CHICAGO, April 15, 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 Facebook (Nasdaq:FB-Free Report), Google (Nasdaq:GOOGL-Free Report), Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD-Free Report), Twitter (NYSE:TWTR-Free Report) andIntel (Nasdaq:INTC-Free Report).
There were many announcements last week, but the most interesting were Facebook's (Nasdaq:FB-Free Report) progress in India, Google's (Nasdaq:GOOGL-Free Report) lure to XP users and the new graphics processing unit (GPU) from Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD-Free Report).
Facebook Crosses 100 Million Users in India
TechCrunch reports that Facebook users in India crossed 100 million on Mar 31 this year making India a close second to the U.S. Not only that – Facebook users in India are growing at a much faster rate than the U.S. (10X in 4 years) with every possibility of India outpacing the U.S. in 2014 itself.
A number of factors have played a part in this. On Facebook's part, there has been great focus on rural India where it first tied with Vodafone to get locals on board. Second, keeping in mind the uniqueness of India with respect to languages (it is the only nation state with over 20 languages in daily use), Facebook has made its service available in many Indian languages including Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. Third, Facebook has focused on mobile. Similar to other Asian countries, India has its fair share of mobile users (84% of Facebook users connect through mobile devices), which makes for a broader user base.
Facebook is also extremely well-suited to the cultural diversity and basic characteristic of Indians to discuss and debate. Facebook being a non-restrictive platform unlike Twitter (NYSE:TWTR-Free Report), there is great scope for doing just that. It should therefore benefit greatly from any events such as the ongoing elections in India.
However, while usage should continue to grow, monetization is not likely to be as easy. That's mainly because of the dollar-rupee differential, which is unlikely to change materially any time soon. So Facebook can only win with volumes. It has already successfully wooed big spenders like Tata DoCoMo, Vodafone Zoozoos, Kingfisher, Pepsi India, Jet Airways and Jabong. There are also a large number of small enterprises on the platform. Rural disposable income makes it difficult to consume branded products, so this is where the small enterprises could come in handy.
Intel Alters Reporting Structure
Intel (Nasdaq:INTC-Free Report) is dissolving the Other Intel Architecture segment and including different parts within other segments. Two new segments are thus being created, including the Internet Of Things Group (IOTG) and the Mobile and Communications Group (MCG). MCG will now include revenue from phone and tablet chips. Revenue from Wind River moves from the Software and Services Group the newly-formed IOTG, with gateway and STB revenues being included in the PC Client Group and communications infrastructure in the Data Center Group. This is despite the fact that it lost the socket in Samsung's Galaxy Tab 4 to Qualcomm.
The separate disclosure of revenue from mobile products and IoT is positive, since it will now be easier to track this revenue. It also indicates that Intel anticipates strong growth in the new segments.
Google Looking For a Piece of XP Upgrade
Microsoft has officially withdrawn support to XP and users that avoided moving to Vista, Win 7, Win 8 or Win 8.1 are now being pushed to go for an upgrade. Microsoft's primary target is the enterprise, where it needs to increase penetration of its latest OS. And this is where Google would like to pick up a share, so it's offering some impressive discounts on its Chromebook.
Google has announced a $100 discount on very Chromebook bought by companies. This discount will increase to $200 if companies also purchase VMware's Horizon Desktop as a Service (DaaS), which starts at $35 per month per user. Since VMware's DaaS greatly enhances the Chromebook experience by virtualizing even legacy Windows apps, the discount makes sense.
Users opting for the Citrix XenApp Platinum Edition instead of VMware's service will get a 25% discount on that service. This is very impressive considering the fact that the basic Chromebook comes for just $199 to $329 plus an additional $150 for Google's management console and support.
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