The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Viacom, Facebook, Apple, Google and Bayer

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – June 10, 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 Viacom Inc. (VIAB-Free Report), Facebook Inc. (FB-Free Report), Apple Inc. (AAPL-Free Report), Google Inc. (GOOG-Free Report) and Bayer (BAYRY-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:

Comedy Central Launched as iOS App

Media and film producing company, Viacom Inc. (VIAB-Free Report) has released an iOS app of its popular channel COMEDY CENTRAL, which will allow users to select and watch stand-up comedy from its extensive library of content.

The app is named CC: Stand Up and is an extension of COMEDY CENTRAL, which is the leading comedy brand that allows users to view comic content without interruptions. Users of the iOS app can stream video footage from a collection of 6000 videos performed by 700 comedians.

The most innovative feature of this app is its Six degrees of Stand-Up, which uses a powerful recommendation tool to suggest related videos and comedians to the users. The suggestions will be based on sensibilities, topic and genre. Additionally, the new app will let users share comic videos via social media sites like Facebook Inc. (FB-Free Report) and Twitter.

Apple Inc.’s (AAPL-Free Report) iPhone and iPad customers can avail the application for free from the App store. Viacom is currently developing the application for Google Inc.’s (GOOG-Free Report) Android operating system.

Nowadays, comedy shows are very popular, particularly among the youth and with CC: Stand Up, they will be able to view the talent of various comedians other than the mainstream stand-up artists. The new app will be promoted on all COMEDY CENTRAL product wings like COMEDY CENTRAL Radio, comedy central certified clubs and COMEDY CENTRAL Live Entertainment.

In the recently concluded quarter, Viacom’s Media Network Segment reported subdued growth, where revenues inched up a mere 2%. We believe that launching COMEDY CENTRAL as an iOS app will widen the reach of the channel globally, which in turn will enhance the segment’s advertising prospect.

Viacom currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Positive Data on Bayer Eye Drug

The HealthCare segment of Bayer (BAYRY-Free Report) recently announced positive top-line results from the phase III MYRROR study on VEGF Trap-Eye (aflibercept ophthalmic solution) in patients suffering from myopic choroidal neovascularization (mCNV).

Bayer now intends to submit its first regulatory approval application in Asia for VEGF Trap-Eye in this indication in the latter half of the year. Bayer also plans to present data from the MYRROR study at an upcoming medical conference.

Results from the study showed that patients who received 2 milligrams (mg) dose of VEGF Trap-Eye experienced a mean improvement in best-corrected visual acuity (:BCVA) from baseline of 12.1 letters compared to a loss of 2 letters in patients who were administered sham injections. The candidate was also well tolerated during the study.

Conjunctival hemorrhage, dry eye, eye pain, headache and nasopharyngitis were some of the most common adverse events observed during the study.

We note that VEGF Trap-Eye is already approved in the US, under the trade name Eylea, for the treatment of neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The drug was later approved for the treatment of macular edema following central retinal vein occlusion (:CRVO) as well. The drug is also approved for the wet AMD indication in Japan, Australia, Europe and several other countries.

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