Welcome!

Big Data Journal Authors: Hovhannes Avoyan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Trevor Parsons

News Feed Item

CNO Financial, Stone Energy Corp, Google, Apple and Amazon highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

CHICAGO, Jan. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks Equity Research highlights CNO Financial (NYSE:CNO) as the Bull of the Day and Stone Energy Corp (NYSE: SGY) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis ontheGoogle Inc. (GOOG), Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

We are upgrading our recommendation on CNO Financial (CNO) to Outperform based on the hike in its buyback program and prospects of significant capital deployment in 2013. The latest recapitalization plan has also improved the capital structure and debt maturity profile. It is also expected to augment the bottom line and ROE.

However, high financial leverage and constantly deteriorating Bankers Life segment results are the downsides. The company's third-quarter earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate and the year-ago numbers on the back of favorable trends in annuity spreads, improved top line and benefit ratios and better investment results.

Improved credit ratings, strong investment portfolio and declining expenses are the other positives. Although underwriting and pricing challenges remain primary concerns, increasing new business volume and cost containment measures are expected to support the bottom line in the long run.

Bear of the Day:

We are downgrading our recommendation on Stone Energy Corp (SGY) to Underperform from Neutral. The company missed our expectation in the third quarter of 2012 and its quarterly earnings also plunged 54.7% from the year-earlier profit level, mainly due to lower price realization and higher operating expenses.

The spiraling lease operating expenses added to Stone Energy's woes due to high seasonal maintenance costs and the effects of Hurricane Isaac. Again, its results are heavily dependent on growth visibility at its onshore properties as well as the outcome of various deepwater exploration prospects.

Given these headwinds, we expect the shares of Stone Energy to be under pressure in the near future. Our $19 price objective reflects a 2013 P/E multiple of 9.2x.

Additional content:

Google Challenges iTunes

Google Inc. (GOOG) has introduced a music service that allows customers to buy songs from the Android Market. The service is expected to compete directly with its rival Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) iTune services.

Google has now entered into partnerships with roughly 1000 record companies and thus can offer 13 million songs. Free storage and streaming of 20,000 songs on Google Music remain as part of the original service. In addition, Google will feature reviews, band information and exclusive content from artists. It will also allow the artists to design their own pages, which will feature their videos, biographies and self-published music for a one-time fee of $25.

Google has been improving its music service in the last few months. Recently, Google Music came out with a new scan and match feature to better compete with its rivals. The feature allowed a user's music to be matched in the cloud so that songs could be played on any authorized device. The service enables users to upload their music to the cloud from their respective files.

The storage of music in the cloud is growing in popularity, with iTunes offering space for 25,000 songs, Google 20,000 songs and Amazon (AMZN) through its own service called Cloud Player 250,000.

According to the market research company, NPD Group, Apple accounted for 64.0% of U.S. online music sales in the second quarter, followed by Amazon at 16.0%. Google notched a mere 5.0% share and other services made up the rest. While Google remains far behind, its free service for the broadest selection could gather momentum.

According to the market research company, IDC, Android shipments touched 136.0 million units in the third quarter of fiscal 2012, which is 75.0% of overall shipments and was followed by Apple's iOS that accounted for 15.0%. Google is dominating the OS space.

Google's rapid expansion into music, television, movies, consumer items (rice cookers, refrigerators, cameras) is an attempt to attract more users to Android. It is also going all out to break Apple's dominance in online music.

In the third quarter of fiscal 2012, Google's gross revenue (including TAC) touched a record $14.10 billion, representing sequential and year-over-year increases of 28.6% and 45.1%, respectively.

Total revenue, excluding total traffic acquisition costs, came in at $11.34 billion, 4.4% lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $11.86 billion.

Google, Amazon and Apple all have a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Get today's four free Zacks #1 stocks with a free subscription to Profit from the Pros newsletter:

About the Bull and Bear of the Day

Every day, the analysts at Zacks Equity Research select two stocks that are likely to outperform (Bull) or underperform (Bear) the markets over the next 3-6 months.

