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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Amazon.com, Netflix, Apple, Microsoft and Sony

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CHICAGO, May 3, 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 Amazon.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE).

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Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5513

Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

Amazon Expands Hardware Range

E-commerce giant Amazon.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) intends to manufacture a television set-top box (STB) to stream video content, according to Bloomberg.

Amazon's set-top box will feature Amazon's online video offerings, including Prime Instant Video, and on-demand video service, which includes newfilms and TV shows. The company expects to launch its own STB by the end of 2013.

The e-commerce giant is dependent on other devices like game consoles, digital video recorders and Blu-ray players to stream its expanding video content. The new STB could help Amazon build its own brand name and broaden its range of hardware products, including tablets, electronic readers and smartphones.

Amazon has been rapidly expanding its efforts in the video arena to compete with Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), Hulu LLC and others. Lately, the company has been developing its own original series and beefing up its Prime Instant Video service through major licensing agreements. The new STB will provide access to Amazon's expanding video services, which also include the Amazon Video on Demand store.

Amazon has done exceptionally well in new fields like cloud computing and tablet computers. Despite being a late entrant to the STB market, Amazon is likely to succeed on the back of its innovative ideas. We believe the company's promotional techniques and strengths will come into play to expand the reach of its set-top boxes.

However, competition will be fierce, with most of the large technology companies foraying into similar Internet-based video programming businesses. The company will compete with Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), which already sells its own set-top box called Apple TV.

Amazon's new device would also compete with products from Roku Inc. and Boxee Inc., as well as gaming consoles from Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) that deliver video programming.

Amazon is one of the leading players in an extremely fast-growing market. In the first quarter, Amazon's earnings were well ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 10 cents. But revenues of $16.07 billion were down sequentially as well as from the year-ago quarter.

Amazon currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous 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.

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5517

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leon Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=5518.

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Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

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SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.



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