For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 16, 2010 – Zacks Equity Research highlights Omnicell, Inc. (OMCL) as the Bull of the Day and Morgan Stanley (MS) the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Apache Corp. (APA), Mariner Energy Inc. (ME) and Devon Energy Corp. (DVN).

Full analysis of all these stocks is available at

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

Hospital services like those provided by Omnicell, Inc. (OMCL) should exhibit strong growth over the long-term, benefiting from favorable demographic trends, regulatory environments and a lack of nursing staff. The market also remains underpenetrated.

Moreover, the U.S. government’s approval of more than $20 billion in healthcare IT is likely to boost Omnicell’s top-line. A slowly recovering economy will also help the company going forward.

Based on the company’s strong long-term outlook, we upgrade the stock to Outperform with a target price of $15.50. This is based on a P/S multiple of 2.2x our fiscal 2010 revenue estimate.

Bear of the Day:

We have downgraded our recommendation on Morgan Stanley (MS) to Underperform from Neutral. The company’s fourth quarter earnings were substantially behind the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Robust topline growth and a dip in interest and operating expenses were partially offset by losses in fixed income sales and debt-related credit spreads. Also, low levels of activity were witnessed in sales and trading revenues although strong gains were posted in underwriting, wealth management and investment banking operations.

Given the current critical sustainability factor, we remain on edge regarding the financial impact of the company’s JV with MUFG, which is scheduled to commence next month.

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

Apache Snaps Up Mariner Energy

U.S. energy firm Apache Corp. (APA) has agreed to acquire Texas-based oil and natural gas explorer Mariner Energy Inc. (ME) for about $4 billion in stock, cash and debt. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory and Mariner shareholder approvals, is expected to close in the third quarter of 2010.

As per the deal, Mariner shareholders would get $7.80 in cash and 0.17043 of a share of Apache common stock for each share they hold, representing a total value of $2.7 billion. At Apache’s Wednesday’s closing stock price of $108.06, the deal values Mariner’s shares at $26.22 each, a 45% premium to its last closing price. Additionally, Apache will assume $1.2 billion in debt.

Houston-based Mariner Energy is an independent energy explorer having principal operations in the Permian Basin, the Gulf Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. It specializes in deepwater exploration, with interests in nearly 100 blocks, seven discoveries in development and more than 50 prospects.

The acquisition will allow Apache to extend its deepwater projects in the Gulf of Mexico. By combining its global presence and strong financial resources with Mariner’s track record of successful deepwater exploration and an inventory of developments and prospects, Apache would be able to jump-start its position in one of the world’s most prolific oil exploration basins. Apache is already involved in the 2008 deepwater Geauxpher discovery and development at Garden Banks 462 with Mariner.

This is Apache’s second major acquisition in the Gulf of Mexico this week, following the $1.05 billion deal to buy Devon Energy Corp.’s (DVN) shallow-water oil and gas assets. The company has spent about $10 billion in the past decade on acquisitions and has been scouting for oil and gas properties that strategically fit into its existing exploration program.

Following the Mariner acquisition announcement, shares of Apache were down approximately 4%, while shares of Mariner jumped 40% in pre-market trading on Thursday.

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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