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Companies Powering the Winter Olympics: 3 Stocks to Buy Now

Benjamin Rains
NBC Universal's coverage of the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea kicked off last week. Now, throughout the duration of the Games, NBC and its parent company, Comcast (CMCSA), will showcase Olympic athletes, its own networks and streaming services, as well as major Olympic sponsors.

NBC Universal’s coverage of the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea kicked off last week. Now, throughout the duration of the Games, NBC and its parent company, Comcast CMCSA, will showcase Olympic athletes, its own networks and streaming services, as well as major Olympic sponsors.

The Olympics are a time for NBC to shine—and prove to investors why it committed to pay billions of dollars for the domestic broadcast rights for the Games through 2032. This two-week stretch is also a time for NBC to cash in from big-time advertisers that see the games as a vital marketing opportunity.

During the current four-year Olympic cycle there are 13 official International Olympic Committee sponsors, including Coca-Cola KO, Alibaba BABA, and GE GE. These companies pay millions of dollars to advertise during the Olympics and promote specific products and services.

With that said, let’s take a look at three IOC sponsors that are using Pyeongchang and the packed two-week Olympic broadcast and streaming schedule to tout business innovations.

1.       Intel Corporation INTC

Intel is one of the newest official IOC sponsors, signing on after the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. The company is set to show off its VR tech over the two weeks. Pyeongchang will be Intel’s “largest-scale virtual reality event to date” and the first time it has offered fans VR at the Winter Olympics. The company is set to shoot and distribute 30 events—half live and half on-demand—allowing users to choose from 6 different camera angles.

Fans can access this coverage via the NBC Sports VR app, powered by Intel True VR. On top of that, Intel also partnered with South Korean communications firm KT Corporation in order to give fans in South Korea a taste of a broad-scale 5G network.

Intel is currently a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and rocks an overall “A” VGM score. Analysts have also recently upped their earnings estimates in a unanimous fashion for the company’s current fiscal year.

2.       Visa Inc. V

This financial services powerhouse is committed to the Olympics and has used the event as a powerful promotional and marketing tool for years. In fact, Visa has been an official Olympic sponsor since 1986. As part of its current IOC deal, Visa will be the “exclusive payment technology partner and the only card accepted at the Olympic Games through 2020.”

In Pyeongchang, Visa is set to show off its contactless-payment technology. The company will enable both fans and athletes to pay for everything with Olympic-inspired contactless payment-enabled gloves, stickers, and collectable Olympic pins. Visa noted that it will have over 1,000 different contactless-enabled terminals throughout the area.

Looking ahead to Visa’s upcoming quarter, the company is expected to see its earnings surge 17% year-over-year, based current Zacks Consensus Estimates. Investors might also be happy to note that Visa has earned a massive amount of upward earnings revisions for its current quarter, as well as the full year and the following year. Visa is also currently a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

3.      Panasonic Corp. PCRFY

This Japanese technology firm has been a worldwide Olympic partner since 1987. Panasonic is set to showcase the full range of its products in Pyeongchang over the next few weeks. The company will provide its large screen, LED display systems—along with its security camera system—at an array of events in South Korea.

Panasonic is already looking ahead to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, where it will play an even larger role than it is in South Korea. The tech poweris projected to expand its EPS figure at an annualized rate of nearly 25% over the next three to five years, which is rather impressive for a company of its size.

Panasonic is currently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and boasts “A” grades for both Value and Momentum in our Styles Score system, helping it earn an overall “A” VGM score.

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