The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: j2 Global, Google, Apple, News Corp. and Safeway

/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 j2 Global Inc. (Nasdaq: JCOM), Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG), Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), News Corporation (Nasdaq: NWSA) and Safeway Inc. (NYSE: SWY).

CHICAGO, May 23, 2013 (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

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 Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

J2 Global on Buying Spree

j2 Global Inc. (Nasdaq: JCOM), a leading provider of unified messaging capabilities, is continuing with its buying spree as its subsidiary Ziff Davis Inc. announced the acquisition of NetShelter from inPowered. NetShelter is the biggest technology related publisher, dedicated to consumer electronics, computing and mobile communication domain.

Notably, NetShelter has over 150 consumer and business tech sites including the very popular AndroidCentral.com that provides reviews related to Google Inc.'s (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android OS (Operating System) and Macrumors.com that collects news related to Apple Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AAPL). The sites generally create 40,000 articles per month and nearly 16 billion ad impressions every year.

j2 Global possesses a global network of publishing partners and delivers local content in 10 languages across 40 different countries. According to ComScore, combining Ziff Davis' technology sites like PCMag.com, Geek.com and Toolbox.com with Netshelter's sites will make it the largest media publisher in the technology space.

This is the fourth acquisition by j2 Global in the last four months after it acquired IGN Entertainment from News Corporation (Nasdaq: NWSA) in February, MetroFax Inc. in March and Netherland-based Backup Connect BV in Apr 2013.

Significantly enough in Nov last year j2 Global acquired privately-held digital media company, Ziff Davis Inc. for a total consideration of about $167 million. Delaware-based j2 Global believes that the combined portfolio of the acquired assets will create a very powerful content producing company and thereby allowing its marketers to address a larger group of audience.

j2 Global exited the first quarter of 2013 with a strong cash position of $310.1 million and revenues of $113.6 million, up 31.0% year over year.  Although j2 Global has not divulged any financial terms of the NetShelter transaction, it believes that the acquisitions will not have any material impact upon its operations.

We believe that this is a strategic acquisition by j2 Global, aiming the young tech-friendly customers, which in turn will meet the advertiser's target of getting a desired viewer base of substantial size.

Currently, JCOM carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Safeway Slips to Neutral

On May 21, we downgraded our long-term recommendation on Safeway Inc. (NYSE: SWY) to Neutral from Outperform as this North American food and drug retail giant is showing signs of sluggish growth. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Why the Downgrade?

On Apr 25, Safeway reported a weak first quarter which lagged our expectations. Despite earnings growth of 16.7%, adjusted earnings of 35 cents missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. Revenues stood at about $10 billion, flat year over year, trailing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $10.2 billion.

Margins were under pressure in the first quarter. Despite the benefit of New Year sales, identical store (ID) sales (excluding fuel) inched up 1.5% from the year-ago quarter. ID sales growth was negated by the disposition of Genuardi's stores in 2012 and soft fuel sales.

On the positive side, Safeway gained market share with rising uptake of the "Just for U" loyalty program. We are encouraged by the company's working plan to save costs and expand foothold in the U.S. healthcare market.

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.

Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts

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.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339
support@zacks.com
http://www.zacks.com

SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.



RELATED LINKS
http://www.zacks.com

More by this Source


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

 

PR Newswire Membership

Fill out a PR Newswire membership form or contact us at (888) 776-0942.

Learn about PR Newswire services

Request more information about PR Newswire products and services or call us at (888) 776-0942.