The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Lions Gate Entertainment, Walt Disney, Twenty-First Century Fox, CBS and Hospira

Jul 16, 2014, 09:30 ET from Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

CHICAGO, July 16, 2014 /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 Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE: LGF-Free Report), Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS-Free Report), Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (Nasdaq: FOXA-Free Report), CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS-Free Report) and Hospira Inc. (NYSE: HSP-Free Report).

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

Here are highlights from Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

Lions Gate Partners Alibaba for Streaming in China

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE: LGF-Free Report) will team up with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group to provide streaming services in Mainland China. Lionsgate Entertainment World (LGEW), the subscription channel, will be available through Alibaba's latest generation of set-top boxes.

Through LGEW, customers will have access to several Hollywood smash hits including Lions Gate's blockbuster franchises The Hunger Games, Twilight and the recently released first installment of the Divergent franchise. Popular television series like Mad Men and Weeds will be also available, whereas series like Rosemary's Baby and The Royals will premiere in China on LGEW.

Additionally, customers will be able to enjoy behind-the-scenes footage, features and extra premium content which are not available anywhere else across China. Moreover, subscribers will get VIP membership benefits like special merchandise gifts and screening invitations. The service is slated for an August launch.

Mainland China is one of the fastest growing markets for movie and television content. The collaboration will provide Lions Gate with an opportunity to gain better access to this lucrative market. Moreover, Alibaba's expertise in the digital entertainment market and Lions Gate's top class content make an intriguing combination.

Lions Gate is fast emerging as a leading player in the media industry which boasts of stalwarts likeThe Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS-Free Report), Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (Nasdaq: FOXA-Free Report) and CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS-Free Report). With franchises like The Hunger Games and Divergent, the studio has achieved tremendous success. Lions Gate acquired Summit Entertainment in 2012, which has given it the rights for the hugely popular young-adult fantasy themed Twilight series.

The studio is grabbing every possible opportunity to expand its presence and soon might become a recognizable power within the media circle.

Currently, Lions Gate is a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) stock.

Hospira Upped to Strong Buy on Orchid Purchase

On Jul 12, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Hospira Inc. (NYSE: HSP-Free Report) to a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy).

Why the Upgrade?

The upgrade came on the heels of Hospira's recently completed Orchid facility buy. Earlier in the month, the company announced that it has completed the acquisition of the penem and penicillin active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing unit and an associated research and development facility from India-based Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Ltd. for around $218 million. The deal was first announced in 2012. (Read more: HOSPIRA COMPLETES ORCHID FACILITY BUY).

Moreover, Hospira delivered impressive first quarter 2014 earnings of 60 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 11 cents and year-ago earnings by 15.4%. The first quarter earnings beat was aided by higher revenues.

Hospira's Specialty Injectable Pharmaceuticals segment has over the past several quarters contributed the majority of revenues. The segment performed well in the first quarter too. Favorable pricing as well as volume led to the strong segmental performance. Expansion in volume was driven by continued supply recovery along with competitor supply issues in the U.S. Segmental sales climbed 9.9% (up 11.1% at constant currency) to $716.3 million.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 is currently pegged at $2.21. It is on the higher end of the company's guidance range of $2.00 to $2.25 per share.

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

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