2014

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Amazon.com, Netflix, Comcast, News Corp and Walt Disney

CHICAGO, Feb. 5, 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), Comcast Corp (Nasdaq: CMCSA), News Corp (Nasdaq: NWSA) and Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS).

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Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

Amazon, PBS Ink Streaming Contract

Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) announced a content licensing agreement with PBS Distribution, a unit of The Public Broadcasting Service, extending the archive of television shows and films currently available on its streaming video site, Amazon Prime Instant Video.

Amazon Instant Video is a digital video streaming and download service that lets users rent, buy or subscribe to a range of video content.

The online retailer has been consistently upgrading and promoting movies and television shows on its streaming video service. Over the past 12 months, Amazon has entered into a number of deals with every major Hollywood studio, as well as some of the major cable networks. In December last year, Amazon signed a deal with Turner & Warner, which took the number of videos it offers to a total of 30,000.

The latest deal with PBS Distribution will make Amazon's Prime Instant Video service the exclusive subscription service for streaming Season 3 of "Downton Abbey" beginning Jun 18, 2013. By the end of this year, no other digital subscription service other than Prime Instant Video will be able to offer any seasons of "Downton Abbey." Currently, Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and Hulu Plus, owned by Comcast Corp (Nasdaq: CMCSA), News Corp (Nasdaq: NWSA) and Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS), offer some seasons of "Downton Abbey."

We believe the deal is the latest effort by Amazon to strengthen its position versus Netflix, the leading online video subscription service in the United States. The deal will add the leading TV series to Amazon's video streaming library, which Amazon Prime customers have shown a great preference for.

We believe that one of the key strategies for Prime Instant Video remains the expansion of its video archive. Amazon is spending a considerable amount on licensing deals for movies and TV shows to attract more viewers to Prime Instant Video.

Prime Instant Video now features more than 36,000 movies and TV episodes for Amazon Prime members to stream on Kindle Fire HD, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Roku, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii U.

Amazon is one of the leading players in an extremely fast-growing market. In the fourth quarter, Amazon's revenue of $21.3 billion was up sequentially as well as from the year-ago quarter. Management attributed the increase in revenue to the growing consumption of digital content across different categories owing to the advantageous value proposition Amazon was able to provide to its customers.

Amazon shares currently retain a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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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.

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