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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Google, Nvidia, Apple, Facebook and Superior Industries International

CHICAGO, Jan. 6, 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 Google, Inc. (Nasdaq:GOOG-Free Report), Nvidia (Nasdaq:NVDA-Free Report), Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL-Free Report), Facebook (Nasdaq:FB-Free Report) and Superior Industries International, Inc. (NYSE:SUP-Free Report).

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Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Will Google Partner with Audi Again?

Reportedly, Google, Inc. (Nasdaq:GOOG-Free Report) and Audi are expected to forge a partnership during the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show at Las Vegas. The partnership aims at implementing in-car mobile technology in Audi vehicles.

The in-car entertainment system will be controlled by Google's Android operating system. Audi users will now be provided with all the facilities that are usually available in smartphones and that too while traveling.

The idea of accessing all the features available in a smartphone while driving seems innovative and interesting but it has its demerits too. It may prove to be a source of distraction for the drivers, thus leading to accidents.

This is not the first time that both the companies have come together. They already have an existing deal as per which all the data services and maps for Audi's Multi Media Interface are being provided by Google.

The partnership will also benefit Nvidia (Nasdaq:NVDA-Free Report), as it will supply the processors needed to run the mobile operating system.

This move is believed to be an attempt on Google's part to retaliate to Apple's (Nasdaq:AAPL-Free Report) "iOS in the Car" technology, which enables the pairing of the iPhone with vehicle dashboards.

The inclusion of Google's technology into popular high-end vehicle models could improve brand awareness and solidify Google's position in the in-car technology market.

Google generates revenues primarily from the sale of advertising space on its online properties. It has therefore focused on protecting and growing its position in the search market through continued innovation, quality improvements and expansion into various spheres.

We however anticipate that going forward Google will be burdened with margin pressure as a result of increasing competition from the likes of Facebook (Nasdaq:FB-Free Report) and a growing hardware business.

But Google has shown superb execution to date, which has kept the shares buoyant. As a result, its share price has appreciated 27.9% over the past year.

Currently, Google has a Zacks Rank # 2 (Buy). 

Superior Industries Upped to Strong Buy

On Jan 2, 2014, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Superior Industries International, Inc. (NYSE:SUP-Free Report) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Reasons for Upgrade

Superior Industries is the largest manufacturer of aluminum wheels for passenger cars and light-duty vehicles in North America. Aluminum wheels have replaced steel wheels due to their lighter weight. Presently, aluminum wheels are used in almost 65% of the total number of vehicles, and the percentage is increasing by 1% annually. For trucks, the ratio is 70%, while for cars it is in the high 50s.

Further, the Mexican operations of Superior Industries are witnessing an increasing operating income. The increase can be attributed to an improved mix of wheel sizes and finishes. Improving operating income in the region is favorable for the company, considering the decline in operating income from the U.S. operations.

Moreover, Superior Industries has no bank or other interest bearing debt on its balance sheet. The absence of any long-term debt has allowed for full utilization of cash by investing in potential opportunities as the company does not need to divert its funds for interest payments or debt repayment.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Superior Industries' fourth-quarter 2013 earnings stands at 22 cents per share, up 125% year over year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company's 2013 earnings stands at 82 cents per share, down 12.77% over 2012.

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

About Zacks Equity Research

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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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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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