The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Agree Realty, Tractor Supply, Mattress Firm Holding, AutoZone and Vodafone Group


For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – August 26, 2013 – 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 Agree Realty Corporation (ADC-Free Report), Tractor Supply Company (TSCO-Free Report), Mattress Firm Holding Corp. (MFRM-Free Report), AutoZone, Inc. (AZO-Free Report) and Vodafone Group PLC (VOD-Free Report).

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

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Agree Realty on Acquisition Spree

Agree Realty Corporation (ADC-Free Report), a retail real estate investment trust (:REIT), shelled out $6 million to acquire 4 single tenant assets recently. Leased to well-known retailers for an average lease period of approximately ten years, these properties offer scope for Agree Realty to augment its top line.

Among the acquisitions by Agree Realty, two of the properties are in Madisonville, TX and Forest, MS. These are leased to Tractor Supply Company (TSCO
-Free Report), which commands a large chain of retail stores. Among the other two properties, one is occupied by Mattress Firm Holding Corp. (MFRM-Free Report) in Baton Rouge, LA and the other by AutoZone, Inc. (AZO-Free Report) in Sun Valley, NV.

On an acquisition spree in recent times, in June Agree Realty disclosed $22.4 million in acquisitions of 2 single-tenant properties – one occupied by Wal-Mart Stores and the other by AutoZone. The renovated Wal-Mart asset that operates as Sam’s Club is based in Brooklyn, OH and spans 147,771 square feet. The second property is situated in South Kedzie Road in Chicago, IL. and encompasses 7,840 square feet. To date, the Sam’s Club buyout is the largest acquisition by Agree Realty at around $21 million.

Agree Realty has also been focusing on strengthening ties with its present tenants. In May, the company acquired 2 single tenant assets leased to Petsmart and Starbucks for a combined purchase price of about $5.4 million. In Apr 2013, the company announced the extension of the existing lease deal with Kmart at 2 retail properties in Michigan and Kentucky, respectively.

We expect such opportunistic deals to boost Agree Realty’s strong tenant base and its relationship with existing tenants and prove accretive to the company’s earnings in the future.

Agree Realty specializes in the acquisition and development of single tenant properties net leased to national and regional retail companies in the United States. At present, the company owns a portfolio of 124 properties, located in 33 states, comprising roughly 3.6 million square feet of gross leasable space.

Agree Realty currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).


Vodafone Joins Forces with Canadian Firm

Vodafone Group PLC (VOD-Free Report) has recently entered into an agreement with HybridPayTech, a unit of Canadian mobile payment technology company, Freeport Capital Inc. for offering machine-to-machine (M2M) solution for mobile payment service.

Vodafone’s M2M platform allows secured processing of credit and debit card payments globally using its network via smartphones or tablets. The service improves customer payment experience while offering new revenue generating opportunities.

We believe that the new contract with HybridPayTech will boost Vodafone’s enterprise business, which was re-structured into one unit after merging the Enterprise segment and Cable & Wireless Worldwide.  Vodafone is also building upon its mobile financial services brand – M-Pesa – by undertaking development initiatives mostly in the African continent. 

With respectively 18% and 14% market penetration in countries like Kenya and Tanzania, Vodafone foresees exponential businesses growth for M-Pesa in other African markets. In this regard, the company views India as a bankable target market with 700 million untapped customers in mobile financial services.

Further, to fortify its enterprise segment, the company also inked a multi-year contract with BAE Systems plc, which deals in defense, aerospace and security business to supply mobile communication worldwide. The agreement remains accretive to the company’s global enterprise customers while promoting its security products and services.

We believe Vodafone’s future growth hinges on key drivers like increasing mobile data services, growth in enterprise markets through converged fixed and mobile services (Vodafone One Net) as well as new pricing plans such as Vodafone Red. Further, growth in emerging markets including Eastern Europe, India and Africa and the popularity of machine-to-machine and near-field communications are supporting revenue accretion for the company.

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


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