CHICAGO, April 29, 2014 /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 includethe Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL-Free Report), Facebook (Nasdaq:FB-Free Report), Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT-Free Report), VMware (NYSE:VMW-Free Report) andAmazon (Nasdaq:AMZN-Free Report).
Last week saw a big sell-off following earnings reports, but results were not really that bad, as illustrated below-
Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL-Free Report) was the only company managing to impress investors, as iPhone sales remained strong. A lot of the growth is coming from emerging BRIC countries, with revenue from Brazil up 61%, Russia up 97%, India 55% and China 28%.
Older generation iPhones did better than the brightly-colored plastic, as expected. App downloads remained at record levels and the Macintosh line continued to grow. Tablets disappointed, however, plagued by inventory issues and rising competition. But Apple softened the blow, declaring a dividend increase of 8%, additional share buyback of $30 billion and a 7 for 1 stock split.
Facebook's (Nasdaq:FB-Free Report) strong quarterly results were mostly on account of a very strong mobile business, which benefited from higher-priced newsfeed ads. This enabled it to generate revenue growth and margin expansion despite the fact that ad volumes declined. The company is expected to continue investing to grow volumes, both through new products and customer addition.
Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT-Free Report) remains a turnaround story, with the new CEO Satya Nadella touting a cloud-first, mobile-first approach while promising greater transparency and accountability to stakeholders. The company reported above expectations. Devices & Consumer was the stronger of its two segments, helped by the withdrawal of support to XP, new console platform and strength in tablets. On the commercial side, Microsoft saw huge success in the cloud. The company clearly remains in investment mode, as seen from the R&D line and this is something that is likely to continue in the foreseeable future.
VMware (NYSE:VMW-Free Report) and its parent company both sold off post their earnings announcements, although neither company missed expectations. It's true that VMW guided to a margin decline in the upcoming quarter, while maintaining guidance for the year. This hardly seems to justify the price action though (shares opened nearly 10% lower the following day).
Amazon (Nasdaq:AMZN-Free Report), on the other hand, continues with its significant investments, aggressive pricing and growing hardware focus, which continues to shrink its margins. Therefore, although its scale of operations enabled it to grow margins in the last quarter, the shares were punished the following day.
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