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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Alphabet, Autohome, Limelight Networks, Marchex and Synacore

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – May 15, 2017 – 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 Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL – Free Report ), Autohome (NYSE: ATHM – Free Report ), Limelight Networks (NASDAQ: LLNW – Free Report ), Marchex (NASDAQ: MCHX – Free Report ) and Synacore (NASDAQ: SYNC – 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:

Waymo's Case vs. Uber Headed to Trial

The legal confrontation started off with Alphabet’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL – Free Report ) Waymo suing Uber for patent infringement and theft of intellectual property and trade secrets through Anthony Levandowski, a former employee.

In October, it separately initiated arbitration proceedings against Levandowski, as required under the terms of his employment contract with Alphabet for the theft and for violation of confidentiality obligations in his contract to improperly recruit his Waymo colleagues to Otto and Uber.

The Evidence So Far

Waymo has shown that in January 2016, Levandowski downloaded 14K files that included self-driving technology and trade secrets and left Waymo without notice. The following day, he met Uber executives, received $250 million as a restricted stock award and also formed the self-driving truck company Otto that was subsequently acquired by Uber for $680 million.

Subsequently, Levandowski and Uber also signed an agreement to indemnify each other.

Waymo also submitted the statement of an eyewitness, Pierre-Yves Droz, a former colleague and close confidant of Levandowski's in a fresh filing.

What Waymo Wants

Waymo is seeking an injunction to prevent Uber from using the infringing technology in its self-driving vehicles and seeking damages for any proven infringements. Moreover, it also wants to prevent Levandowski from doing further work on self-driving technology.

What Uber Wants

Uber says that since Google has filed for private arbitration against Levandowski, it should also move the allegations of trade-secret theft and unfair competition against Uber into arbitration since both these are related to the same matter and involve Levandowski.

Arbitration proceedings are private and also have different rules related to evidence, which could safeguard Uber’s reputation and business prospects.

The company is willing to continue the patent infringement aspect of the case in court.

What the Judge Says

Judge William Alsup said initially that despite the significant circumstantial evidence of Uber’s guilt, Waymo had failed to establish a link between the theft and Uber (this happened because the case against Levandowski was in arbitration and he was not made a joint defendant in this case, as required by the terms of his employment).

To establish that connection, Waymo put Levandowski on the stand, where he invoked the Fifth Amendment to refuse to testify on the grounds that the testimony could incriminate him.

Judge Alsup then referred the matter to the U.S. Attorney to determine if a criminal investigation is called for while making these telling statements:

“Defendants have repeatedly accused Waymo of using ‘artful’ or ‘tactical’ pleading to evade its arbitration obligations by omitting Levandowski as a defendant,” Judge Alsup wrote. “These accusations are unwarranted.”

“Waymo has honored its obligation to arbitrate against Levandowski by arbitrating its claims (concerning employee poaching) against Levandowski. Its decision to bring separate claims against defendants in court was not only reasonable but also the only course available, since Waymo had no arbitration agreement with defendants.

"Even though he is not a defendant here, moreover, Levandowski’s assertion of his Fifth Amendment privilege has obstructed and continues to obstruct both discovery and defendants’ ability to construct a complete narrative as to the fate of Waymo’s purloined files. As a practical matter, it is hard to imagine how consolidating proceedings as to Levandowski and defendants, whether here or in arbitration, could alleviate these difficulties.”

Stock Picks

Alphabet is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), which makes it attractive for accumulation. However, there are plenty of other Internet services stocks (Zacks Industry Rank 89) up for grabs right now, including Autohome (NYSE: ATHM – Free Report ), Limelight Networks (NASDAQ: LLNW – Free Report ), Marchex (NASDAQ: MCHX – Free Report ) and Synacore (NASDAQ: SYNC – Free Report ), all of which also carry a Zacks Rank #2.

And while Alphabet’s earnings surprise of 6.8% was attractive given its size, all these companies also reported solid earnings surprises of 41.4%, 66.7%, 25.0% and 4.6%, respectively. You can also see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .

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About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Strong Stocks that Should Be in the News

Many are little publicized and fly under the Wall Street radar. They're virtually unknown to the general public. Yet today's 220 Zacks Rank #1 "Strong Buys" were generated by the stock-picking system that has nearly tripled the market from 1988 through 2015. Its average gain has been a stellar +26% per year. See these high-potential stocks free >>.

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Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Autohome Inc. (ATHM): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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Synacor, Inc. (SYNC): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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