CHICAGO, June 23, 2011 /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: Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM), Hess Corporation (NYSE: HES), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM).
Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:
Juniper, IBM to Serve Hess
Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), one of the leading providers of networking infrastructure products and services, recently teamed with technology major International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM) to bag a multi-million dollar contract from global energy company Hess Corporation (NYSE: HES).
Both the tech giants together will provide energy-efficient networking services to Hess by creating a simplified, automated and secure environment. Hess currently intends to upgrade its worldwide network keeping in mind the future requirements and space restrictions.
Thus the company seeks to deploy an energy-efficient solution that could help simplify and enhance its operations, thereby fulfilling its business requirements and enabling it to deliver quality solutions.
This solution will combine products and services from Juniper and IBM. As per the specifications provided by the solution providers, the solution will be implemented by IBM Implementation Services, using its expertise and experienced project management resources, which will reduce the risk of business disruption and will also, provide a better return on investment (ROI).
Moreover, the solution would also utilize Juniper Networks' EX Series Ethernet Switches, SRX Series Services Gateways and SA Series SSL VPN Appliances, which will provide a user-friendly and cost-effective solution to the customer.
Apart from this, Juniper alsoannounced that its routers and operating system will be deployed by the National Institute of Informatics (NII) of Japan for its Science Information Network 4 (SINET4).
Juniper's networking products and services are slowly gaining popularity amongst organizations and government verticals that are trying to meet the growing business demand. Juniper is also making accretive acquisitions, thereby enriching its product portfolio.
On the other hand, Juniper's management believes that the overall switching market declined during the first quarter due to typical seasonality and robust SRX line purchases by service providers over the last year. Juniper's federal business is primarily focused on the defense segment and has limited exposure to the state and local government verticals, which are subject to budget cuts and delays.
We believe that the continued launch of new products and entry into new markets will keep Juniper ahead of its networking peers. However, stiff competition from market leader Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and the upcoming networking company Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ) coupled with Juniper's European exposure will likely put the company on the back foot.
Currently, Juniper has a Zacks #4 Rank, implying a short-term Sell recommendation.
GM to Invest in U.S. Plants
General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) announced investment amounting to $65 million at its two engine plants in New York and Tennessee. The automaker will invest $33 million at its plant in Tonawanda near Buffalo, New York that will retain or create 100 jobs. The remaining $32 million will be invested in its Spring Hill plant in Tennessee, about 30 miles south of Nashville that adds or creates 63 jobs.
Both the plants manufacture fuel-efficient 2.4-liter "Ecotec" four-cylinder engines for Chevrolet cars and crossover SUVs. The Tonawanda plant produces engines for Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossovers while the Spring Hill plant makes engines for Malibu.
GM plans to add another 300–500 workers at both the plants as the Chevrolet models supported by the engine plants continue to gain popularity. Malibu is already among the top selling cars in the U.S.
The engine plant at Spring Hill is the original site for the Saturn brand plant in 1980s. GM discontinued its Saturn brand soon after its bankruptcy reconstruction in 2009.
GM's investment in both the plants is a part of its $2 billion investment plan at 17 assembly and components plants in 8 states in the U.S. Through the $2 billion investment plan, the company aims at creating or preserving more than 4,000 hourly and salaried jobs at the plants.
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