|By PR Newswire||
|January 3, 2014 09:30 AM EST||
CHICAGO, Jan. 3, 2014 /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 the Western Digital Corp. (Nasdaq:WDC-Free Report), Seagate Technology (Nasdaq:STX-Free Report), Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL-Free Report), Google (Nasdaq:GOOG-Free Report) and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (Nasdaq:CBRL-Free Report).
Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.
Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:
Western Digital Upped to Strong Buy
On Jan 1, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Western Digital Corp. (Nasdaq:WDC-Free Report) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).The upgrade came on the back of positive estimate revisions over the last 60 days. WDC's shares are up 81.4% year to date while it has an outstanding one-year return of 104.9%. WDC also delivered positive earnings surprises in the last four quarters with an average beat of 11.4%.
Why the Upgrade?
Over the last 60 days, WDC witnessed two upward revisions for the current quarter as well as for fiscal 2014. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for both the current quarter and full year went up by a cent to $2.07 and $7.99, respectively over the same period of time.
It is also worth noting that the Zacks Consensus Estimate for WDC's second quarter revenues and earnings are within management's guided range. WDC guided revenues between $3.775 billion and $3.875 billion, and the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at $3.85 billion. Non-GAAP earnings per share are expected between $1.95 and $2.10, and the Zacks Consensus Estimate is $2.07.
Some of the current buoyancy surrounding the shares is related to the company's business shift toward non-PC applications, secular growth of digital data and growing exposure to the small and medium business space. Additionally, the company has been expanding its presence in the SSD storage market, which is expected to place WDC in a better position compared to its peers such as Seagate Technology (Nasdaq:STX-Free Report) and Fusion-io, Inc.
Moreover, the company has also expanded its My Cloud solutions with My Cloud EX4, a broader portfolio of network attached storage (NAS) hard drives. My Cloud EX4 can be accessed through Apple's (Nasdaq:AAPL-Free Report) iOS and Google's (Nasdaq:GOOG-Free Report) operating systems, thus enabling users to access their files via smartphones or tablets.
In addition, the company introduced WD Black2 dual drive. The new hybrid dual drive storage solution will help WDC to meet growing business needs with flexibility and offer improved user experience.
Also, Western Digital is the largest HDD manufacturer in the U.S. Western Digital's market share in the total addressable market (TAM) of HDD increased from 44.9% in the previous quarter to 45.1%. These factors culminated in the Zacks Rank upgrade on WDC shares.
Cracker Barrel Rejects Biglari Offer
Full-service restaurant, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (Nasdaq:CBRL-Free Report), has turned down the buyout offer from Sardar Biglari, who owns a 20% stake in Cracker Barrel. The restaurant chain reportedly intends to carry on its business and believes that the existing business strategy will optimize shareholders' value. Biglari's recent non-binding proposal for a $20 special dividend from the company was also rejected.
Biglari offered to buy the company citing an inefficient management team and lower-than-expected earnings. However, the bid was rejected by the board at the annual meeting.
According to media reports, Cracker Barrel decided to pull back some "Duck Dynasty" items from its shelves after actor, Phil Robertson, made some anti-gay remarks. However, the company reinstated them after 24 hours. Biglari pointed out this incident as a case of serious mismanagement on the part of the company.
This is not the first time when Sardar Biglari has showed interest in the company; in fact, he has made numerous attempts to take over Cracker Barrel, only to be voted down by shareholders each time.
Although Biglari asserts that the earnings of Cracker Barrel are lower than expected, CBRL posted strong fiscal first-quarter 2014 results in Nov 2013. Adjusted earnings (excluding proxy contest expenses) of $1.22 per share increased 13.0% year over year and also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.13 by 8.0%. Top-line growth and lower interest expenses boosted earnings in the quarter.
The Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company reaffirmed its guidance for fiscal 2014. CBRL expects earnings to be between earnings per diluted share of between $5.60 and $5.80. It expects revenues in the range of $2.70 billion to $2.75 billion for fiscal 2014. The guidance takes into account seven or eight expected store openings and increases in comparable store restaurant sales and retail sales in a band of 2.0% to 3.0%.
Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.
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 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. Subscribe to this free newsletter today.
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 through our 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.
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.
In a recent research, analyst firm IDC found that the average cost of a critical application failure is $500,000 to $1 million per hour and the average total cost of unplanned application downtime is $1.25 billion to $2.5 billion per year for Fortune 1000 companies. In addition to the findings on the cost of the downtime, the research also highlighted best practices for development, testing, application support, infrastructure, and operations teams.
