The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Netflix, Facebook, Amazon, Comcast and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters


For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 15, 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 Netflix Inc. (NFLX), Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Comcast (CMCSK) and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (GMCR).

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Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Netflix Reveals Viewership Data on Facebook

Shares of Netflix Inc. (NFLX) surged 4.2% to close at $173.01 on Apr 11, 2013, after the company announced that its subscribers watched 4 billion hours of streaming over the last three months. The announcement was made on the company’s chief executive Reed Hastings’ personal Facebook (FB) page.

The move was widely anticipated after Netflix announced its intentions to use Facebook and Twitter to reveal material information to investors. The company also filed with Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) to that effect.

Last year, Netflix stirred a controversy when its CEO used Facebook to reveal monthly subscriber details. Netflix was charged by SEC for violating disclosure norms. However, the increasing relevance and participation of the social media in corporate communications forced SEC to revise its disclosure rules.

SEC now allows companies to make corporate announcements over social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, by providing relevant web addresses through notifications on their company websites and press releases.

We believe that Netflix will gain (as evident from the share price movement) from the newly amended rules in the near term. The strengthening social integration with Facebook will help it win further investor confidence going forward.  

The recent surge in viewership has been primarily driven by Netflix’s engaging content, in our view. We believe that more than anything else, Netflix’s superior content will be the ultimate deciding factor in the ongoing battle for online supremacy.

Netflix’s new and exclusive content offerings  are its biggest assets, which set it apart from Hulu, HBO, Amazon (AMZN) as well as the newly-launched services from cable and media companies such as Comcast (CMCSK).

We believe that an improving paid subscriber base, international expansion, diversified content portfolio and a huge video library are the positives in the near term. Moreover, Netflix’s own content delivery network, Open Connect, connects its video library directly to Internet service providers, ensuring fast data transfer to enhance customer experience. This will further improve customer engagement going forward.

Currently, Netflix has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).


Green Mountain Upped to Strong Buy

On Apr 10, 2013, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (GMCR) to Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

With a stellar fiscal 2013-first quarter performance, efficient measures, strategic agreements to drive out competition following the expiry of the K-cup patents and continuous innovations, this coffee maker is an attractive investment opportunity. The stock’s return was 32.2% in the past one year. Green Mountain’s shares hit a new 52-week high of $59.30 on Apr 1.

Why the Upgrade?

Green Mountain has been witnessing rising earnings estimates on the back of strong fiscal 2013 first quarter results and upgraded guidance for fiscal 2013. Moreover, this well-known coffee maker delivered positive earnings surprises in all the last 4 quarters with an average beat of 19.2%. The long-term expected earnings growth rate for this stock is 19.4%.

The coffee maker delivered robust first quarter adjusted earnings (excluding amortization of identifiable intangibles and SEC-inquiry related expenses) of 76 cents per share that surpassed the year-ago quarter earnings of 60 cents by 27%. It also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 65 cents by 17% on the back of solid top-line growth and lower interest expense.

Green Mountain is expected to deliver robust fiscal 2013-second quarter results, scheduled to report on May 8, considering its upbeat first quarter 2013 results, initiatives to rule out competition, new product roll outs, and better visibility for fiscal 2013.

For the second quarter of fiscal 2013, the company expects adjusted earnings per share in the range of 70–75 cents and sales growth in the range of 14% to 18%. The guidance reflects the company’s continuous efforts to increase brand investments and product innovations.

The company is optimistic about fiscal 2013. It raised adjusted earnings outlook to the range of $2.72 to $2.82 per share, up from the prior guidance of $2.64 to $2.74 per share. The company expects net sales growth in the range of 15% to 20% over fiscal 2012.

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