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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Google, Apple, Nokia, Microsoft and Facebook

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – June 11, 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 Google Inc. (GOOG-Free Report), Apple (AAPL-Free Report) iPhone, Nokia (NOK-Free Report), Microsoft (MSFT-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 Monday’s Analyst Blog:

Google to Acquire Waze for $1.1B

Google Inc. (GOOG-Free Report) is set to acquire Israel-based mobile mapping and navigation company Waze Inc. for about $1.1 billion.

Waze Ltd. was founded by Ehud Shabtai and Amir Shinar in 2008. It developed a free GPS application, which features turn-by-turn navigation. It can be downloaded on Android, Apple’s (AAPL-Free Report) iPhone, Nokia’s (NOK-Free Report) Symbian, Microsoft’s (MSFT-Free Report) Windows Mobile and J2ME devices. It has 50 million users worldwide.

The app uses real user signal feedback to collect traffic information. It sends alerts to users for traffic information and suggests alternate routes to reach a particular destination. The service also notifies drivers of road work, speed traps and other potential obstacles using data from other users. It has a similar function to Google Map, which makes one's location known to his or her friends.

Top tech giants such as Apple and Facebook (FB-Free Report) have been trying to acquire Waze for quite some time. However, the deals fell out due to various reasons. Both companies are trying to improve their mobile navigation capabilities. However, Apple’s bid was likely not attractive enough and Facebook would have integration issues.

This was good for Google, with its sprawling operations and already leading position in mapping software. The acquisition will boost Google’s offering in contextual data, which is a combination of social, interactive with GPS-based location tracking. Further, through the acquisition process, Google will be successful in eliminating a competitor. The acquisition will also bolster its own social mapping system and help it to generate revenue via location-based advertising.

Google has been active on the mergers and acquisitions front. In Feb 2013, it acquired Channel Intelligence for $125 million to boost its e-commerce business. Earlier, this year, it also acquired an infrastructure startup company, Talaria Technologies, to boost its cloud offerings. Recently, Google acquired Behavio, a mobile sensor start-up company, for an undisclosed sum.

In the first quarter of fiscal 2013, Google’s gross revenue (including TAC) touched a record $14.4 billion, representing sequential and year-over-year increases of 2.3% and 36.2%, respectively. Excluding the $1.5 billion contribution from Motorola, revenues were up 21.9% from the year-ago quarter.

Google has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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