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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: BP, ConocoPhillips, Abraxas Petroleum, Tesco and Facebook

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – December 20, 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 the BP plc ( BP- Free Report), ConocoPhillips ( COP- Free Report), Abraxas Petroleum Corp. ( AXAS- Free Report), Tesco Corp. ( TESO- Free Report) and Facebook ( FB- 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:

BP Strikes Oil in GoM – 1st Time Since Macondo
Oil major BP plc ( BP- Free Report) along with its partner ConocoPhillips ( COP- Free Report) has made a huge find at its Gila prospect, in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico (GoM).
The discovery represents the first major find by BP since the massive rig outburst that caused the worst environmental tragedy in the U.S. history. After the Macondo well blowout, the U.S. regulators lifted a five-month ban on deepwater drilling in 2010. The latest find is the third discovery in recent years in the emerging Paleogene trend in the Gulf. The previous finds were Kaskida in 2006 and Tiber in 2009.
BP hit oil at depths of around 9,150 meters (30,000 feet) in the Gila prospect by an exploration well on Keathley Canyon Block 93, about 300 miles southwest of New Orleans, in around 4,900 feet of water.
The well, which infiltrated multiple Paleogene-aged reservoir sands, was drilled to a total depth of 29,221 feet. In order to establish the size and potential viability of the find, appraisal drilling including completion of drilling through the Paleocene section, is necessary.
Located about 25 miles west of Tiber, the Gila discovery is operated by BP with a majority interest of 80%, while the remaining 20% is held by ConocoPhillips. The find is situated in the Keathley Canyon area. The lease for Keathley Canyon Block 93 was obtained in the Western Gulf of Mexico Lease OCS Sale 187 in 2003.  
BP and its subsidiaries have been exploring in the deepwater GoM since the 1950s. The U.K. giant expects its deepwater segment to form an integral part of its business goal as it is the largest leaseholder in the GoM region, with stakes in more than 650 leases. In the deepwater GoM region, BP has seven rigs drilling this year, up from five rigs until recently.

BP carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the oil and gas sector include Abraxas Petroleum Corp. ( AXAS- Free Report) and Tesco Corp. ( TESO- Free Report). All these stocks hold a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Facebook Takes Over SportStream
Facebook ( FB- Free Report) continues to grow through acquisitions, the latest being SportStream. The start-up company engages in the analysis of social media mentions on sports, which in turn helps to provide clean data access to news outlets and teams.

Although the terms of the acquisition are not clear, SportsStream will continue to work with its fifty plus stuff. The main idea behind this acquisition is to bring more Facebook chat-related data on TV and digital news, which will help more people to nurture their athletic interest.

Facebook has expanded through accretive acquisitions, which have opened several growth avenues for it. Moreover, the company is looking to add innovative features to its social media platform to enhance its popularity and attract customers.

The role of acquisition has been very significant in generating revenues for Facebook over the last couple of years. The acquisitions of Snaptu, Instagram, Face.com, Lightbox, Glancee, Threadsy and Parse expanded its content and applications for desktop as well as mobile phone. Recently, the company acquired the assets and technical team of the U.K.-based software verification company, Monoidics.

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

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