For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – November 12, 2009 – Zacks Equity Research highlights Cisco Systems (CSCO) as the Bull of the Day and Potash Corporation (POT) the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on JPMorgan Chase & Company (JPM), Citigroup Inc.(C) and Bank of America (BAC).

Full analysis of all these stocks is available at

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

Cisco Systems (CSCO) is a leading provider of IP-based networking and other products. The company’s first quarter results were a significant improvement over prior quarters, with both revenue and earnings exceeding our expectations.

Of particular note is the growth in orders, which indicates continued business momentum. Improving operating performance, solid financials, a sound restructuring policy and new growth initiatives are the drivers behind our Outperform rating.

However, we caution investors about the increasing competition, market share losses, complicated decision-making process and integration risks.

Bear of the Day:

We downgrade Potash Corporation (POT), the world’s leading producer of potash and fertilizer, to Underperform. The company has been hit hard by the global economic crisis, leading to weak demand and prices as farmers reduce their use of fertilizers. This has induced a sharp fall in profits for fertilizer producers.

Potash Corp.’s earnings declined 79% in the third quarter of 2009. The company expects fertilizer demand to remain weak for the rest of 2009, and plans to cut potash production. Potash Corp. has also lowered its expected earnings and slashed 2010 global potash demand expectations.

About 40% of global potash production capacity stands idle since the second half of 2008. The company also expects some of its capacity to remain curtailed in 2010.

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

JPMorgan to Lift Salary Freeze

According to an internal memo to all employees, JPMorgan Chase & Company (JPM) will lift a salary freeze it put in place last year. The salary freeze was applicable for employees making more than $60,000 a year.

The decision to lift the salary freeze is a part of JPMorgan’s compensation review process, following its profits for last several quarters in its investment-banking operations.

The bank also intends to pay a $500 special award globally to employees who receive less than $60,000 a year.

Additionally, the bank also plans to add more than 300 staff to its branches to support a $4 billion increase in small business lending in an effort to help revive the U.S economy. Also, to boost new loans and refinancing, JPMorgan will hire 1,200 mortgage loan officers by the end of 2010. This addition will increase the company’s sales force by approximately 60%.

According to the company, lifting the salary freeze and hiring new employees will help it to increase access to working capital, term loans for expansion, commercial mortgages, lines of credit and business credit cards.

JPMorgan is among the large financial institutions that have already repaid government funds. In the second quarter of 2009, the company repaid the full $25 billion in preferred capital received as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). In fact, this has partly enabled it to take the recent decision to lift the salary freeze.

However, for many other firms, like Citigroup Inc.(C) and Bank of America (BAC), the full repayment of TARP money is uncertain at this point as they are facing a difficult situation.

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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