The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Honda Motor, Fuji Heavy Industries, Ford Motor, Toyota Motor and General Motors

CHICAGO, Dec. 23, 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 Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (NYSE: HMC-Free Report), Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (OTC:FUJHY-Free Report), Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F-Free Report), Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE: TM-Free Report) and General Motors Company (NYSE: GM-Free Report).

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Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Honda Beats Ford, GM, Toyota in Safety

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (NYSE: HMC-Free Report) was the clear winner in the new vehicle safety ratings released by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. Out of the 22 cars that received the "Top Safety Pick Plus" ranking six were the Japanese automaker's Honda and Acura models. These include Honda's Civic hybrid, the two-door and four-door Accord sedans, Odyssey minivan and Acura's RLX and MDX.

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.'s (OTC:FUJHY-Free Report) Subaru, Japanese automaker Mazda and Swedish manufacturer Volvo had three cars each in the list. Meanwhile, leading automakers like Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F-Free Report), Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE: TM-Free Report) and General Motors Company (NYSE: GM-Free Report) lagged. While two Ford and Toyota vehicles got the "Top Safety Pick Plus" ranking, none of the General Motors' cars achieved it. Infiniti Q50, Mitsubishi Outlander and Mercedes-Benz M-Class were the remaining three vehicles that received the top ranking.

Meanwhile, only one General Motors car, Chevrolet Spark, found a spot in the "Top Safety Pick" list, which was the second highest ranking after "Top Safety Pick Plus".

The Insurance Institute's "Top Safety Pick" list comprised 17 vehicles. These vehicles failed to get the higher "Top Safety Pick Plus" ranking as they did not have even an optional forward collision warning system.

Meanwhile, there are 139 vehicle models that failed to receive any safety endorsement from the institute. The low number of cars that made the list this year was due to harder criteria. Last year, 130 cars achieved the top safety ratings.

The safety ratings not only act as a marketing tool for automakers, but also encourage them to enhance safety features in their vehicles as many consumers consider the safety ranking while making a purchase. This trend of improving safety features in automobiles is helpful in reducing car crashes.

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

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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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