The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Amazon.com, Netflix, Autobytel, Geeknet and Bayer

CHICAGO, Jan. 6, 2014 /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 Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN-Free Report), Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX-Free Report), Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq: ABTL-Free Report), Geeknet Inc. (Nasdaq: GKNT-Free Report) and Bayer (OTC:BAYRY-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 Friday's Analyst Blog:

Amazon: A Strong Buy

On Jan 2, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN-Free Report), a leading player in the fast-growing e-Commerce market, to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Why the Upgrade?

Amazon's Kindle platform remains a major growth platform for Amazon. Amazon has gone on to become a veritable consumer electronics giant from being an Internet retailer initially. The company is making continuous efforts to refresh its line-up of Kindle Fire tablets helping Amazon to gain market share.

Additionally, Amazon announced an exclusive content licensing agreement with the independent film studio — A24 — in an attempt to upgrade its movies and television shows on its streaming video service, Amazon Prime Instant Video. We believe these licensing deals are helping Amazon to strengthen its position versus Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX-Free Report), the leading online video subscription service in the United States.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the fourth quarter remained steady at 71 cents over the last 30 days. Also, for fiscal 2013 and 2014, earnings estimate remained steady at 75 cents and $2.50, respectively, over the same time frame.

For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, Amazon expects revenues in the range of $23.5 billion–$26.5 billion (up 46.3% sequentially, or 17.5% year over year at the mid-point) and within the Zacks consensus estimate of $26.0 billion. We believe the company's huge investments in the business are beginning to have a positive impact on revenues. Amazon is particularly focused on growing its international business and we expect to see much stronger growth here.

We believe long-term expected earnings growth rate of 28.7%, solid product pipeline, expanding Amazon Web Services (AWS) internationally, content partnerships and strong fourth quarter revenue guidance make Amazon an attractive investment opportunity.

Estimate Revision

Other Stocks That Warrant a Look

Stocks that are worth considering include Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq: ABTL-Free Report), Netflix Inc. and Geeknet Inc. (Nasdaq: GKNT-Free Report). All these carry the same Zacks Rank as Amazon.

Bright Prospects at Bayer

Bayer (OTC:BAYRY-Free Report) had a very successful 2013 driven by its newly launched products. The German company is awaiting several regulatory decisions and pipeline updates in the coming quarters.

Of Bayer's three major segments – HealthCare, Crop Science and Material Science - HealthCare is the primary revenue generator for the company. The HealthCare segment has been boosted by the addition of new products like Xarelto, Eylea and Stivarga over the last few quarters. The drugs contributed €259 million, €85 million and €51 million, respectively, in the third quarter of 2013.

Xarelto, a key revenue generator at the HealthCare segment, is approved for several indications including stroke prevention in non-valvular atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE) and reducing the risk of recurrent DVT and PE. Bayer is looking to expand Xarelto's indication further.

Eye-drug Eylea, which was first approved for treating patients suffering from the neovascular form of age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD), offers significant commercial potential. The drug is also approved for the treatment of macular edema following central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO). Bayer is further looking to expand the drug's indication.

Stivarga, another key drug at Bayer, also offers significant commercial potential. The drug is approved for the metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) and gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GlST) indications in several countries.

Moreover, the approvals of Xofigo (oncology), Adempas tablets (pulmonary arterial hypertension and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension) and Lemtrada (multiple sclerosis) are also encouraging. These drugs are also expected to contribute significantly to Bayer's top line in the coming quarters. The new products are expected to contribute €1.4 billion to segmental sales in 2013 and the figure is expected to reach €2.5 billion in 2015. In view of the strong product portfolio and attractive pipeline we remain optimistic on the long-term prospects at Bayer.

Bayer, a large-cap pharma company, currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) reflecting short-term pressure on the stock.

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

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.

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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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