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Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day Highlights: Citi Trends, ADTRAN, BlackRock, Credit Suisse Group and State Street Corp

CHICAGO, Jan. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks Equity Research highlights Citi Trends (Nasdaq:CTRN) as the Bull of the Day and ADTRAN (Nasdaq:ADTN) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on BlackRock Inc. (NYSE:BLK), Credit Suisse Group (NYSE:CS) and State Street Corporation (NYSE:STT).

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Full analysis of all these stocks is available at http://at.zacks.com/?id=2678.

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

We are upgrading our long-term recommendation on Citi Trends (Nasdaq:CTRN) to Outperform on the back of its better-than-expected third-quarter 2012 results. We are pleased with Citi Trends' turnaround efforts due to the fact that despite weaker comps the company registered growth in its top line and narrowed its loss.

Net sales increased 4.1% to $149 million and surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $142 million. We believe that Citi Trends' effective cost-control initiatives and inventory management are gradually putting the company back on the growth trajectory.

Moreover, Citi Trends' extensive focus on store expansion is set to drive top-line growth in the future. Our target price of $14.00 is based on P/CF multiple of 11.0x.

Bear of the Day:

We are retaining our Underperform recommendation on ADTRAN (Nasdaq:ADTN), owing to dismal third quarter sales performance, poor customer concentration compared to other big players, decline in its traditional product line, and various governmental regulations and standards.

For the coming quarter, we expect revenue and margins growth to remain flat year over year and to be up marginally on a sequential basis given the economic volatilities. Moreover, the company competes with large and well-established networking OEMs both in the enterprise and carrier market segments.

Thus, we do not see any catalysts boosting the share prices higher from current levels and warn investors against accumulating ADTRAN shares. We have an Underperform rating with a target price of $18, based on 21.4x our earnings estimate for 2012.

Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

BlackRock to Acquire ETF Business

BlackRock Inc. (NYSE:BLK) is set to acquire Credit Suisse Group's (NYSE:CS) European exchange-traded fund (ETF) business. However, there is no official word from any of the parties involved in the deal.

The terms of the deal are also not known, as it has not been made public yet. BlackRock and State Street Global Advisors – asset management wing of

State Street Corporation

(NYSE:

STT

) – were the leading contenders for Credit Suisse's European ETF operations when the company put it up for sale in October last year. However, State Street pulled out of the bidding in December.

The acquisition is likely to give BlackRock a competitive advantage in the European ETF market. Currently, BlackRock is one of the largest players in the European ETF space with almost 42% (worth nearly $331 billion) of the market share. As per ETFGI – a London-based research firm – the buyout may provide BlackRock the control of nearly 75% of the European ETF market, thereby making it the dominant player in that sector.

The ETF market has witnessed unprecedented growth in the last couple of years. With interest rates showing no signs of improvement, investors are looking for alternative areas of investment. This has given the ETF market a major boost as it helps the investors diversify their investments, achieve good benchmark returns and provides access to multiple assets and real-time asset allocation at a low cost.

The rapid growth of ETF markets has attracted a lot of attention from both investors and financial institutions. BlackRock – one of the largest asset management companies – has not remained indifferent to this growth story. It has used the opportunities to propel itself amongst the leaders in this arena.

BlackRock is constantly looking for opportunities that will further evolve its lucrative ETF business. Besides the abovementioned deal, the company bought Toronto-based Claymore Investments, a Canadian ETF operation, from Guggenheim Partners LLC in March 2012. All these endeavors are expected to prove beneficial to BlackRock's top-line growth in the future.

BlackRock is expected to announce its fourth quarter 2012 results on January 17, 2013. The earnings ESP (expected surprise prediction) – the percentage difference between the Most accurate Estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate – is 0.81% for the company. This along with its Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) makes us sure that the company will outpace the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Presently, we maintain a long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.

Get the full analysis of all these stocks by going to http://at.zacks.com/?id=2649.

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.

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous analyst coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today by visiting http://at.zacks.com/?id=7158.

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leonard Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment

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Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

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SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

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