CHICAGO, May 22, 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 Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Amazon's (Nasdaq: AMZN), Rackspace (NYSE: RAX), Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG).
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 Tuesday's Analyst Blog:
Microsoft Expands Cloud Services in Australia
Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) recently announced the expansion of Windows Azure cloud services in Australia and is setting up new data centers for the purpose.
Microsoft plans to open two new cloud computing data centers in the Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria. Management stated that it has more than 200,000 Windows Azure customers across the world. We believe that the launch of this new cloud computing platform will expand the Windows Azure consumer base in the region.
The new Australian data center will provide customers access to Microsoft services including NET and Open Source applications, SharePoint, SQL and Active Directory on virtual machines in Windows Azure.
Windows Azure is Microsoft's cloud computing platform for building, deploying and managing applications and services through a global network of managed datacenters. Windows Azure core offerings include Media Services, Mobile Services, Cloud Services, Virtual Machines, Websites and Big Data. It competes with Amazon's (Nasdaq: AMZN) cloud computing platform Amazon Web Services (AWS) and OpSource Cloud Computing Services.
Earlier, companies incurred significant costs to build their own infrastructure for data storage. They had to make a substantial payment upfront, after which they would invest further to purchase additional storage space anticipating growing backup demand. This resulted in under-utilized capacity and unnecessary expenses. With Microsoft's cloud-based storage services, companies now do not need to waste time and money on managing their own data centers.
Cloud storage came into prominence in 2009, with Nirvanix and Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3) being two of the major pioneers. Since then, Amazon has continued to dominate the space, with other players like Microsoft and Rackspace (NYSE: RAX) offering their own solutions.
Market research firm IDC predicts that the cloud market will jump 130%, reaching $43.0 billion in 2016. Further, Gartner predicts that around $677.0 billion would be spent on cloud services within the 2013–2016 timeframe. Microsoft, with its solid portfolio should be able to tap this opportunity.
The company is expanding Windows Azure internationally and investing in technology infrastructure to support rapid growth. Microsoft remains one of the best positioned software vendors, given the wide range of its products, emerging markets strength, continued technology deployment at data centers and growth in cloud computing.
It is important for the company to focus more on emerging segments such as mobile hardware and the cloud. Last month, the company announced that it won customers such as Domino's,Xerox India and Pedcor Co. for its cloud and server services, Windows Server Hyper-V. Therefore, its server and tools business remains as strong as ever, which is evident from the series of customer wins in the recent past.
However, just like other PC makers, Microsoft is also battling the slump in the PC market caused by the sluggish economy. In addition, the popularity of smartphones and tablets from Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) have been cannibalizing its core PC market.
Currently, Microsoft has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
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
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.
SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.