The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: United Parcel Service, Equinix, Microsoft, Apple and Google

Oct 10, 2013, 09:41 ET from Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

CHICAGO, Oct. 10, 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 the United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE: UPS-Free Report), Equinix Inc. (Nasdaq:EQIX-Free Report), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT-Free Report), Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL-Free Report) and Google (Nasdaq:GOOG-Free Report).


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Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

UPS Invests in Nat Gas Station

Leading freight carrier United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE: UPS-Free Report) announced an investment of $50 million for the construction of nine additional liquefied natural gas fueling stations. The company had already announced construction of four such fueling stations in Apr 2013. UPS expects these fueling stations to begin operations within 2014.

UPS' investments in building infrastructure for LNG would facilitate 1,000 UPS LNG tractors replacing 24 million gallons of diesel fuel per annum. As a result, the company expects to gain from the prevailing price of natural gas and improve its cost structure going forward. 

Further, to enhance growth of its alternative vehicle fleet, management aims to buy nearly 700 liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles by 2014 end. Further, the company also introduced UPS Worldwide Express Freight, which offers day-definite, door-to-door freight shipment in key markets. The new service is expected to boost revenues for premium businesses in airfreight.

The company is also seeking growth through Ocean networks by expanding the UPS Preferred LCL (Less-Than-Container-Load) service to key markets in Europe. We believe the introduction of products and services adds opportunities for revenue generation.

UPS has undertaken a number of initiatives to improve its performance level. The company launched a new shipment monitoring and risk management solution – UPS Proactive Response Secure. The new service – that is available throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and to outbound ships from the U.S. to the European Union and Switzerland – will make sure that time and temperature sensitive products reach their destined places.

Equinix, Microsoft Ink Deal

Global data center service provider Equinix Inc. (Nasdaq:EQIX-Free Report) recently announced a strategic alliance with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT-Free Report). As per the agreement, connectivity to Windows Azure in key markets will now be enabled through Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers. Financial implications of the alliance were not disclosed.

Windows Azure is a cloud platform that helps users manage applications effectively. Today, there is a great need to develop apps that cater to Windows,  Apple's (Nasdaq:AAPL-Free Report) iOS, Google's (Nasdaq:GOOG-Free Report) Android operating systems and HTML 5, and Azure has SDKs to support development and add scale on any platform.

Additionally, this offering will help Equinix customers to link their managed infrastructure with Windows Azure through Platform Equinix, thereby enhancing network performance, reducing costs and latency. It will also help Equinix to provide customers with fast and secured cloud-based applications, which in turn will enhance user satisfaction and help Equinix to expand its customer base and market share.

According to a recent survey by Cisco Global Cloud Networking, more than 7 out of 10 respondents felt the need to migrate their company's network to cloud-based applications. Moreover, it was recognized that the accomplishment of cost savings, flexibility and security, would require enterprises to increase the adoption of cloud-based applications.

Equinix reported revenues of $525.7 million in in the second quarter of 2013, up 15.0% from the year-ago quarter. The company witnessed decent revenue growth across all three geographic regions of the network vertical, especially in the Asia-Pacific.

Equinix, is also renewing its focus on the Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ) region. However, increasing competition from the likes of AT&T Inc., European exposure and industry consolidation remain headwinds.

Equinix carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

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