Aug. 1, 2015 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 143
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Aug. 1, 2015 04:45 PM EDT Reads: 477
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducte...
Aug. 1, 2015 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 318
The Software Defined Data Center (SDDC), which enables organizations to seamlessly run in a hybrid cloud model (public + private cloud), is here to stay. IDC estimates that the software-defined networking market will be valued at $3.7 billion by 2016. Security is a key component and benefit of the SDDC, and offers an opportunity to build security 'from the ground up' and weave it into the environment from day one. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Reuven Harrison, CTO and Co-Founder of Tufin,...
Aug. 1, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 513
With SaaS use rampant across organizations, how can IT departments track company data and maintain security? More and more departments are commissioning their own solutions and bypassing IT. A cloud environment is amorphous and powerful, allowing you to set up solutions for all of your user needs: document sharing and collaboration, mobile access, e-mail, even industry-specific applications. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Shawn Mills, President and a founder of Green House Data, discussed h...
Aug. 1, 2015 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 449
Mobile, social, Big Data, and cloud have fundamentally changed the way we live. “Anytime, anywhere” access to data and information is no longer a luxury; it’s a requirement, in both our personal and professional lives. For IT organizations, this means pressure has never been greater to deliver meaningful services to the business and customers.
Aug. 1, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 174
Container technology is sending shock waves through the world of cloud computing. Heralded as the 'next big thing,' containers provide software owners a consistent way to package their software and dependencies while infrastructure operators benefit from a standard way to deploy and run them. Containers present new challenges for tracking usage due to their dynamic nature. They can also be deployed to bare metal, virtual machines and various cloud platforms. How do software owners track the usag...
Aug. 1, 2015 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 213
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Aug. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 292
There are many considerations when moving applications from on-premise to cloud. It is critical to understand the benefits and also challenges of this migration. A successful migration will result in lower Total Cost of Ownership, yet offer the same or higher level of robustness. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Michael Meiner, an Engineering Director at Oracle, Corporation, analyzed a range of cloud offerings (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) and discussed the benefits/challenges of migrating to each offe...
Aug. 1, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 133
Puppet Labs has announced the next major update to its flagship product: Puppet Enterprise 2015.2. This release includes new features providing DevOps teams with clarity, simplicity and additional management capabilities, including an all-new user interface, an interactive graph for visualizing infrastructure code, a new unified agent and broader infrastructure support.
Aug. 1, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 188
Chuck Piluso presented a study of cloud adoption trends and the power and flexibility of IBM Power and Pureflex cloud solutions. Prior to Secure Infrastructure and Services, Mr. Piluso founded North American Telecommunication Corporation, a facilities-based Competitive Local Exchange Carrier licensed by the Public Service Commission in 10 states, serving as the company's chairman and president from 1997 to 2000. Between 1990 and 1997, Mr. Piluso served as chairman & founder of International Te...
Aug. 1, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 392
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a software development company, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software development company with representative offices in Atlanta (US), Sheffield (UK) and Würzburg (Germany); and development centers in Ukraine. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobi...
Aug. 1, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 307
One of the hottest areas in cloud right now is DRaaS and related offerings. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Dale Levesque, Disaster Recovery Product Manager with Windstream's Cloud and Data Center Marketing team, will discuss the benefits of the cloud model, which far outweigh the traditional approach, and how enterprises need to ensure that their needs are properly being met.
Aug. 1, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,688
Learn how to solve the problem of keeping files in sync between multiple Docker containers. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Aaron Brongersma, Senior Infrastructure Engineer at Modulus, discussed using rsync, GlusterFS, EBS and Bit Torrent Sync. He broke down the tools that are needed to help create a seamless user experience. In the end, can we have an environment where we can easily move Docker containers, servers, and volumes without impacting our applications? He shared his results so yo...
Jul. 31, 2015 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 789
Palerra, the cloud security automation company, announced enhanced support for Amazon AWS, allowing IT security and DevOps teams to automate activity and configuration monitoring, anomaly detection, and orchestrated remediation, thereby meeting compliance mandates within complex infrastructure deployments. "Monitoring and threat detection for AWS is a non-trivial task. While Amazon's flexible environment facilitates successful DevOps implementations, it adds another layer, which can become a ...
Jul. 31, 2015 10:15 PM EDT Reads: 317