The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Broadcom, Amazon.com, Google, Apple and Akamai Technologies

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For Immediate Release
 
Chicago, IL – July 07, 2014 – 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 the Broadcom Corporation (BRCM-Free Report), Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN-Free Report), Google Inc. (GOOGL-Free Report), Apple (AAPL-Free Report) and Akamai Technologies, Inc. (AKAM-Free Report).
 
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Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

Broadcom Broadcasting FIFA World Cup in Hi-Def
 
Sagemcom has chosen to leverage semiconductor company Broadcom Corporation’s (BRCM-Free Report) video decoder technology to enable a live broadcast of select 2014 FIFA World Cup events in Ultra High Definition (Ultra HD).
 
Sagemcom is a dominant player in broadband terminals, supplying digital set-top boxes in Europe. The company will use Broadcom’s BCM7445 video decoder and BCM7252 System-on-a-Chip (SoC) technology to broadcast World Cup events.
 
Broadcom’s Decoders
 
Ultra HD filming, transmission and broadcast require considerably greater bandwidth. Broadcom’s Ultra-HD video decoder SoC technology, powered with High Efficiency Video Coding (:HEVC), reduce bandwidth usage by 50%. This technology will facilitate Sagemcom to deliver 2x faster display resolution speed and heightened color gradation, translating into 4x resolution of HD displays.
 
The Ultra HD will intensify the viewing experience, with fluid and life-like picture quality. Additionally, users will be able to download Ultra HD content in half the time.
 
FIFA Viewership
 
According to unaudited broadcast figures released by FIFA, the group stages of the 2014 international soccer tournament have broken television viewing records across most nations.
 
FIFA has signed licensing agreements with over 700 media broadcasters, ranging from television and radio to Internet. This year’s tournament marks the launch of ultra high-definition streaming of the concluding part of the sporting event, an initiative of Broadcom, Globosat and Elemental Technologies. (Read: Broadcom Powers Ultra HD World Cup Broadcast)
 
Other Collaborations
 
Broadcom also partnered with Oi, one of the leading operators in Brazil, wherein Oi will use the former’s flagship SoC technology to power live broadcasts of the World Cup in Ultra HD. Broadcom's advanced decoding will help Oi deliver stunning live-action viewing.
 
In addition, Broadcom will extend its SoC technology to NETServicos, Latin America's largest multi-service cable company, for live Ultra HD broadcasts of select World Cup events.
 
Moving Forward
 
The precise, realistic quality of Ultra HD represents a momentous step forward in the next generation digital broadcasting. According to Digitimes Research, Ultra HD TV panel shipments are expected to soar 475% in 2014, reinforcing the evolution in multi-screen connected home entertainment.
 
Broadcom has chosen a great platform to initiate the execution of Ultra HD satellite transmission, along with other broadcasters. With its cutting-edge technology and extensive footprint, Broadcom is well-poised to capitalize on the excellent potential of this market, going forward.
 
Broadcom presently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
 
Amazon to Do Battle with the FTC
 
Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN-Free Report) said that it is prepared to go to court against the Federal Trade Commission's (“FTC”) charges, as it believes that it has already done plenty to prevent kids from making unauthorized in-app purchases from its devices.
 
Amazon wrote to the FTC stating that it would not comply with the regulatory agency’s demands to exercise more stringent policies that would prevent children from making in-app purchases.  Instead, it is ready to defend itself in court.
 
The FTC claims that it has received an overwhelming number of complaints regarding unauthorized in-app purchases by children on Amazon devices, which have added up to millions of dollars. It requires Amazon to update some of its policies by making in-app purchases safe with passwords for every purchase, clearer notification of additional charges and easier refund policies.
 
Purchases of digital goods are the reason behind the success of app stores of Amazon, Apple and Google Inc. (GOOGL-Free Report). These app stores boost usage and sales of smart devices. Since they also have credit card and other user records, there is the need for stringent policies that could protect customers from paying for unauthorized uses, especially by kids.
 
Amazon faces a potential litigation charge from U.S. regulators, if it refuses to accept the FTC’s demand. The FTC can sue Amazon to impose policies, seeking similar settlement terms as it did in case of Apple (AAPL-Free Report) earlier this year.
 
Apple settled with the FTC by agreeing to repay at least $32.5 million that were to be distributed to customers, whose children made in-app buys without their parents' permission. It also used new App Store safeguards to ensure parental consent while making virtual purchases.
 
However, unlike Apple, Amazon refuses to bend and said that it already offers intimation of any in-app purchases to customers and immediate notifications to cardholders. It has always reimbursed the money to affected customers. It also asserted that its practices reflected the standards set by the FTC in the Apple settlement.  
 
Amazon shares currently carry a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Akamai Technologies, Inc. (AKAM-Free Report), is a better-ranked stock carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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