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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Ocwen Financial

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – February 21, 2014 – 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 the Apple ( AAPL- Free Report), Google ( GOOG- Free Report), Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ- Free Report), Microsoft ( MSFT- Free Report) and Ocwen Financial Corp. ( OCN- 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:

Apple Working on a Mobile Medical Device?
Reportedly, Apple ( AAPL- Free Report) is working on a technology that will be able to warn about a heart attack based on the sound of blood flowing through the arteries. This sensor could well be part of Apple’s wearable device, referred to as iWatch and will monitor both heart beat and blood oxygen level.
The device will alert users and thus a heart attack can be prevented with timely medical intervention. As per Verge, Apple is collaborating with audio engineer Tomlinson Holman to develop the heart attack predicting device.
As per reports, Apple will use optoelectronics to monitor the user’s body glucose levels. Optoelectronics makes good usage of the light passing through the body as a non-invasive means of regulating health.
Last month, The New York Times reported that Apple has had discussions with the Food and Drug Administration regarding mobile medical applications. Although this further added fuel to the ongoing rumors, there has been no official confirmation from Apple on the latest development of the wearable device.
The iWatch will help Apple to step into the world of wearable devices following the footsteps of its competitor Google ( GOOG- Free Report).
We believe that Apple’s intention to extend its foothold into new product categories such as healthcare and cars in the near term will drive growth and profitability going forward.
Apple’s loyal customer base, international expansion, competitive pricing strategy and a solid cash position will aid long-term growth. However, increasing competition from the likes of Google, Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ- Free Report), Microsoft ( MSFT- Free Report) in most of its major product segments, possible delays in product launch, higher operating expenses and increasing legal complexities  are headwinds.

Currently, Apple has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Ocwen Floats MSR-Backed Bonds
In a deviation to Ocwen Financial Corp.’s ( OCN- Free Report) usual method of driving growth by aggressive acquisition of mortgage servicing rights (MSRs), the company has launched a bond deal backed by MSRs instead. The news was confirmed by a report in the Financial Times.
The deal named “oasis” is the first of its kind in Ocwen’s history and is worth $136 million. Moreover, it will primarily target investors seeking fixed income.
Now here lies our major concern as most MSRs related to the aforementioned bond are tied to subprime assets. The targeted fixed income investors group usually avoids risky ventures with lower credit ratings. Hence, we are not that confident about the success of the aforementioned deal.
Nevertheless, we observe that there has been an improvement in the subprime market and investors are gaining confidence. Therefore, Ocwen could benefit if the market continues to stabilize at the same pace.  
On the other hand, of late the situation is turning out to be sticky for Ocwen. As per a recent Financial Times report, investors are contemplating on filing a lawsuit against Ocwen over its mortgage servicing practices and loan modifications.
Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

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