The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Disney, Netflix, Amazon.com, Apple and Google

CHICAGO, Nov. 8, 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 Disney Company (NYSE: DIS-Free Report), Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX-Free Report), Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN-Free Report), Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL-Free Report) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG-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:

Disney Earnings Utilize the Force

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS-Free Report) reported fourth quarter earnings after the closing bell today, posting an EPS of $0.77, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.76.  On the revenue front, Disney beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $11.4 billion, by posting revenues of $11.57 billion.

According to Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger, "We had a good solid quarter across the board."  Moreover, he stated that Park Resorts, Consumer Products, Interactive Infinity, and the Media divisions were all doing well.  Corporate advertising (which only accounts for 20% of total revenue), was "decent", and that ESPN showed some strength in advertising revenue despite a "not fantastic market place."  Most importantly 2013 ended with "record profits, and record revenues."

One of the highlights of Mr. Iger's interview was his discussion regarding the recent agreement with Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX-Free Report).  The deal will allow multiple original live action series, based on Marvel's characters, to be viewed exclusively on Netflix streaming video service.  Mr. Iger stated that, "Netflix is a viable distribution platform, [that is] great for our products."  "It is a win win deal for both of us."  He went further to state that this deal, "is a great opportunity to monetize some great characters." 

Mr. Iger briefly touched upon the Parks and Recreation division, by stating that it was profitable in the fourth quarter, and that Disney was building an Iron Man ride in Hong Kong. 

But the most important news to come out of the interview, was that the new STAR WARS movie would be debuting December 18, 2015.  So now all the world's Star Wars fans can mark on their calendars the next must see episode of the iconic series.

Amazon Unveils New GPU Instances     

Amazon Web Services Inc, an Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN-Free Report) company introduced a new v instance for its EC2 cloud computing program. It is tailor-made to be used in applications that require 3D Graphics functionalities.

The newly-introduced instance will enable Amazon to deliver high-quality, customized 3D experiences irrespective of hardware performance and scalability. These G2 instances will aid in streaming of videos, video games and other applications on mobile phones and other devices.

Amazon also supports OTOY's ORBX.js on these GPU instances. This is a downloadable HD code that allows one to stream 3D-intensive applications directly from the cloud with a browser only and hence, it eliminates the usage of any plug-ins or any other client-side software.

Streaming of games from the cloud has not been very popular so far and most of the companies attempting have had multiple issues that forced them to close shop. This capability, which is based on Intel and NVIDIA technology is likely to make game streaming easy.

So there could be changes to the gaming market over time. This new GPU instance will enable developers to create and provide engaging content on a browser in a totally device agnostic manner. It is expected to lower video creation costs by as much as 50%.

Amazon has gone on to become a veritable consumer electronics giant from being an Internet retailer initially. The company is planning to refresh its lineup of Kindle Fire tablets in the next few months. But Amazon might not stop there. If rumors are to be believed, the company has many more devices in the works, including a smartphone, an audio streaming device, and an Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL-Free Report) TV competitor.

Though Amazon's hardware competes both with Apple and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG-Free Report), it's much more destructive for the search giant. This is because Amazon has adopted Google's Android operating system, but not Google Play.

Currently, Amazon has a Zacks Rank # 3 (Hold).

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

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