Lowe’s, Madison Square Garden Sports, Nike, Salesforce and Microsoft highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – October 9, 2020 – Zacks Equity Research Shares of Lowe’s Companies, Inc. LOW as the Bull of the Day, Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. MSGS asthe Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on NIKE, Inc. NKE, salesforce.com, inc. CRM and Microsoft Corporation MSFT.

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

As the Covid-19 pandemic stretches past its 200th day and Americans remain mostly in their homes as much as possible, there have been many winners and losers in the business world. The losers have been businesses that rely on in-person interactions for a significant portion of their revenues. Travel, leisure and entertainment have all suffered mightily.

Technology and technology services like video conferencing and file sharing companies that allow people to work at home more efficiently have been the obvious winners.

There have also been winners in lower-tech industries that suddenly find their goods and services in increased demand – and customers who’s lack of recent spending on recreational pursuits has left them with additional cash in their budgets.

Have you been to a home improvement store lately? With the exception of physical formats that have been tweaked to promote social distancing, you’ll probably find that it looks pretty much like business as usual.

For a huge retailer like Lowe’s Companies, a quick look at recent financials confirms that not only is it “business as usual,” in may respects, it’s better than usual. Suddenly consumers who have been confined to their homes have been embarking on a wide variety of home improvement projects.

The more time you spend in your home, the more likely you are to take on those nagging minor repairs that have been on your “to-do” list forever, as well as tackling bigger projects like painting and landscaping. Contractors have their schedules filled months into the future – and they shop at home improvement stores too – for plumbing, electrical, carpentry and concrete supplies.

With limited options for dining out, grills and other outdoor cooking equipment have been flying out of stores, along with larger appliances like refrigerators, stoves, washers and dryers. Though unemployment remains stubbornly above recent averages, most Americans do remain employed. With almost no money spent on things like airline tickets and restaurant meals, many are finding that they have extra cash to spend on improving their environments.

Low interest rates have kept the housing markets extraordinarily healthy, and increased spending on home improvement projects tends to accompany residential real estate transactions.

The Share Price

One possible knock on Lowe’s right now is that the shares have already seen remarkable appreciation this year. During the market panic in March, those shares traded as low as $60 – an incredible bargain!

Even at recent levels near $170/share however, Lowe’s remains quite reasonably valued at 20X forward 12-month earnings estimates. For comparison purposes, competitor Home Depot trades at 25X forward earnings.

13 recent upward earnings estimate revisions earn Lowe’s

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Bear of the Day: Madison Square Garden Company (MSGS)

It’s one of the most famous sports and entertainment venues in the world. Known colloquially as simply “The Garden” and situated right in the middle of Manhattan, Madison Square Garden is the oldest stadium in both the NBA and the NHL and has also hosted countless music, arts and comedy events over the past 52 years. For athletes and performers, “playing at the Garden” is synonymous with having reached the top of their field. It’s truly iconic.

The Madison Square Garden Company (MSGS) doesn’t own the building – the property itself belongs to a related company.*

MSGS owns the NBA’s New York Knicks and the NHL’s New York Rangers – two teams who play in the building and have enjoyed a huge local market and loyal fans around the country who buy up licensed merchandise and watch televised broadcasts. They also own several minor league franchises in both sports, training centers and even an esports team.

*(For clarification: Madison Square Garden Entertainment (MSGE) owns not only that notable, hulking physical facility that looms over two city blocks between 7th and 8th avenue in the low 30s; it also owns Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theater in Manhattan, the Chicago Theater, The Forum in Inglewood, CA and Boston’s Wang Theater. All those venues are currently closed. MSGE is currently a Zacks Rank #4 [Sell].)

Live sporting events are a very tough business to be in right now. The NHL cancelled the remainder of the regular season at the beginning of the outbreak in the US in March and pulled together a modified playoff format so that they could still award the Stanley Cup – which was eventually won by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Most teams had played roughly 70 out of a planned 82-game regular season schedule.

It was a similar story in the NBA with the regular season cancelled and an elimination tournament held in an isolation “bubble” in Florida in which all players, coaches, staff and referees have been avoiding all contact with the outside world throughout the proceedings. (The Los Angeles Lakers will look to take the championship trophy home tonight when they take the court up 3 games to 1 against the Miami Heat.)

While sports franchises were able to salvage at least some broadcast revenue from the truncated seasons, it’s a far cry from what they’re accustomed to pulling in from a diverse set of revenue sources during a normal season.

The real concern is next season: 2020-2021.

It’s anyone’s guess when we’ll be gathering once again in public spaces. Under normal circumstances, the new seasons for professional basketball and hockey should be underway soon, but obviously that’s not going to happen. Even if the leagues are able to cobble together something, there will be a massive revenue hit for individual teams.

