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HanesBrands, Potash, Twitter, Facebook and IBM highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

CHICAGO, Feb. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks Equity Research highlights HanesBrands (NYSE:HBI-Free Report) as the Bull of the Day and Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (NYSE:POT-Free Report)as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis onTwitter (NYSE:TWTR-Free Report), Facebook (Nasdaq:FB-Free Report) and IBM (NYSE:IBM-Free Report).

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Here is a synopsis of all five stocks: 

Bull of the Day:

HanesBrands (NYSE:HBI-Free Report) continues to be on a roll. The apparel maker recently beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the 8th quarter in a row. This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) also raised 2014 guidance.

HanesBrands is known for its underwear. But in addition to underwear, it sells bras, panties, shapewear, socks, hosiery, T-shirts and activewear under hte brands of Hanes, Champion, Playtex, Bali, Maidenform, Flexees, Just My Size, barely there, Wonderbra and Gear for Sports.

HanesBrands is a global company, with employees in 25 countries.

On Jan 29, HanesBrands reported fourth quarter sales and kept its earnings surprise winning streak intact by beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 8.9%. Earnings were $0.98 compared the Zacks Consensus of $0.90.

Sales jumped 12% to $1.3 billion but were boosted by the acquisition of Maidenform Brands, which contributed 9% of the sales growth in the quarter. The Maidenform acquisition closed on Oct 7, 2013 and integration of front-end, supply chain and logistics operations is still ongoing.

Operating margin rose 320 basis points to 12.9% due to lower cotton costs and benefits of the Innovate-to-Elevate initiatives.

 Bear of the Day:

These are rough times for the fertilizer companies. Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (NYSE:POT-Free Report), the world's largest crop nutrient company, recently missed on fourth quarter results. This Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) also guided 2014 under the Zacks Consensus.

The terrible conditions in the fertilizer industry are no surprise. In July 2013, Russian-based Uralkali announced it was dropping out of the potash cartel and would operate its plants at nearly 100% capacity. The price of potash plunged.

On Dec 3, Potash announced that it was cutting 18% of its workforce due to the sluggish environment in the potash and phosphate businesses.

Investors got no relief in the latest earnings report either. On Jan 30, Potash reported fourth quarter results and missed on the Zacks Consensus by 2 cents.

The fertilizer market remained challenging. Gross margins fell as lower prices in all three nutrients offset improved costs and higher sales volumes.

Additional content:

Twitter Earnings Christened, Shares Sink

Social media firmTwitter (NYSE:TWTR-Free Report) made its first public earnings announcement after the bell Wednesday, beating revenue estimates but failing to reach analysts' active monthly user targets. As a result, TWTR shares are down big in the after-market.

So you want to be a stock market star (with apologies to Roger McGuinn)? Ask Facebook (Nasdaq:FB-Free Report) -- it ain't often easy right out of the gate, especially among Internet-based companies whose analysts, while studious and learned, don't have wide-ranging comparisons to make or widgets to count beyond things like user base numbers.

Apparently, 184 million mobile users -- up 37% year over year -- is indeed something to sneeze at; Twitter shares are down 12% in after-hours trading following the company's inaugural announcement. Twitter posted a revenue beat -- $243 million in the quarter as opposed to the $221 expected -- and its recent patent deal with IBM (NYSE:IBM-Free Report) should help decrease Twitter's intellectual property vulnerability going forward (Twitter bought 900 patents from IBM recently).

Ahead of the closing bell Twitter stock was up 43% since its IPO, so perhaps the late-market trading is selling the news. The shares rose 8% a couple weeks back when Facebook posted its stellar quarter numbers.

But average revenue per 1000 timeline views -- a key metric for a company like Twitter -- is currently $1.49. This is up 76% since this time last year. It would seem that if you were in TWTR merely short-term, you've got a re-think on your hands. But ask Facebook investors if their patience has managed to pay off.

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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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