Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp., Caterpillar Inc. and Enterprise Products Partners L.P.

Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL), Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) and Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (NYSE: EPD).

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Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

DELL is Now a Sell

Dell Inc. (NYSE: DELL) has been making progress on channel strategies, operations, and new products since Michael Dell retook control of the company last year. However, Dell is likely experiencing headwinds from a slowing global economy and its share price has been sliding since reporting disappointing first quarter earnings on August 28th.

Dell is currently trading near its recent low price that translates to a P/E multiple of 7.4X our FY2009 EPS estimate of $1.48, a discount to the industry median as well as to its core competitors, Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ) and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM). Dell appears to be headed back in the direction of cutting prices to gain share at the expense of profitability, its traditional reaction to declining market share. Given the company's history, we do not expect much investor interest in the stock until Dell can demonstrate that this is a profitable strategy.

Caterpillar Balancing Out

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) reported third quarter EPS of $1.39, below our expectations of $1.59, due to higher material costs, weaker machine sales volume in North America and Europe, and an unfavorable currency movement.

The company maintained its full-year 2008 outlook. The company expects sales and revenues to top $50 billion and EPS to be about $6.00. For 2009, CAT currently expects sales and revenue to be about flat with its 2008 results. As long as commodity prices stay above the marginal cost of production, we believe global mining and energy markets can provide an offset to weaker construction spending.

Enterprise a Buy-Rated MLP

Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (NYSE: EPD) reported strong third-quarter results, raised quarterly distribution, and declared that it had sufficient internal resources to meet its next year's growth capital needs. Total gross operating margin increased 32% year-over-year, primarily driven by the diversified NGL (natural gas liquids) and natural gas pipeline and storage businesses.

Importantly, the partnership announced a 6.6% year-over-year increase in quarterly distribution to the annualized run rate of $2.09 per unit. Quarterly distributable cash flows provided very comfortable 1.2x coverage to cash distributions to limited partners.

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