The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Citigroup, Best Buy, Mastercard, Capital One Financial, General Electric and ServiceSource International

Feb 21, 2013, 09:30 ET from Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

CHICAGO, Feb. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C), Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE: BBY), Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE: MA), Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF), General Electric Company (NYSE: GE) and ServiceSource International, Inc. (Nasdaq:SREV).


Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit from the Pros newsletter:

Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

Citi Inks Deal with Best Buy

Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) declared that it has entered into a strategic agreement with Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE: BBY) to issue as well as manage cards under the latter's brand in the U.S. The deal constitutes Best Buy's home brand of cards, which can be used only in its flagship stores, along with Mastercard Incorporated's (NYSE: MA) cards bearing Best Buy's symbol, which can be used for all purchases.

Additionally, Citi inked a deal with

Capital One Financial Corp.



) to acquire roughly $7 billion of Best Buy's private label and its card loan portfolio. The aforementioned agreements are expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2013, subject to customary closing conditions. However, Citi does not expect the transactions to have a material impact on its 2013 earnings.

Citigroup's cards segment, Citi Retail Services, has returned to its earlier glory following the financial crisis in 2008. Thus, the bank turned round from its earlier intention to sale the assets. In 2011, Former Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit moved the Citi Retail Services unit out of Citi Holdings division.

Citi Retail Services offers consumer as well as commercial credit card products, services, and retail solutions to national and regional retailers throughout North America. The business serves roughly 90 million accounts for a number of premier brands. The unit reported a $1.50 billion profit from continuing operations in 2012, compared with $1.48 billion in the prior year.

Management at Citi believes that the addition of Best Buy's leading retail franchise and premium card portfolio to Citi Retail Services will substantially enhance its strong position in the U.S. market. Best Buy's leadership position in consumer electronics, combined with Citi's expertise, would further help in providing better service to the customers.

We believe that Citi's agreement to issue Best Buy cards and acquire the loan portfolio from Capital One will result in a rise in revenues in the Citi Retail Services division.

Currently, Citi carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

GE Extends ServiceSource Partnership

GE Healthcare, an operating unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), recently extended its partnership with recurring revenue management firm ServiceSource International, Inc. (Nasdaq:SREV) to expand its services in Japan. The strategic move marks the expansion of the partnership in 11 countries in the Asia Pacific region to optimize GE Healthcare business through renewals with existing customers and thereby increase recurring revenues.

The healthcare industry has experienced a healthy growth in Asia over the past couple of years and is poised for further growth in the coming quarters as well. To capitalize on this huge revenue generating potential, GE Healthcare formed a partnership with ServiceSource in early 2011. ServiceSource developed a specialized sales team to complement the professional sales force of GE to augment its revenue in a broad range of medical technologies, including monitoring devices, life support systems, ultrasound, X-ray and sophisticated CT equipment.

GE Healthcare tasted reasonable success in its endeavor to permeate the healthcare industry across several Asian countries through its tie-up with ServiceSource. The company presently intends to replicate this success story in the competitive market of Japan. Going forward, ServiceSource plans to form a specialized sales team of its own to achieve incremental renewals and warranties for the ultrasound equipment installations of GE Healthcare across Japan.

General Electric is one of the largest and the most diversified technology and financial services corporations in the world. With products and services ranging from aircraft engines, power generation, water processing, and security technology to medical imaging, business and consumer financing, media content and industrial products, the company serves over 100 million customers worldwide.

 Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the Pros newsletter:

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:

About Zacks 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

Visit for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Follow us on Twitter:

Join us on Facebook:

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.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339

SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.