About the Analyst Blog

Updated throughout every trading day, the Analyst Blog provides analysis from Zacks Equity Research about the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous analyst coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Click here to subscribe to this free newsletter today.

About Zacks

through our Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978. The later formation of the Zacks Rank, a proprietary stock picking system; continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros.  In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros.

Follow us on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts

Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339
[email protected]
http://www.zacks.com

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.

SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories from Big Data Journal
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With “smart” appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user’s habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps,...
There are 182 billion emails sent every day, generating a lot of data about how recipients and ISPs respond. Many marketers take a more-is-better approach to stats, preferring to have the ability to slice and dice their email lists based numerous arbitrary stats. However, fundamentally what really matters is whether or not sending an email to a particular recipient will generate value. Data Scientists can design high-level insights such as engagement prediction models and content clusters that a...
Cloudian on Tuesday announced immediate availability of Cloudian HyperStore appliances and Cloudian HyperStore 5.0 software. Flash-optimized, rack-ready HyperStore appliances make it easy to economically deploy full-featured, highly scalable S3-compliant storage with three enterprise-focused configurations. HyperStore appliances come fully integrated with Cloudian HyperStore software to assure unlimited scale, multi-data center storage, fully automated data tiering, and support for all S3 applic...
Cloud and Big Data present unique dilemmas: embracing the benefits of these new technologies while maintaining the security of your organization’s assets. When an outside party owns, controls and manages your infrastructure and computational resources, how can you be assured that sensitive data remains private and secure? How do you best protect data in mixed use cloud and big data infrastructure sets? Can you still satisfy the full range of reporting, compliance and regulatory requirements? I...
There is no doubt that Big Data is here and getting bigger every day. Building a Big Data infrastructure today is no easy task. There are an enormous number of choices for database engines and technologies. To make things even more challenging, requirements are getting more sophisticated, and the standard paradigm of supporting historical analytics queries is often just one facet of what is needed. As Big Data growth continues, organizations are demanding real-time access to data, allowing immed...
Whether you're a startup or a 100 year old enterprise, the Internet of Things offers a variety of new capabilities for your business. IoT style solutions can help you get closer your customers, launch new product lines and take over an industry. Some companies are dipping their toes in, but many have already taken the plunge, all while dramatic new capabilities continue to emerge. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Reid Carlberg, Senior Director, Developer Evangelism at salesforce.com, t...
Scene scenario: 10 am in a boardroom somewhere, second round of coffees served, Danish and donuts untouched, a quiet hush settles. “Well you know what guys? (and, by the use of the term guys I mean to include both sexes here assembled) – the trouble that we have as a company is that we are, to put it bluntly, just a little analytics poor,” said the newly appointed Chief Analytics Officer. That we should consider a firm to be analytically deficient or poor is a profound comment on our modern ag...
Gridstore has announced that NAC, Inc. and Sky Tech have joined its innovative Accelerate Partner Program. Both new members cite Gridstore's expertise in enabling the Hybrid Cloud and their solution purpose-built for Hyper-V as the key criteria for their decision to join the program. Integrating seamlessly with business clients, these new partners provide industry-proven storage solutions that promote satisfied customers, profitable businesses, and communities that thrive.
General Electric (GE) has been a household name for more than a century, thanks in large part to its role in making households easier to run. Starting with the light bulb invented by its founder, Thomas Edison, GE has been selling devices (“things”) to consumers throughout its 122-year history. Last week, GE announced that it is officially leaving that job to others. While the lighting division will stay, GE will now turn its attention to selling industrial machinery and analytics as a service t...
It's time to condense all I've seen, heard, and learned about the IoT into a fun, easy-to-remember guide. Without further ado, here are Five (5) Things About the Internet of Things: 1. It's the end-state of Moore's Law. It's easy enough to debunk the IoT as “nothing new.” After all, we've have embedded systems for years. We've had devices connected to the Internet for decades; the very definition of a network means things are connected to it. But now that the invariable, self-fulfilling prop...