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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Tesla Motors, CarMax, O'Reilly Automotive, Fox Factory Holding and AstraZeneca

CHICAGO, Aug. 19, 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 Tesla Motors, Inc. (Nasdaq:TSLA-Free Report), CarMax Inc. (NYSE:KMX-Free Report), O'Reilly Automotive Inc. (Nasdaq:ORLY-Free Report), Fox Factory Holding Corp (Nasdaq:FOXF-Free Report) and AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN-Free Report).

Zacks Investment Research, Inc., www.zacks.com

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Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

Tesla Model S Gets 8-Year, Infinite Mile Warranty

Tesla Motors, Inc. (Nasdaq:TSLA-Free Report) announced that it has increased the warranty on its Model S drive unit to eight years and infinite miles. This is same as the warranty on the battery pack. Moreover, the electric carmaker has not put any restriction on the number of owners the car can belong to during the warranty period. Further, the warranty extension is being implemented on a retrospective basis to all Model S sedans.

Earlier, Tesla provided a warranty for four years or 50,000 miles on the car. In comparison, most gasoline cars offer a standard three-year/36,000-mile warranty.

The extension of the warranty reflects Tesla's belief that electric motors are more reliable than gasoline engines due to the lower number of moving parts and absence of oily residue or combustion byproducts. The electric carmaker believes that it should have provided this warranty from the beginning itself.

Tesla also acknowledges that the move will have an adverse effect on its earnings in the short term due to the increase in warranty reserves. However, it believes that the move will have long-term beneficial effects.

The extended warranties will ease consumers' concerns following recent revelations by Consumer Reports and Edmunds.com that Model S cars have been found to develop certain snags during long-term usage. Moreover, it will likely boost resale values of Model S, per some analysts.

Currently, Tesla sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Other auto stocks worth considering include CarMax Inc. (NYSE:KMX-Free Report), O'Reilly Automotive Inc. (Nasdaq:ORLY-Free Report) and Fox Factory Holding Corp (Nasdaq:FOXF-Free Report). All these stocks have a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

AstraZaneca Initiates Phase 3 for Asthma Drug

Investors in the pharma/biotech sector eagerly wait for pipeline updates as they play an important role in deciding whether or not to invest in a particular company. Pipelines are of prime importance as far as pharma/biotech companies which spend significant funds and time in advancing their pipelines.

Last week, AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN-Free Report) provided an update on its pipeline. The company has initiated a phase III program for its asthma candidate, tralokinumab. The phase III program will assess the safety and efficacy of tralokinumab in reducing the rate of asthma exacerbations in adults and adolescents suffering from severe, inadequately controlled asthma despite receiving inhaled corticosteroids plus long-acting β2-agonist.

The company initiated the phase III program on tralokinumab based on results from a phase IIb study, which were presented at the 2014 American Thoracic Society International Conference in May.

AstraZeneca is also evaluating the candidate for the treatment of mild-to-moderate idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. A 72-week phase II study evaluating the efficacy and safety of tralokinumab is ongoing.

Our Take

We are pleased with the pipeline progress at AstraZeneca. If successfully developed and subsequently approved, tralokinumab will boost the company's respiratory portfolio. AstraZeneca already has experience in marketing several products like Symbicort and Pulmicort in this area, which should prove beneficial if and when tralokinumab receives approval.

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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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