2014

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Cirrus Logic, Maxim Integrated Products, Ford, Apple and Diageo

CHICAGO, Oct. 4, 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 the Cirrus Logic (Nasdaq: CRUS-Free Report), Maxim Integrated Products (Nasdaq: MXIM-Free Report), Ford (NYSE: F-Free Report), Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL-Free Report) and Diageo Plc. (NYSE: DEO-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 Thursday's Analyst Blog:

Cirrus Logic Buys Acoustic Technologies

Analog and digital signal processing components supplier, Cirrus Logic (Nasdaq: CRUS-Free Report), has acquired Acoustic Technologies, Inc., an audio solutions provider. The financial details of the deal were not available.

Mesa, Ariz.-based Acoustic Technologies specializes in noise reduction, echo cancelation and voice enhancement technologies and solutions. The company has partnerships with embedded platform providers such as ARM, CSR and Maxim Integrated Products (Nasdaq: MXIM-Free Report). The company's applications are used by smartphone manufacturers and are also used in GPS, headsets, portable speakerphones, car speakerphones and car audio products.

The acquisition fetches Cirrus Logic important audio enhancement solutions and also strengthens its voice processing algorithms. Moreover, more than 90.0% of the company's revenues come from audio products, so any additions and enhancements to this segment should have a positive impact on the company's top line.  

Additionally, Cirrus Logic will be able to provide integrated audio solutions to its 2,500-strong customer base across diverse end markets.

Some of the customers include LG, Philips, Samsung, and Sony. Others such as car manufacturer Ford (NYSE: F-Free Report) and electronics distributor, Avnet, also contribute to Cirrus's revenues. Nonetheless, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL-Free Report) remains the company's major revenue contributor. The increasing demand for Apple's latest iPhone – iPhone 5S – will be good for Cirrus Logic in the near term.

In the last reported quarter, Cirrus Logic's revenues from Audio products surged 77.9% year over year due to strong customer demand for audio enhancement solutions used in mobile phones. Moreover, the company's expansion in the LED lighting products was a positive.

Thus, despite a sluggish macroeconomic environment and competition from its peers, we believe that the company will continue to benefit from its partnership with Apple.  

Currently, Cirrus Logic has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Diageo's Johnnie Walker House in Korea

Diageo Plc. (NYSE: DEO-Free Report) has opened its first Johnnie Walker House in Seoul, Korea in Sep 2013. Johnnie Walker House is an ultimate luxury venue for the Scotch whiskey lovers where the visitors can acquaint themselves to the different types of Scotch whiskies offered by the company. The inauguration is part of Diageo's strategy to promote Scotch whiskey in the Korean market.

This is DEO's third Johnnie Walker House outside Scotland, the first being in Shanghai in 2011. Following its huge success, DEO opened a second property in Beijing in 2012.

The Johnnie Walker House in Seoul has been created by the creative agency LOVE and is inspired by the 'whisky conversation' theme similar to the preceding ones in Shanghai and Beijing. Every room, display and interaction in the 'House' engages the customers in stimulating discussions, inspirational events, lectures and master classes.

The six-floor building has a distillery room, blending suite, VIP lounge and a rooftop bar where visitors can taste rare whiskies. DEO is also offering limited edition rare Scotch whiskies, custom designed dinners, and other exclusively-Korean, modern whisky offerings in the 'House.'

Diageo is apparently trying to make up the decline in sales in the Korean market by shifting its focus to premium brands and attract its first-rate customers who can afford to visit the modern establishments.     

Such promotional efforts is expected to boost sales of Diageo's Scotch whiskey segment, which suffered a setback in the Asian market in the recently concluded second half of fiscal 2013. Net sales in Korea fell 17% on an organic basis during the period.

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

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