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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Alliant Techsystems, Concur Technologies, Expedia, NQ Mobile and Progress Software

CHICAGO, May 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 Alliant Techsystems (NYSE:ATK), Concur Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:CNQR), Expedia Inc. (Nasdaq:EXPE), NQ Mobile Inc. (NYSE:NQ) and Progress Software Corp. (Nasdaq:PRGS).

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Here are highlights from Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

Alliance Tech to Beat Earnings Expectations

We expect aerospace and defense company Alliant Techsystems (NYSE:ATK) to beat expectations when it reports fourth quarter fiscal 2013 results on May 2.

Why a Likely Positive Surprise?

Our proven model indicates that Alliant Techsystems is likely to beat earnings because it has the right combination of two key ingredients.

Positive Zacks ESP: Expected Surprise Prediction or ESP, (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method) which represents the difference between the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate, is at +9.14%. This is a leading indicator of a likely positive earnings surprise for the shares.

Zacks Rank #3 (Hold): The stocks with Zacks Ranks of #1, #2 and #3 have a significantly higher chance of beating earnings. The Sell rated stocks (#4 and #5) should be avoided going into an earnings announcement.  

The combination of Alliant Techsystems's Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and +9.14% ESP makes us confident of an earnings beat on May 2.

What is Driving Better-than-Expected Earnings?

Alliant Techsystems reported positive earnings surprises in the last eight quarters. We expect the trend to continue in the to-be-reported quarter as well. The results would be driven by ATK's solid performance in its core markets and better management of its expenses.

In addition, the diverse revenue stream of the company, its competitiveness edge and operational efficiency will further strengthen its performance. This will enable ATK to meet its guidance set earlier.

Concur Partners with StayinFront

Concur Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:CNQR), a global company providing integrated travel and expense management solutions, recently entered into a partnership with StayinFront Inc. to extend its services. StayinFront is a premier global provider of cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solutions to diversified companies.

StayinFront offers mobile access for field executives in the pharmaceutical industry, using Androids, iPads and iPhones. Its CRM software is currently available on demand, which is used on premises globally by many companies.

This partnership will make the two CRM solutions of StayinFront, named StayinFront TouchRx and StayinFront EdgeRx  applications available in the new Concur App Center. The new App centre from Concur is primarily targeted towards simplifying call and expense reporting for business travelers. The use of this App will enable the field sales representatives work more efficiently by reducing reporting time due to a single point data entry requirement rather than multiple data entry system of the erstwhile setup and increased focus on business.

This partnership, combining the best of both the companies, will be yet another addition to the bouquet of multiple partnerships of Concur. In the last few months, the company entered into a number of strategic partnerships with various companies. These include Egencia, the business travel division of Expedia Inc. (Nasdaq:EXPE), Universal VAT Services, and privately-owned company conTgo. Such aggressive partnership strategy is expected to benefit Concur in the lon run and augment its revenues.

Concur currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other players in the industry include NQ Mobile Inc. (NYSE:NQ) and Progress Software Corp. (Nasdaq:PRGS), each having a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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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 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.

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