overall net sales of the company during the quarter decreased 15% to $765.4 million from $896.3 million in the year-ago quarter. Total company direct-to-consumer net sales increased 11% year-over-year to $63.9 million, while overall comparable-store sales decreased 22%.

Disney’s Revenue Climbs

The Walt Disney Company (DIS) recently reported fourth-quarter 2009 results, posting mid-single digit growth in both top and bottom lines. Total revenue for the quarter climbed 4% year-on-year to $9,867 million.

The quarterly earnings of 46 cents a share outdid the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 41 cents and jumped 5% from 44 cents delivered in the prior-year quarter. The better-than-expected results followed strong results from its Media Networks segment and effective cost management.

On a reported basis, including one-time items, quarterly earnings came in at 47 cents a share, up 18% from 40 cents posted in the year-ago quarter.

New Rules for Bank Overdraft Fees

According to the new regulations, consumers must be given a notice explaining a financial institution’s overdraft services, including an explanation of the fees associated with the services.

The Federal Reserve took this decision primarily based on its investigation which showed that banking customers only want overdraft services if they know the details of what is required. However, some consumers do want overdraft protection services to make sure that some time-sensitive payments like rent and bills are covered, as long as they know the charges.

The Fed’s rules appear mostly in line with the new trend that some of the banks have already begun moving toward. In September, Wells Fargo & Company (WFC) said that it will not charge fees from customers if they overdraw their accounts by $5 or less. Following that, in October, Bank of America Corporation (BAC) announced that it will eliminate fees if a customer’s account is overdrawn by less than $10 in a single day.

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