For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – August 28, 2009 – Zacks Equity Research highlights Acergy (ACGY) as the Bull of the Day and Loews Corporation (L) the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Bank of America (BAC), Wal-Mart (WMT) and Macy’s (M).

Full analysis of all these stocks is available at

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

Acergy (ACGY) posted better-than-expected second quarter 2009 results, though revenue and backlog slipped, reflecting the tentative operating environment stemming from commodity price and credit market overhang.

With a still healthy backlog, significant cash balances and no near-term refinancing requirements, Acergy remains comfortable to weather the challenging business environment.

Our continued Outperform recommendation on Acergy ADRs also reflects the company’s strong leverage to the still very favorable outlook for deepwater oilfield activities and the quality of its client base, which mostly include well-capitalized oil majors or national oil companies.

Bear of the Day:

Loews Corporation’s (L) second-quarter income from continuing operations came in at 78 cents per share, substantially short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The lower-than-expected results primarily reflect higher net investment losses.

However, underwriting performance was impressive during the quarter. A strong rebound in investment income primarily from improved limited partnership results, were also impressive during the quarter.

While the spin-off of Lorillard in 2008 eliminated the company’s overhang of tobacco litigation, we think that the continuation of a stressed economic environment will have a restrictive effect on the top-line growth of the company. As such, the shares carry an Underperform recommendation from us.

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

New Claims Fall Slightly

Remember that extended benefits do not last forever. Thus we really don’t know if the people who are leaving are going out through the door with the beautiful lady (getting a new job) or the door with the tiger behind it (benefits exhausted, now have zero income). We will get a better idea of that next Friday (9/4) when we get the monthly jobs report.

One thing that we do know is that very high levels of long-term unemployment has been one of the defining characteristics of this recession. An estimated 1.5 million people are estimated to run out of extended benefits by the end of the year.

These people are going to be more likely to patronize the Food Bank than Bank of America (BAC), even if they were once in the middle class. They are going to be doing whatever shopping they do at the Salvation Army and Goodwill rather than at Wal-Mart (WMT). This is a second step down — they probably switched to Wal-Mart from Macy’s (M) when they got laid off.

As for health insurance, even with subsidized COBRA (also one of the Stimulus Package benefits), it will be unaffordable when you have no income at all. The 47 million number for the uninsured that is routinely used in the health care debate is from last year, and thus significantly understates things since in this country, your health insurance is tied to your job.

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.

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