For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – March 8, 2013 – 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 Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), Netflix Inc (NFLX), Apple Inc. (AAPL), Priceline.com Inc. (PCLN) and National Bankshares Inc. (NKSH).
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Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:
New Kids Show from Amazon Studios
Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) announced that its film production division, Amazon Studios plans to add a new animated children's math show to its production slate.
The show, entitled "Sara Solves It," created by Carol Greenwald of WGBH, will entertain kids and help to improve their overall skills.
The new pilot will be added to the 11 pilots, which include five original children shows and six comedy shows that are already in production. Management stated that all 12 pilots will be available on the Amazon Instant Video streaming service where viewers can watch them free of cost. Amazon Studios will take a call on which shows to produce going forward depending on viewer feedback.
Amazon Instant Video is a digital video streaming and download service that lets users rent, buy or subscribe to a range of video content. These pilots will extend the archive of children shows on Amazon's video streaming library, making it a significant force in the video streaming segment and increasing competition for Netflix Inc (NFLX) and Apple Inc. (AAPL).
The completed pilots will be exclusively available to Prime members through Prime Instant Video and Lovefilm in the U.K for no additional cost. Lovefilm is Amazon’s European DVD and streaming movie service, which has almost 2 million subscribers.
Many technology companies are getting into content production, including Hulu and Netflix, in order to reduce their reliance on traditional media companies. Amazon has been working on this for a while now and we believe these efforts will bring in millions of dollars and help the company to increase its market share.
Besides developing its own original series, Amazon has also been beefing up its Prime Instant Video service through major licensing agreements. The company recently inked exclusive streaming rights to the PBS hit drama Downton Abbey, FX's Justified and the upcoming CBS show Under the Dome.
Amazon is one of the leading players in an extremely fast-growing market. In the fourth quarter, Amazon’s revenues of $21.3 billion were up sequentially as well as from the year-ago quarter. Management attributed the increase in revenues to the growing consumption of digital content across different categories owing to the advantageous value proposition Amazon was able to provide to its customers.
Amazon currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Online travel company, Priceline.com Inc. (PCLN), has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and is worth considering.
National Bankshares: Strong Buy
On Mar 6, Zacks Investment Research upgraded National Bankshares Inc. (NKSH) to Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
National Bankshares has been witnessing rising earnings estimates owing to strong fourth quarter 2012 results. Moreover, this regional bank delivered positive earnings surprises in 2 of the last 4 quarters with an average beat of 2.1%.
National Bankshares reported fourth-quarter results on Feb 14. Earnings per share came in at 67 cents, lagging the year-ago earnings by 4.3%. However, the earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 9.84%. Results were primarily aided by improved net interest income and lower provision for credit losses, partially offset by a rise in expenses and lower non-interest income.
Net interest income rose 0.7% year over year to $10.3 million. However, non-interest income declined 2.7% to $2.2 million. Further, total non-interest expenses hiked 10.2% year over year to $5.9 million.
Credit quality was mixed at National Bankshares. Provision for credit losses declined to $0.6 million from $0.8 million in the prior-year quarter. However, as of Dec 31, 2012, nonperforming assets were 1.19% of total loans, up 6 basis points (bps) from the prior-year quarter. Moreover, allowance for loans losses were 1.41% of total loans, up 4 bps from the prior-year quarter.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 increased 4.0% to $2.58.
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