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Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day Highlights: Air Methods, F5 Networks, Chevron, Exxon Mobil and Range Resources

CHICAGO, April 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks Equity Research highlights Air Methods (Nasdaq:AIRM) as the Bull of the Day and F5 Networks (Nasdaq:FFIV) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) and Range Resources Corporation (NYSE:RRC).


Full analysis of all these stocks is available at

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

Air Methods (Nasdaq:AIRM) is a high-speed enterprise in the business of saving lives. Deploying a fleet of hundreds of helicopters and airplanes in 48 states, Air Methods is the number one provider of medical emergency air transport services.

AIRM became a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stock last month after analysts raised the current quarter EPS estimate by 10%, the full year 2013 by 8.4%, and 2014 by a whopping 20%.

This kind of earnings momentum is not new for Air Methods either. For the last five years, the company has grown revenues by 13% annually and profits by a stunning 38%.

Though the EPS growth is forecast to slow down somewhat, mid-teens top and bottom line appreciation is still attracting institutional growth investors.

Right now, Air Methods owns this industry. With two divisions that concentrate on their area of expertise, they appear poised to dominate vs all other competition.

Bear of the Day:

F5 Networks (Nasdaq:FFIV) a leading provider of integrated Internet traffic and content management solutions, pre-announced negative results and guidance last week ahead of its April 24 earnings report. This surprise for investors caused shares to gap down 20% from $90 to $72 on April 5, trading over 12 million shares in the drop, nearly 8X the average daily volume.

For 2Q2013, F5 now expects revenues to be $350.2 million, significantly down from previously expected range of $370-$380 million. Management blamed slowing sales in North America and Europe, Middle East and Africa for the dismal performance. From end market viewpoint, soft Telco and U.S. Federal bookings hampered revenue growth.

Lower revenues have also pulled down earnings per share expectations. F5 now expects GAAP earnings per share in the range of 79-80 cents, down from previously expected range of 93-96 cents. Non-GAAP earnings are expected to be within $1.06 and $1.07 per share, down from prior expectation range of $1.21-$1.24.

In its earnings call, F5 expressed its concern about the macro uncertainties that could affect near-term fundamentals. Management also remained concerned about an expected budget cut from telecom customers.

 Latest Posts on the Zacks Analyst Blog:

Chevron Weak 1Q Pre-Earnings Update

U.S. energy behemoth Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) released its first quarter 2013 interim update, covering the first 2 months of the quarter. On the whole, the update is bearish, with oil production expected to be significantly below the previous quarter.

Chevron expects foreign exchange translation effect of $250–$350 million during the quarter.

Segmental Analysis

Upstream: The company's oil and natural gas production averaged 2.636 million oil-equivalent barrels per day, up a nominal 0.2% from the first-quarter 2012 level. The improvement was aided by volume increases in the U.S. Production is likely to fall 1.2% sequentially.

In the first two months of the March quarter, Chevron's total domestic oil equivalent production decreased 11,000 barrels per day from the previous quarter levels, primarily due to increased maintenance activity in the Gulf of Mexico. Net international oil equivalent production – at 1,973,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day – was 21,000 barrels per day less than the fourth quarter of 2012. The decrease was due to the timing of cost recovery volumes and weather-related downtime.

U.S. crude price realizations during Jan–Feb 2013 averaged $94.07 per barrel, up from $90.67 in fourth quarter 2012, while international realizations increased by $4.34 to $104.27 per barrel. Chevron's domestic realized natural gas prices for this period averaged $3.06 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf), compared with $3.22 in the fourth quarter. Average international natural gas realizations were up 6 cents per Mcf to $6.03.

Downstream: Regarding downstream operations, the second-largest U.S. oil company by market value after Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) said that its domestic. refinery crude-input fell 145,000 barrels per day, largely due to planned maintenance work at the Pascagoula, Mississippi refinery. Refinery crude-input volumes outside the U.S. were also down (by 61,000 barrels per day) during the same period due to increased maintenance activity at many refineries.

First quarter refining margins increased $2.90 per barrel sequentially on the U.S. West Coast and decreased by 87 cents per barrel on the Gulf Coast.

First Quarter Estimate

Chevron plans to release its quarterly results on Friday, Apr 26, 2013, before the opening bell. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Chevron's first quarter is $3.10 per share.

Zacks Rating

Chevron currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), implying that it is expected to perform in line with the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months.

An energy sector firm expected to significantly outperform the equity markets in the next one to three months is Range Resources Corporation (NYSE:RRC), carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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.

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

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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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