2014

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Amazon.com, Overstock.com, SanDisk, Silicom and CPFL Energia

CHICAGO, Aug. 21, 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 theAmazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN-Free Report), Overstock.com (Nasdaq: OSTK-Free Report), SanDisk (Nasdaq: SNDK-Free Report), Silicom Ltd. (Nasdaq: SILC-Free Report) and CPFL Energia S.A. (NYSE: CPL-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 Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

Amazon, Overstock in Pricing Duel

Internet retailer Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN-Free Report) is facing strong competition from Overstock.com (Nasdaq: OSTK-Free Report).

Headquartered in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, Overstock.com is an American online retailer best known for selling products other than books. Recently, however, the company entered the realm of print titles and has even slashed prices considerably.

The company has announced to match Amazon's prices on all its printed books. Additionally, 15% rebates on book purchases will be given to members of its $20-annual free-shipping loyalty club.

Over the past year, Amazon has been taking every possible step to expand its catalog and remains one of the favorite players for book lovers in the fast-growing ecommerce market. However, Overstock, not widely known for its book offerings, is trying to change the scenario by beating Amazon at price. Starting late July, Overstock.com offered books at 10% lower price than Amazon.

To counter the move, Amazon also lowered the prices on many titles which again prompted Overstock to lower their prices, leading to a big price war. With huge discounts being offered by Overstock.com, Amazon needs to put in its best efforts to have a successful business with high quality books in its list.

However, the book business is changing rapidly due to the increased customer adoption of Kindles, iPads and other devices that are making e-books more attractive than hardcovers. Amazon with its Kindle Fire has strongly penetrated the market and has now more than 60% market share in e-readers due to its attractive pricing.

According to a report from PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), the trade eBooks (excluding educational publications) will reach $8.2 billion in sales by 2017, while printed book sales are expected to fall from $11.9 billion in 2012 to $7.9 billion in 2017.

Though Amazon remains one of the leading players in the fast-growing ecommerce market, it reported a loss of 1 cent in the first quarter, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5 cents. Also, revenues of $15.70 billionwere down 2.3% sequentiallybutup 22.4% from the year-ago quarter.

Amazon has a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). Other stocks that are performing well at current levels include SanDisk (Nasdaq: SNDK-Free Report) and Silicom Ltd. (Nasdaq: SILC-Free Report), all carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

CFPL Energia Downgraded to Strong Sell

Zacks Investment Research downgraded CPFL Energia S.A. (NYSE: CPL-Free Report) to a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong sell) on Aug 16, 2013.

Why the Downgrade?

CPFL Energia's second quarter 2013 results were disappointing as the company reported net loss of R$134 million (US$65 million) compared with net earnings of R$246 million (US$126 million) in the year-ago quarter. Loss per ADR came in at 11 cents, down compared with 29 cents earnings reported in the year-ago quarter. Shares of CPFL Energia have dropped 11.4% since the company reported its results on Aug 14, 2013.

Revenue in local currency, for CPFL Energia increased 3.0% year over year due primarily to higher revenue generation from electricity sales to distributors and other operating sources. These were however partially offset by revenue declines in electricity sales to final customers and revenue from building the infrastructure.

Talking of expenses and margins, cost of electric energy services in the quarter represented 59.8% of total revenue, an increase from 57.4% reported in the year-ago quarter. Operating margin in the quarter was 6.2%, down 860 basis points, year over year.

CPFL Energia has a negative earnings surprise in one and positive in three of the trailing four quarters, with an average of -30.7%. Also, in the last 7 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company has gone down by 5.5% to $1.20 for 2013 and has declined 15.6% to $1.19 for 2014.

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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