The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Tesla Motors, Research In Motion, Apple, Google and Nokia

May 16, 2013, 09:30 ET from Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

CHICAGO, May 16, 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 Tesla Motors Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA), Research In Motion Ltd. * (Nasdaq: BBRY), Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK).


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Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

Tesla Motors Reaches 52-Week High

Shares of Tesla Motors Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) hit a new 52-week high of $97.12 on May 14, which is above its previous level of $88.00 a day before, and closed at $83.24 on the same date. The closing price represented a whopping one-year return of 176.9% and year-to-date return of 135.4%.

The Palo Alto, California-based leading manufacturer of electric vehicles and electric vehicle powertrain components has a market cap of $10.05 billion. Average volume of shares traded over the last three months stood at approximately 4,651.6K.

Shares of the company started escalating following the release of its surprising 2013-first quarter results on May 8. The company posted its first-ever quarterly profit of $15.4 million, or 12 cents per share, on an adjusted basis, in the first quarter of 2013 compared with a loss of $79.3 million or 76 cents in the corresponding quarter of 2012. This indicates a whopping positive earnings surprise of 271.4% given the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 7 cents for the quarter.

Revenues jumped manifold to $561.8 million from $30.2 million in the first quarter of 2012. Thanks to the impressive 5,000 units of Model S electric car sales during the quarter.

BlackBerry to Expand BBM Reach

In a recent strategic move, smartphones manufacturer, Research In Motion Ltd. * (Nasdaq: BBRY) announced plans to expand the reach of its popular messaging service, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), to devices running on Apple Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Google Inc.'s (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android OS (operating system).

Initially, BBM will support smartphones running on Apple's latest iOS6 and Android's Ice Cream Sandwich OS, subject to approval from App Store and Google Play. Though BBM will be available for free to iPhone and Android-based smartphones users, they will only be able to add contacts in their list through PIN, email, SMS or QR code scan. Android users can also avail the BBM service using a compatible NFC capable device.

Notably, BlackBerry is popular for its BBM service, which provides free and secure instant messaging service. Currently, BBM has almost 60 million active members, among which 51 million uses BBM on an average of 90 minutes per day.

The company has added a video function to its BB10 OS-based device in addition to the already present voice functions. Initially, the iPhone and Android versions will start with text messaging service and then slowly bring in the video and voice function features. BBM has to compete with other free messaging services like WhatsApp and Viber, available on iPhone and Android platforms. However, none of them offer video and voice options yet.

Blackberry, once the global leader of smartphones, has been struggling over the last 3-4 years, as they failed to identify consumers' preferences. The company has been battling in a crowded smartphone market mainly dominated by iPhone and other Android-based devices. The recent success of Nokia Corp.'s (NYSE: NOK) Lumia has only aggravated the problem.

We believe allowing BBM to become a part of these leading OS platforms will expand its reach to the huge customer base of iOS and Android, as well as significantly improve the popularity of the messaging service. However, the company will lose its unique identity once the BBM service is available on multiple platforms.

Research in Motion Limited currently carries a Zacks Rank# 2 (Buy).

*Research In Motion announced that effective Jan 30, 2013, the company would operate around the world under the name BlackBerry. From Feb 4, 2013, the company's ticker symbol for trading has been changed from "RIMM" to "BBRY" on NASDAQ. The legal name of the company has not changed, for which the approval of the official change by shareholders will be sought at the company's Annual General Meeting later in 2013. During the time, the company will do business as BlackBerry.

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