For MSGS – which has never made all that much in net profits – that’s a disaster. Over the past 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Earnings Estimate has fallen from a net

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Bear conflict calls surge in B.C.’s northern Interior this year

B.C.’s northern Interior has seen a huge spike in bear conflict calls over the past six months, according to conservation officers, even after years of educating the public not to leave garbage in open areas as attractants for wild animals.

Many Prince Rupert residents were shocked when an adult male black bear was killed downtown by an RCMP officer on Sept. 10. Last Tuesday in Prince George, a female bear was put down by a conservation officer.

The number of bear-related complaints since April is unusual, said B.C. North Coast conservation officer Sgt. Tracy Walbauer, who has worked in his position for two decades.

“We typically have between 300 and 600 bear complaints a year, and we’re already at 900 and we’re just half way through the fiscal [year],” he said. “We typically don’t get busy until the fall.”

Walbauer said bear sighting calls come mostly from the growing Kitamaat and Terrace villages and rarely from Prince Rupert, but his team has received 14 reports this year from the city.

But it’s a far cry from the increase in bear sightings in Prince George, where conservation officer Sgt. Steve Ackles says there have been 1,270 reports of black bears.

A black bear wanders around by a park on McKay Street in Prince Rupert, B.C. (Jamie Lavallee-Pritchard)

Ackles has worked in his position for 15 years. He said Prince George destroys about 40 bears per year, but it has already put down 30 over the past six months.

“It’s disheartening,” he said. “Apparently, the public doesn’t want to save bears or keep themselves safe.”

Ackles said Prince George residents are responsible for the high number of bear sightings and deaths.

“You drive down any street in Prince George and you’ll see garbage cans stored in front of their garage doors,” he said.

The two cubs left behind by the female bear destroyed in Prince George were transferred to Smithers’ Northern Light Wildlife Society co-founded by Angelika Langen. 

She said it’s painful to watch the baby bears losing their mother, but people should be accountable for managing their garbage well, instead of blaming officers who kill the animals.

“Not pointing out where the problem really lies is not helping,” said Langen to Carolina De Ryk, host of CBC’s Daybreak North. “If you just gloss it over and not really control where the problem is, it’s never going to change.” 

Tap the link below to listen to Angelika Langen’s interview on Daybreak North:

The Northern Lights Wildlife Society is frustrated by the amount of attractants being left out in northern communities, leading to the shooting of bears and orphaning of cubs. 6:37

Subscribe to Daybreak North on CBC Listen or your favourite podcast app, and connect with CBC Northern British Columbia on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

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1 of 3 orphaned black bear cubs found in Banff bathroom spotted on trail camera

One of the three orphaned black bears found in a washroom in Banff National Park three years ago was spotted on a wildlife camera Aug. 2.

“We captured a picture of this black bear, 1803, one of our rehab cubs from 2017,” said Blair Fyten, a human wildlife co-existence specialist with Parks Canada. “That was our first sighting of this particular bear.”

The bear’s identification number comes from the year on her ear tag (2018), and the three represents that she was the third black bear Parks Canada worked with that year.

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‘We may never know’ how bear cubs became stranded in Banff bathroom: Parks Canada

The female black bear, who’s now three-and-a-half years old, was photographed just three kilometres from where the cubs were released back into the wild in July 2018.

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“Our staff was very happy to see that one of these bears has survived,” Fyten told Global News.

“She looked in pretty good shape — a bit on the lanky side, but that’s what you’d expect for a teenager. It’s kind of typical for bears that age… scraggly hair,” he said.

After two years in the Banff National Park backcountry on her own, “she’s doing quite well.”

Bear cubs found in bathroom in Banff explore their enclosure at Ontario rehab facility

Bear cubs found in bathroom in Banff explore their enclosure at Ontario rehab facility

The three bear cubs were found in a roadside bathroom on the Trans-Canada Highway west of Banff on April 1, 2017.

After searching for three days and checking wildlife cameras, workers could not find the mother bear.

Due to provincial rules regarding rescue and rehab of bears in Alberta, Parks Canada sent the three female cubs to Ontario for rehabilitation. More than a year later, on July 17, 2018, the trio was released back into Banff’s backcountry.

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Orphaned bear cubs heading back to Banff National Park in July

Orphaned bear cubs heading back to Banff National Park in July

Parks Canada confirmed one cub didn’t make it. Staff tracked her GPS collar to a location and found her carcass and evidence that she likely died from a grizzly bear attack.

Three orphaned black bears were released back into the Banff backcountry July 17, 2018.

Three orphaned black bears were released back into the Banff backcountry July 17, 2018.

Courtesy: Parks Canada

Fyten said it was encouraging to see footage proving at least one of the three cubs was alive and well. The status of the third one is unknown. The GPS collars on the surviving two bears slipped off that first spring in the wild, but there was no evidence they died or were attacked, Fyten said.

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“There’s still one we don’t know about,” he said. “It could be out there. It might not be.”

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Future uncertain

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