CHICAGO, Jan. 17, 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 eBay Inc. (EBAY), NCR Corp. (NCR), Google Inc. (GOOG), General Motors Company (GM) and Ford Motor Co. (F).
Today, Zacks is promoting Four daily picks are offered free.
Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:
eBay Inks Deal with NCR
NCR specializes in point-of-sale (POS) technology and hardware and its customer base includes 38% of the top 100 U.S. restaurant chains and 50% of the major retail chains.
Under the partnership, PayPal mobile service will be integrated with NCR's POS technology, enabling customers to pay their bills at restaurants using a smartphone. Additionally, PayPal's mobile payment options will be integrated into a couple of more NCR product offerings, including NCR's Convenience-Go (C-Go) app for gas stations and convenience stores. This will allow shoppers to buy fuel and food, and pay for car washes using their smartphones.
Getting PayPal's mobile services accepted in places like restaurants, gas stations and convenience stores will considerably increase the company's mobile payment volume going forward. The NCR deal will increase PayPal's addressable market, improving PayPal's competitive position against rival mobile payment systems such as Google Wallet, Isis, Square and others.
This week, PayPal unveiled similar agreements with a chain of gas stations and a grocery store operator. PayPal's point-of-sale technology is gaining a lot of traction as the company has already established partnerships with 23 reputed brands, of which 12 have agreed to accept PayPal as a payment mode. Last August, the company signed a deal with Discover Financial Services, enabling PayPal users to make payments at retail stores and thus extending its services to 7 million merchant locations.
As smartphone migration continues, eBay is seeing great opportunities in the mobile space. PayPal's installed base includes 117 million accounts worldwide and it expects to process $10 billion in mobile payments this year.
Aided by growth in its PayPal business and mobile commerce, eBay recorded a strong quarter with earnings of 49 cents exceeding the Zacks Consensus Estimate. eBay's PayPal remained the star performer, generating total payment volume (TPV) growth of 2.1% and 20.1%, respectively from the previous and year-ago quarters.
We believe that eBay is taking all the necessary measures to ensure continued growth in mobile payment in the near future. Both Payments and Marketplaces are showing improving trends compared with the year-ago quarter, indicating its changing business profile.
Though eBay's payment business shows great promise, competition may be expected to pick up as banks and other companies announce their own payment systems and Google Inc's (GOOG) digital wallet gathers steam.
Currently, eBay shares carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
GM Unveils New Corvette
General Motors Company (GM) recently showcased the new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette at the annual auto show in Detroit. The company unveiled the latest version of the iconic sports car after nine years, which is set for a commercial launch later this year.
The 2014 Corvette has certain elements of the 1963 Sting Ray and newer Corvettes. However, the automaker remodeled the 2014 Corvette in such a way that it is totally different from the available versions.
The 2014 model is equipped with 6.2-Liter small-block V-8 engine, which provides 450 horsepower. The engine has high torque or rotational power at low and high revolutions. The fuel efficiency of the vehicle is maintained by the computer-controlled intake, exhaust valves and direct fuel injection. With this, the automaker guarantees that the car will perform better with more fuel efficiency compared to the current model.
The current Corvette, priced at $49,600, offers 16 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city, 26 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg on combined driving. The 2014 model, which comes in seven-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmissions options, is expected to provide better mileage compared with the current model.
General Motors posted a 9.7% decline in earnings (excluding special items) to 93 cents per share in the third quarter of 2012 from $1.03 in the corresponding quarter a year ago. However, earnings outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 61 cents.
Profits ebbed 5.9% to $1.6 billion from $1.7 billion a year ago due to lower profits from North America and higher losses in Europe. Revenues grew 2.5% year over year to $37.6 billion, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $36.3 billion. The improvement was driven by an increase in worldwide sales volume to 2.3 million units.
Detroit, Michigan-based General Motors is the largest automobile manufacturer in the world and is one of the 'Big Three' U.S. automakers. The company's significant exposure to troubled Europe has adversely affected its operations in the continent.
The automaker, which competes with Ford Motor Co. (F), currently, retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
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SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.