The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Comcast, Facebook, Pandora Media, Microsoft and FMC

CHICAGO, Oct. 9, 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 Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA-Free Report), Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB-Free Report), Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P-Free Report),  Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT-Free Report) and FMC Corporation (NYSE: FMC-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 Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

Comcast Unit Enhances Marketplace

Comcast Business, a unit of Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA-Free Report), has decided to incorporate the AnyMeeting software in its Upware cloud marketplace. The software offers web conferencing and webinar services to small business enterprises.

Both the companies will collaborate to deliver superior web conferencing services to small and medium business (SMB) clients which includes video conferencing in six different methods, VoIP audio conferencing, screen sharing, presentation sharing, recording and mobile access.

Research firm AMI-Partners believes that there is a growing demand for web conferencing services among SMB customers. Over the next three years, the firm expects North America to generate nearly $1.4 billion revenues annually from web conferencing, up from $560 million in 2012, growing at a CAGR of 26%.

Comcast's cloud computing service is highly popular with 50% subscribers using its next-generation web-capable platform – "X1." This platform offers a hybrid IP/QAM video gateway with an advanced user interface and the ability to port third-party apps that tie into a cloud-based infrastructure.  X1 service will be available nationwide by the end of 2013.

Comcast is gradually deploying its next-generation Xfinity TV, an on-demand, Web-based service for subscribers with access to both video programming and the Internet. The new Xfinity TV set-top box has an innovative system to quickly navigate between live and on-demand programming. A new user interface incorporates content from Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB-Free Report), Internet Radio of Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P-Free Report), and news and weather applications.

Comcast also entered into an agreement with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT-Free Report) to enable its subscribers to access Xfinity TV online content from the Microsoft Xbox. Xfinity TV currently covers 95% of the company's footprint.

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

FMC Boosts Crop Protection Portfolio

FMC Corporation (NYSE: FMC-Free Report) announced that it has created a world class platform to cater to the fast-growing biological crop protection market through two strategic deals.    

FMC has formed an exclusive global strategic alliance with bioscience company Chr. Hansen, to develop and commercialize biological crop protection products. The company has also acquired the Center for Agricultural and Environmental Biosolutions (CAEB).

Global Strategic Alliance

The global agriculture sector is facing a major productivity challenge, and biological solutions will become the more important way to address this challenge. Under the strategic alliance, Chr. Hansen will provide scouting, screening, scale up and fermentation manufacturing expertise while FMC will complement the services with scouting, screening, formulation capabilities, product development and registration experience, and global market access.

The alliance between the two companies creates a powerful platform and also enables them to participate in the multi-billion dollar biological crop protection market. The alliance accelerates Chr. Hansen's entry in the plant protection market by combining its unique technology platform for bacterial solutions along with FMC's strong route to market and application know-how. The companies will develop new products, knowledge and biological expertise and they remain confident of developing a strong portfolio of biological crop protection solutions.

FMC and Chr. Hansen have already been working on some projects and will collaboratively launch the Nemix C product for use in sugarcane in late 2013 in Brazil. Nemix C is a biological product and increases growth and yield through enhanced root development and protection.

Chr. Hansen develops natural ingredient solutions for the food, nutritional, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. Both FMC and Chr. Hansen plan to expand into new markets with existing and new products.

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

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SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.



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