2014

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Amazon.com, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Apple and Intel

CHICAGO, Oct. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 the Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN-Free Report), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ-Free Report), Dell (Nasdaq: DELL-Free Report), Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL-Free Report) and Intel (Nasdaq: INTC-Free Report).

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Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

Amazon to Face Christmas Strike?

Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN-Free Report), the world's largest online retailer is likely to face a strike by its German employees this crucial shopping season unless the company raises wages.

As per reports, German labor union – Verdi – has already launched a one-day strike at two major distribution warehouses – Bad Hersfeld and Leipzig – and could continue till Christmas if their demand is not fulfilled. However, Amazon claims that the current wages are above-average in the logistics industry.

Germany is Amazon's biggest European market, with sales reaching more than €6.5 billion in 2012. Though Amazon assured that previous strikes had not affected the deliveries, the current strike could be a matter of worry for Amazon. Christmas is the peak shopping period and any strike during that period could impact Amazon's sales and profit figures.

This news comes at the heels of the company's announcement that it is expanding its operations in the U.K. The company will add 15,000 staffs, including part-time and seasonal workers, across its fulfillment centers in the U.K. to meet the increasing demand during Christmas.

Fulfillment centers are giant warehouses that help Amazon and other online retailers to store products, ship them and handle returns quickly. These are important for providing the level of customer service that Amazon's customers have come to expect of the company.

The growing demand for online shopping has led to the need to expand the fulfillment centers. As accurate delivery of products is very important for the success of an online retail company, these strikes delay product delivery which in turn will translate into losses for the company.

Currently, Amazon's shares have a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

PC Shipments Drop Further in Q3

According to the latest report from Gartner, the PC industry has declined in the third quarter of 2013 as well. Global PC shipments in the third quarter declined 8.6% on a year-over-year basis to 80.3 million. However, PC shipments in the U.S. increased 3.5% year over year.

Gartner said that the decline in global PC shipments was the result of a shift in consumer preferences toward tablets in both mature and emerging markets. The report also suggested that the widespread availability of economical Android-based tablets in emerging markets impacted PC sales.

In the third quarter of 2013, Lenovo maintained its lead in the global PC market with 17.6% market share, which increased from 15.7% in the year-ago period and 16.7% sequentially. PC shipments by Lenovo recorded a year-over-year increase of 2.8%.

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ-Free Report) and Dell (Nasdaq: DELL-Free Report) also maintained their positions as the second and third largest players, respectively. Both the PC vendors witnessed a year-over-year increase in market share.

Hewlett-Packard's third-quarter market share increased from 15.4% in the third quarter of 2012 to 17.1%. The company's shipments rose 1.5% year over year.

Dell saw a rise in market share from 10.5% in the third quarter of 2012 to 11.6% in the last quarter. The company's shipments rose 1.0% year over year in the third quarter. However, these moderate increases in shipments were more than offset by 22.6% and 22.5% declines at Acer Group and Asus, respectively.

Despite the sixth consecutive quarter of decline in PC shipments, it is worth mentioning that the PC shipment declines have moderated from the second quarter of 2013. PC shipments in the second quarter declined 10.9% year over year. Moreover, another encouraging factor is that PC shipments have increased 5.7% sequentially in the third quarter.

Additionally, U.S. PC shipments recorded a 3.5% increase on a year-over-year basis. In the U.S., Hewlett-Packard maintained its lead in the market with 26.9% market share while Dell had a 21.0% market share and Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL-Free Report) came in third with 13.4% share.

It is worth mentioning that among the top three vendors only Apple witnessed a year-over-year decline in PC shipments (down 2.3% year over year) and market share (13.4% versus 14.2%). Hewlett-Packard's market share increased moderately from 26.6% in the third quarter of 2012 to 26.9% with shipments rising 4.5%. Although Dell's market share remained stagnant at 21.0% on a year-over-year basis, its shipments rose 3.3%.   

On a geographic basis, PC shipments in the EMEA region came in at 22.4 million units, down 13.7% from the same period last year. The Asia/Pacific recorded a decline of 11.2%, primarily due to currency fluctuations in India and Indonesia. Moreover, PC vendors remained cautious ahead of the launch of Windows 8.1 models based on Intel's (Nasdaq: INTC-Free Report) Bay Trail.

We believe that the emergence and rapid adoption of handheld computing devices from Apple, Samsung and other Asian companies are cannibalizing PC sales and this trend may be expected to continue. Prominent PC companies are also investing in tablets and other handheld computing devices which should help them to counter this decline.

Currently, Apple carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Intel carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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