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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: BJ's Restaurants, Maxim Integrated Products, LinkedIn, Intersil and Amazon.com

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CHICAGO, April 24, 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 BJ's Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: BJRI), Maxim Integrated Products (Nasdaq: MXIM), LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD), Intersil Corp. (Nasdaq: ISIL) and Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN).

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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 Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

Is BJ's Restaurants Expected to Miss?

BJ's Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: BJRI) prepares to release its first-quarter 2013 results after the closing bell on Thursday, Apr 25. Last quarter BJ's Restaurants' earnings were in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Let's see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Factors to Consider this Quarter

Continuous decline in comparable restaurant sales (comps) and increasing cost may hurt the company's performance in the first quarter.

BJ's Restaurants' same-store sales growth has been sluggish in the past two quarters. Even in the first seven weeks of first-quarter 2013, comps were down 0.5% in contrast to a positive 4% for the same period last year. Moreover, with higher payroll taxes, delayed tax refund and increased gasoline prices, the sales environment is also expected to remain choppy, as consumer spending is low.

BJ's Restaurants' top-line growth is driven by several sales-building measures, which are pushing up its cost structure. Management expects the higher marketing spends to continue in the first quarter of 2013. We believe that the continuous increase in costs will act as a major headwind for BJ's Restaurants' profits in the to-be-reported quarter.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 and 2014 has moved down mostly over the last 60 days.

Earnings Whispers?

Our proven model does not conclusively show that BJ's Restaurants is likely to beat earnings this quarter. That is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method) and a Zacks Rank #1, #2 or #3 for this to happen. That is not the case here as you will see below.

Negative Zacks ESP: The Most Accurate Estimate stands at 26 cents per share while the Zacks Consensus Estimate is higher at 28 cents per share. That is a difference of -7.14%.

Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell): BJ's Restaurants carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). We caution against stocks with Zacks Rank #4 and #5 (Sell rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions momentum which is exactly the case with BJ's Restaurants.

Will Maxim Miss Earnings Estimates?

Maxim Integrated Products (Nasdaq: MXIM) is set to report third quarter 2013 results on Apr 25. Last quarter it posted a 2% positive surprise. Let's see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Growth Factors This Past Quarter

Despite posting a year-over-year increase in the top line, primarily boosted by consumer and computing end markets; higher costs and resultant contraction in margins kept the lid on the company's earnings.

However, management is positive about the automotive end market as it won several design wins in the last quarter. Steady growth in distributor design registrations also boosted revenues. Maxim also witnessed stronger demand for its femtocell offerings.

Maxim believes that its partnership with Avnet may result in new opportunities in industrial markets.

Earnings Whispers?

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Maxim is likely to beat earnings this quarter. That is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method) and a Zacks Rank #1, #2 or #3 for this to happen. That is not the case here as you will see below.

Negative Zacks ESP: The Most Accurate estimate stands at 41 cents while the Zacks Consensus Estimate is at 42 cents. That is a difference of -2.38%.

Zacks Rank #2 (Buy): Maxim's Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) when combined with a negative ESP makes surprise prediction difficult. We caution against stocks with Zacks Ranks #4 and #5 (Sell rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions momentum.

Other Stocks to Consider

Here are some other companies you may want to consider as our model shows that they have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD), Earnings ESP of +300.0% and Zacks Rank #3 (Hold)

Intersil Corp. (Nasdaq: ISIL), Earning ESP of +62.5% and Zacks Rank #3 (Hold)

Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN), Earnings ESP of +100.0% and Zacks Rank #3 (Hold)

Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5515.

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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