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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Viacom, Sony, Netflix, Time Warner and Ryder System


CHICAGO, Aug. 19, 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 Viacom Inc. (Nasdaq:VIAB-Free Report), Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE-Free Report), Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq:NFLX-Free Report), Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX-Free Report) and Ryder System, Inc. (NYSE:R-Free Report).

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Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

VIAB, SNE in New Content Sharing Deal

TV network giant, Viacom Inc. (Nasdaq:VIAB-Free Report) recently entered into a new content sharing agreement with Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE-Free Report). Per the deal, Viacom will give access to Sony to stream its live shows on Internet through its TVs, game consoles and Blu-ray players.

Increased deployment of 4GLTE services coupled with higher usage of smartphones and tablets have forced most channel broadcasters to view shows on Iinternet as it offers more flexibility to its viewers. Moreover, low-cost Internet video streaming companies like Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq:NFLX-Free Report), Hulu and YouTube have become major threats to the overall pay-TV industry. In order to counter such threats, Sony has signed this deal. Sony is also planning to strike similar deals with other channel majors like Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX-Free Report), Disney and CBS.

On the other hand, increasing online video streaming services will hugely benefit Viacom in terms of higher affiliated fee revenues as the company has a huge collection of movies from Paramount and runs popular networks like MTV, VH1, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.

In the recently concluded third quarter of 2013, Viacom reported strong financial results despite missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Both domestic and worldwide affiliate revenues rose 28% and 26%, respectively, as compared with the prior-year quarter.

Viacom is planning to renew its agreement with NFLX at a higher rate, which will drive the domestic affiliate revenues further. Moreover, Viacom's top line will likely witness a huge improvement as more satellite and cable TV service providers continue to increase their VOD movie services.

Currently, Viacom has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Ryder Adds Facility in Vermont

Ryder System, Inc. (NYSE:R-Free Report) has opened a new maintenance and rental facility in Vermont dedicated to commercial vehicle fleets. The existing facility in the area caters to a variety of customers from different industries and services with short-term full service rental for commercial vehicles. We believe increased infrastructural support will not only attracts more customers and bode well for the long-term growth of the company.

Ryder System continues to benefit from organic growth across its business line. Strong market demand with tighter transportation markets, in particular for trucks, has enabled the company to realize higher pricing. The company expects improved offerings in contractual product lines in the FMS segment with a newer lease fleet and various maintenance initiatives to improve 2013 earnings. Organic growth in Full Service Lease along with improved volumes in new business and supply chain are expected to aid the company in generating high revenues in the coming months.

In addition, increase in used vehicle sales will continue, with better pricing aiding growth. Additionally, Ryder is targeting emerging markets for fuel-efficient vehicles under projects like SANBAG (San Bernardino Associated Governments). In the coming days, we expect the demand for such vehicles to rise, providing potential market opportunity for the company. In Mar 2013, the company entered its first-ever full-service lease agreement for providing 23 compressed natural gas tractors to La.-based Eagle Distributing of Shreveport, Inc.

Ryder currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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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.

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