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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Tyson Foods, McDonald's, Kroger, Safeway and Accenture plc

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – March 29, 2012 – 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 Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN), McDonald’s Corp (MCD), Kroger Co. (KR), Safeway Inc. (SWY) and Accenture plc (ACN).

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Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Pink Slime Fuss Irks Tyson

The world’s leading meat manufacturer and packager Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN) expressed concerns about a fall in beef demand amidst the pink-slime controversy.

Pink slime, created from low quality beef trimmings, is an industrial byproduct and is usually treated with ammonia gas to qualify it for food health standards.

Critics argue that several cheap ground beef and frozen-marketed hamburger patties contain pink slime as an additive. Although the food watchdogs certify that they meet the food standards, some critics argue that the addition of the pink slime is not disclosed on the labels as soy and oatmeal added to beef have been.

Since the additives have not been disclosed on the labels, the ground beef, containing pink slime, have been routinely included in school lunches and other cafeteria.

The "lean, finely textured beef,” as referred to by the meat industry, seem to be extremely unpopular as a lot of consumers, schools and grocers are shying away from the product.

Moreover, the US Department of Agriculture recently ruled that school districts may stop using government meat that contains pink slime. This sparked the controversy even more.

Many food stores like McDonald’s Corp (MCD), Kroger Co. (KR), Safeway Inc. (SWY) and Food Lion stopped purchasing ground beef with the controversial meat filler.

Moreover, Beef Products Inc., renowned maker of pink slime in Lubbock, Texas, suspended three of four plants on the onset of the controversy of the cons of eating pink slime.

The confusion regarding the effect of pink slime has reduced the consumption of ground meat to a considerable extent. Tyson's management has forecasted that there will be a 2% to 3% reduction in supply, which in turn will drive up costs for consumers.

Currently Tyson holds a Zacks #3 Rank which implies a short term Hold rating.

Accenture Poised for Growth

Technology and consulting company Accenture plc (ACN) recently won a contract from a non-profit organization Out & Equal. The tech major is poised to work in sync with Out & Equal and the other stakeholders to help them invest in new technologies for establishing an IT system within the organization.

Accenture is expected to streamline the organizational structure of Out & Equal as well as help them to reach out to people across the globe. The new digital platform will create a significant impact on the IT infrastructure of the company, while also promote the idea of workplace equality irrespective of gender.

Apart from winning new contracts, Accenture recently witnessed a top management churn. The company appointed Christopher L. Smith as the U.S. federal chief technology and innovation officer. We believe that Accenture will benefit from his rich federal government experience as he had earlier served in several senior positions with the General Services Administration and the Internal Revenue Service and was associated with the Air National Guard for nearly 25 years.

Some industry experts believe that the consulting/outsourcing/offshore combination continues to support global enterprise’s demand for high-end but cost effective service delivery. Given its global footprint and client base, Accenture remains well positioned to benefit from multiple technology drivers including cloud initiatives, SaaS, mobility, digital marketing, analytics and others.

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Read the analyst report on TSN

Read the analyst report on MCD

Read the analyst report on KR

Read the analyst report on SWY

Read the analyst report on ACN

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