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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Ford Motor, Microsoft, Boeing, Nokia and JDS Uniphase

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – December 13, 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 Ford Motor Co. ( F- Free Report), Microsoft Corporation ( MSFT- Free Report), The Boeing Company ( BA- Free Report), Nokia Corporation ( NOK- Free Report) and JDS Uniphase Corp. ( JDSU- 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:

Ford Seeks Mulally’s Clarification

Amid increasing rumors of Ford Motor Co.’s ( F- Free Report) CEO Alan Mulally replacing Microsoft Corporation’s ( MSFT- Free Report) CEO Steve Ballmer, the board of directors of Ford has decided to compel Mulally to make a clarification regarding his intentions soon, according to Reuters.

Although Mulally had earlier declared that he intends to stay with the automaker till the end of 2014, it is being rumored that he will change his plans once he receives an offer from Microsoft.

The continuous speculations are overshadowing the media coverage of Ford’s business operations such as the recent launch of the new Mustang. This is not going down well with some board members, who are seeking a clarification of the issue.

Apparently the board will talk about this matter in today’s meeting and discuss it with Mulally by next week. While the CEO is a part of the board, his presence at the board meeting is not confirmed. In case Mulally steps down as Ford’s CEO, he is likely to be succeeded by Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields.
68-year old Mulally has been Ford’s president and CEO since Sep 5, 2006. He has helped the automaker counter recessionary impacts, avoid bankruptcy and eventually generate higher profits. Prior to Ford, Mulally was a part of The Boeing Company ( BA- Free Report).

According to Reuters, Mulally has the backing of several important investors of Microsoft, who are surreptitiously campaigning for him. However, former Nokia Corporation ( NOK- Free Report) CEO Stephen Elop is also said to be in the running for the position of Microsoft CEO. Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner, as well as executives Satya Nadella and Tony Bates are other possible candidates.

Ford currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

JDS Uniphase on Buying Spree

JDS Uniphase Corp. ( JDSU- Free Report), a leading provider of communications test and measurement solutions, entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Network Instruments, a global developer of enterprise network and application-performance management solutions. JDS Uniphase will pay $200 million in cash and the deal is expected to close within 45 days, subject to customary regulatory approval.

The proposed acquisition will strengthen the foothold of JDS Uniphase in the enterprise, data center and cloud networking segments. Currently, the application-based network performance management and network packet broker markets are growing at a CAGR of 13%. Network Instruments will enhance JDS Uniphase’s market prospects by approximately $1 billion in the near term.

Network Instruments had annual revenues of approximately $40 million for the trailing twelve-month period. Importantly, the software-based solutions of the company will inject higher margin products into JDS Uniphase’s existing product portfolio, which will raise the overall margin of the latter. The transaction is expected to be accretive to JDS Uniphase’s bottom line on a non-GAAP basis from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014.

In Mar 2013, JDS Uniphase acquired the U.K.-based privately-held Arieso. The acquisition of Arieso significantly enhanced JDS Uniphase’s mobility software portfolio. Arieso’s technologies deliver effective network design and performance by monitoring and optimizing radio access network (:RAN).
The RAN optimization market size is expected to grow to $1 billion by 2015.

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

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