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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Target, Wal-Mart Stores, Amazon.com, Best Buy and Abiomed

Zacks Equity Research


For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – August 12, 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 Target Corporation (TGT-Free Report), Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT-Free Report), Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN-Free Report), Best Buy Co. Inc. (BBY-Free Report) and Abiomed, Inc. (ABMD-Free Report).

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

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Target to Expand Beauty Market

The online beauty industry is growing by leaps and bounds, and Target Corporation (TGT-Free Report) intends to leave no stone unturned in making the most of this booming market. This is evident from its latest deal to acquire DermStore Beauty Group, an online beauty retailer that would further strengthen its footprint in this segment by enhancing its portfolio of offerings. The financial terms of the deal, which is expected to conclude within 60 days, were not revealed.

Target hinted that DermStore, which will become a wholly owned subsidiary, will sustain its operation under the name DermStore.com. The transaction, which is strategically important in the long run, amid a sluggish, competitive economic environment, is not expected to have a favorable impact on the company’s fiscal-2013 results.

The current CEO of DermStore, Dan Obegi, will spearhead the wholly owned subsidiary and directly report to Casey Carl, the President of Multichannel and Senior Vice President, Enterprise Strategy at Target.

Founded in 1999, DermStore offers its products through the online platform targeting approximately 1 million active consumers. The website showcases more than 26,000 SKUs and 750 brands such as SkinMedica, SkinCeuticals, Obagi and Dermalogica. The company in order to extend its wings in the cosmetics and hair care market recently launched two more websites, hairenvy.com and blush.com.

Target, in order to augment its presence in key markets, has been attempting to acquire small businesses and DermStore is the latest addition. Earlier, in March Target entered into 2 separate transactions to acquire CHEFS Catalog and assets of Cooking.com to tap the rapidly expanding cooking and kitchenware market.

Going forward, this Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) stock intends to focus on its core businesses. The company plans to sustain its remodeling program at existing general merchandise locations by the addition of an expanded food section along with a greater assortment of dry dairy and frozen items, improved store layout and enhancement of in-store shopping experience across departments, such as apparel, home, beauty, shoes and baby.

Alongside, Target is seeking promising expansion opportunities in international markets such as Canada and Latin America. Recently, the company revealed its plans to introduce smaller-format stores called CityTarget, similar to that of its biggest rival, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT-Free Report).

Moreover, Target announced its year-round price matching policy with the aim of offering its patrons the facility to match the prices offered by online retail giants.

The company will match prices with Amazon.com Inc.’s (AMZN-Free Report) Amazon.com, Wal-Mart’s Walmart.com, Best Buy Co. Inc.’s (BBY-Free Report) BestBuy.com, and Toysrus.com. Target believes that its price matching policy coupled with the REDcard reward program would provide it an edge over its competitors.

Abiomed’s Impella Reaches Milestone

Abiomed, Inc. (ABMD-Free Report) revealed that physicians across the U.S. have implanted more than 15,000 Impella pumps in patients needing hemodynamic support. Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento, CA is the place where the 15,000th Impella procedure took place with an Impella pump that provided prophylactic circulatory support.

Currently, Impella 2.5 is the Smallest Heart Pump in the world. It is a widely used and studied percutaneous circulatory support device.

Abiomed also revealed that its higher flow Impella CP device has also been implanted in more than 1,000 patients globally. The device got the 510(k) clearance from the Food & Drug Administration (:FDA) in Sep last year. The 1,000th Impella CP procedure took place at the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, LA.

The Impella CP is very useful in treating patients who need percutaneously deployed hemodynamic support device. It is a vital device in the cardiology toolbox that can be used at ease.

ABMD is also in the process of developing Impella pediatric device. The device will be helpful in treating infants and children with heart failure. However, the device has not yet received clearance from the FDA.

Abiomed is a leading provider of heart support technologies. Its Impella platform consists of minimally invasive products with flow levels that vary with device size depending on the patient's need for hemodynamic support.

About 775 hospitals in the U.S. have acquired Impella products, with over 2,000 implanting physicians. Moreover, 66 new hospitals adopted the latest Impella CP, with 172 customer sites in the U.S.

Abiomed, a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock, reported fiscal 2013-first-quarter earnings per share of 5 cents (excluding legal expenses and the medical device excise tax) that missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. The quarterly EPS was lower than the year-ago earnings of 8 cents.

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


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