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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Amazon.com, Netflix, Apple, Credit Suisse Group and Blackstone Group

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – August 2, 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 Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN-Free Report), Netflix Inc (NFLX-Free Report), Apple Inc. (AAPL-Free Report), Credit Suisse Group AG (CS-Free Report) and The Blackstone Group L.P. (BX-Free Report).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

Amazon to Produce 5 Kids Shows

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN-Free Report) announced that its film production division, Amazon Studios plans to produce pilots for 5 more original children shows in an effort to make its Prime Instant video service more attractive to its customers.

These include Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street, a live-action adventure show, Grid Smasher, Hard-Boiled Eggheads, an animated action-comedy for the age group of 6-11, The Jo B. & G. Raff Show and an animated series, Wishenpoof!.

Management stated that all 5 pilots will be available on the Amazon Instant Video streaming service where viewers can watch them free of cost. Amazon Studios will take a call on which shows to produce going forward depending on viewer feedback.

Amazon Instant Video is a digital video streaming and download service that lets users rent, buy or subscribe to a range of video content. These pilots will further extend the archive of children shows on Amazon's video streaming library, making it a significant force in the video streaming segment and increasing competition for Netflix Inc (NFLX-Free Report) and Apple Inc. (AAPL-Free Report).

The completed pilots will be exclusively available to Prime members through Prime Instant Video and Lovefilm in the UK for no additional cost. Lovefilm is Amazon’s European DVD and streaming movie service, which has almost 2 million subscribers.

Recently, in June, Amazon had announced its decision to produce 5 original TV series from a group of 14 pilots that were earlier produced by its film production division, Amazon Studios. These 5 TV series, which include 2 comedy series and 3 children shows, will be available on the Amazon Instant Video streaming service later this year and in early 2014.

In fact, many technology companies are getting into content production, including Hulu and Netflix, to reduce their reliance on traditional media companies. Amazon has been working on this for a while now and we believe these efforts will bring in millions of dollars and help the company to increase its market share.

Amazon is one of the leading players in an extremely fast-growing market. In the second quarter, Amazon’s top and bottom lines missed our expectations. The company is making huge investments in fulfillment and technology & content, which might continue to impact the company’s bottom line going forward.

Currently, Amazon shares retain a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

Credit Suisse to Vend Private Equity Unit


In an attempt to discard its non-core businesses, Credit Suisse Group AG (CS-Free Report) plans to vend its private-equity unit – Customized Fund Investment Group – to Chicago-based Grosvenor Capital Management LP. The deal is expected to be announced at the end of the current week.

The agreement is anticipated to be valued at an amount exceeding $200 million in the form of cash and other considerations that would comprise future payouts based on the performance of private-equity investments. Moreover, the agreement between Credit Suisse and Grosvenor Capital is yet to be finalized.

Like other banks, Credit Suisse has been affected by the implementation of new rules on capital requirements and investment activities. This has compelled the bank to shed its non-core business units in order to conform by stricter rules for managing capital and risk.

Credit Suisse’s private equity unit manages revenue-generating client assets invested in third-party private equity funds and collects fees on these assets.  At present, Credit Suisse manages revenue-generating assets worth $20 billion. Additionally, it has $10 billion in commitments and other assets.

On the other hand, Grosvenor Capital, a privately owned investor in hedge funds, oversees client assets invested in hedge funds worth $23 billion. On successful completion of this transaction, Grosvenor Capital’s client assets are expected to double in size, thereby expanding the company’s business.  

Of late, Credit Suisse has been shedding its private-equity units that allocate money to hedge funds and other investment managers. Earlier in Apr 2013, Credit Suisse declared its intention to sell its secondary private equity business, Strategic Partners, to The Blackstone Group L.P. (BX
-Free Report). The deal, which is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2013, is subject to customary closing conditions.

Upon completion, the deal is expected to reduce Credit Suisse’s expenses. Moreover, by discarding its non-core businesses, the company will be able to focus more on its core operations. Additionally, it would help the firm in fulfilling the stringent regulatory requirements.

Credit Suisse currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

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