For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – September 3, 2009 – Zacks Equity Research highlights ITT Corporation (ITT) as the Bull of the Day and Cost Plus, Inc. (CPWM) the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Ford (F), Paccar (PCAR) and General Mills (GIS).

Full analysis of all these stocks is available at

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

We are initiating coverage on ITT Corporation (ITT) with an Outperform rating and $57 target price. The company exceeded its second quarter earnings guidance due to strong results overall.

Total defense organic orders improved 29% year over year on strong product activities. OEM pressures in the aerospace market including the Boeing-787 delay have resulted in downward forecast for motion and flow control business.

Finally, ITT was able to place $1 billion in senior debt at a very attractive blended rate of 5.5% per annum which reflects on the confidence reposed on the company by participants in the financial markets.

Bear of the Day:

Second quarter net sales for Cost Plus, Inc. (CPWM) declined 13.0% compared to the second quarter of last year, while same-store sales decreased 10.9%. The specialty retailer also reported a net loss of $20 million.

The company is closing stores, cutting costs, and trying to preserve cash, but those moves will do little reverse its weak sales trends and merchandise margins. In addition, management s guidance for the third quarter cautioned investors to prepare for more of the same.

Cost Plus expects same-store sales to decrease 6%- 11% and a pre-tax loss from continuing operations of $19-$24 million. We have an Underperform rating on CPWM shares. Our six-month target price is $0.50.

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

Getting More Productive

The economy was still in much worse shape in the second quarter than it appears to be now (at least in terms of direction, if not levels). Manufacturing productivity grew 4.9 percent in the second quarter, as output fell 9.8% and hours worked decreased 14.0%. The declines in both output and hours were much steeper for durable goods manufacturers — both consumer oriented like Ford (F) or business-oriented like Paccar (PCAR) — than they were for non-durable manufactures like General Mills (GIS).

The second quarter productivity numbers are a major turnaround from the first quarter, when it increased only 0.3% overall and decreased 2.6% for manufacturing. Then output was falling like a rock, and businesses were scrambling to cut hours as fast as they could. It looks like they more than caught up from April through June.

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.

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