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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Yahoo!, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Goldman Sachs Group

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – May 6, 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 Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO), Facebook (FB), Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT) and The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS).

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Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Yahoo Acquires Astrid App

Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) recently announced the acquisition of task manager app Astrid for an undisclosed amount. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Launched in 2008 and co-founded by Tim Su, Astrid is a leader in the email management and to-do app space. Currently, the app runs on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows and mobile web. The app helps to create lists and reminders and share them with others. Additionally, the app integrates with Siri on iOS to add voice-based reminders.

Management stated that the task management app will continue to operate for another 90 days and will be closed down thereafter. Astrid will no longer accept any new premium subscriptions and the current paid members will receive a refund.

Yahoo is marching ahead with its plan to acquire start-up companies. Its recent purchases include Summly, a news condenser app maker; Stamped, a mobile review app maker; OnTheAir, which specializes in broadcasting video chats or interviews to online audiences; Snip.it, which is a kind of clipping service for the web; Propeld, a location-based apps maker and Jybe, a social recommendation site.

The acquisitions are a part of a strategy to broaden and strengthen Yahoo’s expertise in the mobile segment as adoption of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets continues to accelerate.

With these acquisitions, Yahoo is picking up a whole lot of engineering talent as well as key technologies and products at a cheaper rate. These acquisitions can help Yahoo enter the emerging social marketing segment, where its rivals have already established themselves.

The acquisition will help Yahoo to strengthen its mobile offerings as it has already lost its leadership position in display advertising to Facebook (FB) and Google (GOOG). With search advertising revenues on a decline not only because of Google but also Microsoft (MSFT), Yahoo needs to focus on other major growth markets and emerging geographies.

However, in the last reported quarter, Yahoo’s search business continued to show signs of improvement, although pricing remained a concern. Currently, Yahoo has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).


Goldman Wraps Up Global Atlantic


The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS) has completed the private offering of shares of Global Atlantic Financial Group, formerly known as the Goldman Sachs Reinsurance Group. Goldman retains a minority stake of approximately 25% in the company.

The step comes as the U.S. banks’ make efforts meet the regulators’ demands of maintaining a capital cushion. Goldman sold the reinsurance through a private offering of shares to high net worth clients and institutions.

Founded in 2004, Global Atlantic functions through 2 segments. One is a U.S.-focused life and annuity reinsurance segment, including the Commonwealth Annuity and Life Insurance Company. The other is a global property and casualty reinsurance segment operating in London and Bermuda under the brand name of Ariel Re.

Global Atlantic provides a diverse range of solutions to clients for losses caused by natural disasters and other calamities. This segment generated $1.08 billion in revenues in 2012, which marked a 23% rise.

In January, the U.S. banking major declared that it was considering selling a major stake in Global Atlantic under pressure from international regulators, who have made it mandatory for banks to maintain higher capital. Even after its separation from Goldman, the management team operating Global Atlantic will remain the same.


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