The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Apple, Pandora, Google, Facebook and Booz Allen Hamilton

CHICAGO, June 18, 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 Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL-Free Report), Pandora (NYSE: P-Free Report), Google (Nasdaq: GOOG-Free Report), Facebook (Nasdaq: FB-Free Report) and  Booz Allen Hamilton (NYSE: BAH-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 Monday's Analyst Blog:

Technology Stock Roundup

Last week was jam-packed with events, showcases, acquisitions, court cases, government-bashing and more. Here are a few of the top stories.

Apple: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

At the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL-Free Report) tweaked its OS (better user interface, cleaner colors, improved multi-tasking), enhanced its services (Siri, Maps, iCloud), added a QR code reader to Passbook, introduced iRadio, which is very similar to Pandora's (NYSE: P-Free Report) service, refreshed the Macbook Air and offered a first look into a new Mac Pro.  

What Apple didn't do is talk about new markets, collaborations and opportunities. It also didn't deal with the question of the changing competitive landscape; it didn't say how it intended to beat the competition or why its plans would succeed.

Somehow, solid, dependable, comfortable and easy-to-use are just not that cool when you are short on cash. So should Apple go for cheaper plastic and veer away from the "perfect" phone size? Growth (especially in Asia) seems to depend upon it. But it takes the battle to its competitors' turf, requires repositioning of the brand and hurts profitability. If the rumor mills are to be believed, Apple is going to play this losing game and hope that its media sales will make it worthwhile.

Google: Numbers Speaking Volumes

eMarketer released a research report according to which, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG-Free Report), which is already the leader in the desktop segment, is broadening its lead in the mobile segment as well. The company will see global mobile ad revenue touch $8.85 billion this year for a 55%+ share of the market, with Facebook (Nasdaq: FB-Free Report) (a distant second) jumping to $2.04 billion, or a little over 12%.

Moreover, Google is likely to grow faster in the future because on the one hand, search activity on mobile is likely to accelerate and on the other, YouTube is catching on. YouTube VP Lucas Watson told Bloomberg that revenue tripled in the last 6 months and research firm Nielsen estimates that YouTube app use increased 42% from last year.

Onavo, which provides app usage data to software developers, financial organizations and others says that of the iPhones with Onavo software installed, 69% used a Google-made app (other than its search service), up from 32% in August last year.

iSpy…Privacy? Security?

Technology companies are seeing public ire after Booz Allen Hamilton (NYSE: BAH-Free Report) employee Edward Snowden exposed the government's snooping into their personal accounts and information. Nine technology companies, including Google, Facebook and Apple were accused. However, while Apple denied any involvement outright, the denials of the other companies were carefully worded, indicating that they had provided information that they were legally bound to deliver.

PRISM, as the program is called was started by the Bush administration, when it was little more than illegal surveillance by the government. In order to legalize the procedure, the Congress authorized intelligence agencies to obtain broad electronic surveillance orders from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

President Obama has said, "We are going to have to make some choices as a society," referring to the need for surveillance and secrecy to ensure protection from terrorism. Based on separate polls by Times, Gallup, HuffPost/YouGov and Reuters/Ipsos, those Americans that knew enough about the matter to comment were divided on the issue, with people opposing the government's actions just slightly ahead of those supporting them.

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

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