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Lazard, Full House Resorts, Life Technologies, Thermo Fisher Scientific and General Electric highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

CHICAGO, Jan. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks Equity Research highlights Lazard Ltd. (NYSE:LAZ-Free Report) as the Bull of the Day and Full House Resorts (Nasdaq:FLL-Free Report)as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis onLife Technologies Corp. (Nasdaq:LIFE-Free Report), Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. (NYSE:TMO-Free Report) and General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE-Free Report).

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Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

Investment Management and Financial Advisory industry is expected to report strong results for Q4 2013. Now may be a good time to consider a Zacks Rank # 1 (Strong Buy) from this top rated industry.

Lazard Ltd. (NYSE:LAZ-Free Report) is a leading global financial advisory and asset management firm with more than $175 billion in AUM. It operates from 40 cities across 26 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Central and South America.

The firm provides advice on mergers and acquisitions (M&A), strategic matters, restructuring and capital structure, capital raising and corporate finance, as well as asset management services.

Lazard reported it Q3 results on October 24, 2013. Adjusted earnings for the quarter came in at $0.46 per share, handily beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.35 per share and significantly up from $0.26 per share earned in the same quarter last year.

Excellent results were driven by strong top-line performance, thanks mainly to increase in financial advisory as well as asset management revenues.

Bear of the Day:

Full House Resorts (Nasdaq:FLL-Free Report) is a casino gaming company, incorporated in 1987. The company owns local casinos as well as manages casinos on behalf of Native American tribes and commercial clients. Currently FLL owns and/or manages five casinos in four states.

Declining estimates sent FLL back to a Zacks Rank # 5 (Strong Sell) earlier this month.

On November 9, 2012, FLL reported its third quarter results. Adjusted operating net income for the quarter were $0.5 million or $0.02 per share, compared to net income of $2.1 million or $0.11 per share in the prior-year period.

Earnings were substantially short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.06 per share. This was the second consecutive quarter of negative earnings surprise for FLL.

According to the management, increased competition and continuing slow economy resulted in a challenging environment.

Following disappointing results, analysts have cut their estimates for GGS. Zacks Consensus Estimates for the current year and the next year are currently $0.02 per share and $0.07 per share, down from $0.04 per share and $0.11 per share respectively, 60 days ago.

Additional content:

Thermo Fisher-Life Deal OK'd in China

Subsequent to the European Commission's (EC) conditional approval of the impending $13.6 billion (or $76 per share) acquisition of Life Technologies Corp. (Nasdaq:LIFE-Free Report), Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. (NYSE:TMO-Free Report) recently received the Chinese regulatory nod for the same. As per several recent reports including one from Reuters, China's Ministry of Commerce lately approved Thermo Fisher's acquisition of Life Technologies subject to certain conditions.

These conditions include divestment of TMO's cell culture and gene modulation business, price cuts on two of the company's products (SSP kits and SDS-PAGE protein standards) that are sold in China, and sale of Thermo Fisher's 51% stake in China's Lanzhou National Hyclone Bio-engineering Co Ltd.

We note that, some of these conditions are similar to those demanded by the EC which conditionally cleared the deal in November. Last week, to fulfill the conditions put forward by the EC, Thermo Fisher inked a deal to divest 3 of its business divisions to GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE-Free Report). Per the deal, GE Healthcare will buy Thermo Fisher's gene modulation, cell culture and magnetic beads businesses for about $1.06 billion

In addition, Thermo Fisher needs certain other additional regulatory go-aheads to close the LIFE takeover. This includes a clearance from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The company is currently working on completing this transaction by early 2014.

In Aug 2013, more than 98% of the shareholders of Life Technologies (representing more than 72% of the company's outstanding shares) had voted in favor of this merger agreement. Prior to that, on Apr 15, Thermo Fisher had disclosed its plans to acquire LIFE for roughly $13.6 billion plus the assumption of the latter's net debt ($2.2 billion as of year-end 2012).

The total purchase price includes cash and debt of $9.5–$10.0 billion and as much as $4.0 billion in equity. EC's support in this regard is considered to be a major positive and a big milestone for the deal to finally go through.

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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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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.

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