For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – October 21, 2009 – Zacks Equity Research highlights Vodafone (VOD) as the Bull of the Day and Conmed Corp. (CNMD) the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), Coca Cola Company (KO) and Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT).

Full analysis of all these stocks is available at

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

We maintain our Outperform recommendation for Vodafone (VOD), the largest revenue generating international wireless carrier. Revenue growth in the last quarter was fuelled by foreign exchange gains and acquisitions.

Additionally, increase in subscriber base was driven by continued healthy net additions in its Indian operation. Vodafone’s globally diversified operation provides hedging elements which offset price competition and translation risk that may arise in specific markets. The company continues to accelerate 3G wireless service deployments and expanding network availability across Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa.

Moreover, Vodafone is focused on improving shareholder returns through attractive dividend payouts. Management’s outlook for fiscal 2010 remains favorable as operating results are expected to improve with continued growth across incipient markets coupled with ongoing cost saving initiatives and currency exchange translation gains.

Bear of the Day:

Conmed Corp. (CNMD) operates in highly competitive markets against competitors that are much larger, technically competent and possess substantially more assets.

Additionally, many of these competitors offer a range of products not matched by Conmed, which may make Conmed’s offerings less attractive to surgeons, hospitals, and group purchasing organizations that are trying to reduce the number of vendors they do business with. In the second quarter, earnings per share were $0.17, compared to the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.16 and the year-ago earnings of $0.43.

We have an Underperform rating on Conmed with a target price of $18.

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

Caterpillar Tops Expectations

Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) reported third quarter earnings of 64 cents per share, well above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 7 cents per share. The company’s better-than-expected performance was primarily driven by higher price realization, lower SG&A and R&D costs, and inventory decrement benefits.

However, on a year-over-year basis the company’s EPS declined 54.0%. Revenue in the quarter was down 43.8% to $7.3 billion from $13.0 billion posted last year. The sales decline in the quarter constituted lower machinery sales volume (-$4.2 billion), lower Engines sales volume (-$1.5 billion), negative impact of foreign currency translation (-$138 million), lower financial products revenue (-$118 million), partially offset by higher price realization (+$227 million).

Coca Cola Reports Modest Results

The Coca Cola Company (KO) reported modest results for the third quarter with earnings of 81 cents per share. Earnings were in-line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate and flat year-over-year.

Net operating revenues for the quarter declined 4% year-over-year, driven by a 6% negative impact from currency translation and a 1% adverse impact from a structural change. This was partially offset by 2% increase in concentrate sales and a 1% benefit from pricing and product mix.

Worldwide unit case volume increased 2% in the quarter, aided by a 4% improvement in international unit case volume and 2% growth in the Coca Cola trademark brand. The emerging markets of India and China grew an impressive 37% and 15%, respectively. In addition, strong unit case volume growth was observed in other key markets including Eurasia & Africa, Latin America and Pacific. Europe posted a 2% volume decline, while North American volume declined 4%.

Lockheed Demonstrates Strength

Before markets opened today, the Big Daddy among Defense contractors, Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT), reported strong third quarter fiscal 2009 results and raised its fiscal outlook. In the reported quarter with EPS of $2.07, the company beat both the Zacks Consensus Estimate and the year-ago EPS of $1.83 and $1.92, respectively.

Net earnings rose to $797 million in the reported quarter compared to $782 million in the year-ago quarter. In a reversal of fortune, pension accounting adjustment negated $113 million from the quarter while in the year-ago quarter this adjustment had added $32 million to earnings. The spike in pension liability was due to the lower value of the company’s retiree fund.

Get the full analysis of all these stocks by going to

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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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