For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 23, 2010 – Zacks Equity Research highlights Harley-Davidson, Inc. (HOG) as the Bull of the Day and Monsanto Company (MON) the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Verizon (VZ), AT&T (T) and Frontier Communications (FTR).

Full analysis of all these stocks is available at

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

Harley-Davidson, Inc. (HOG) is the world’s largest manufacturer of heavyweight motorcycles by market share, controlling half the U.S. market and a third of the global market. The company enjoys strong brand loyalty by maintaining a robust franchise.

The company’s restructuring actions have been effective in maintaining bottom-line growth, despite lower revenues. It also helped the company surpass the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the first quarter of 2010.

Furthermore, Harley’s Financial Services segment returned to profit after continuous losses since the fourth quarter of 2008. These factors have led us to upgrade the recommendation from Underperform to Outperform with a target price of $41.

Bear of the Day:

Monsanto Company (MON) is a leading global provider of agricultural products to farmers. The company’s pipeline of agricultural biotechnology products stands unmatched in the industry.

However, an intense competitive environment and the company’s huge dependence on a few large customers present a risk to its top-line. Monsanto also faces foreign currency risk since a significant portion of its income comes from outside the U.S.

We are downgrading our recommendation on the stock from Neutral to Underperform based on weak results for two consecutive quarters. We believe this will continue on the basis of the guidance provided by management for fiscal 2010.

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

Verizon Net Tanks on Hefty Charges

Verizon (VZ) has announced first-quarter 2010 results with adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of 56 cents, matching the Zacks Consensus Estimate while declining from 58 cents reported a year-ago.

Adjusted EPS excludes a $962 million one-time charge associated with the recent federal health-care overhaul which eliminated certain tax benefits related to retired employees. It also excludes merger integration and acquisition costs and expenses associated with the impending spin-off of specific wireline assets.

Net income (attributable to Verizon) plunged 75% year-over-year to $409 million (or 14 cents a share), largely due to the hefty charges related to healthcare reform.

The largest national wireless carrier posted revenues of $26.9 billion for the quarter, up 1.2% year-over-year, also in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Revenue growth was driven by the contribution from Alltel Corp acquired in early 2009. Results were highlighted by healthy gains across strategic growth areas such as wireless and FiOS footprint (Internet and video).

Verizon exited the quarter with 92.8 million wireless customers, up 7.2% year over year. Net customer additions for the quarter were 1.55 million (excluding acquisitions), down 89% year over year. Total retail customer base increased 4.4% to 87.8 million. Net retail postpaid subscriber additions for the quarter were 423,000.

The carrier’s archrival AT&T (T) added 512,000 postpaid customers in the first quarter. The maturing domestic wireless market is affecting contract customer growth.

In an effort to boost its wireline business, Verizon is replacing its copper line-based networks with expensive fiber-optic deployments in key markets. The company is selling its local wireline assets in 13 states to Frontier Communications (FTR) to focus on more densely populated markets.

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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