Welcome!

Search Authors: Harry Trott, Liz McMillan, Shelly Palmer, Lacey Thoms, Jayaram Krishnaswamy

News Feed Item

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Microsoft, VMware, Apple, Google and BioScrip

CHICAGO, April 11, 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 Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT), VMware (NYSE:VMW), Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL), Google (Nasdaq:GOOG) and BioScrip (Nasdaq:BIOS).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5513

Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

More Customers for Microsoft Cloud

The world's largest software maker Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT) announced that it won customers such as Domino's Pizza, Xerox India and Pedcor Co. for its cloud and server services, Windows Server Hyper-V.

The Windows Server Hyper-V infrastructure software equips organizations with advanced cloud-based technologies that increase the efficiency of their operations by solving complex business challenges and improving resource allocation. It also facilitates communication and collaboration among companies and reduces IT expenses of these organizations and partners across the world.

The suite won on different counts at these players. Domino's Pizza deployed Windows Server Hyper-V to manage its in-store servers, which will make Domino's Pulse point-of-sale (POS) application run smoothly. The server system was initially deployed at 750 stores with another 4,000 around the world expected to join soon. Following the installation of the system, virtualization-related desk calls have reduced 99% at Dominos.

The Xerox India Development Center ("IDC"), which supports its customers' software development activities all over the world, deployed the service to collaborate efficiently with its customers.

Further, Pedcor Co. replaced its VMware (NYSE:VMW) infrastructure with a Microsoft private cloud, built with Windows Server and System Center to improve its datacenter availability and install an efficient communication system for its employees located in 77 remote offices.

Currently, just like other PC makers, Microsoft is also battling the slump in the PC market caused by the sluggish economy. In addition, the popularity of smartphones and tablets from Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL) and Google (Nasdaq:GOOG) have been cannibalizing its core PC market. However, its server and tools business remains as strong as ever, which is evident from the series of wins it has announced in the recent past.

Microsoft remains one of the best positioned software vendors, given its wide range of products, emerging markets strength, continued technology deployment at data centers and growth in cloud computing. We believe that Microsoft's current investments are supported by its strong balance sheet and expect these to drive the next growth phase, improving prospects of market share gains.

Microsoft reported revenues, excluding deferrals, of $21.46 billion in the second quarter of fiscal 2013, up 34.0% sequentially and 2.7% from last year, in line with our estimates. All except the Entertainment & Devices segment grew both sequentially and from the year-ago quarter.

Microsoft has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

BioScrip Raised to Outperform

On Apr 9, we upgraded our long-term recommendation on BioScrip (Nasdaq:BIOS) to Outperform from Neutral. The upgrade is based on the avid outlook for 2013, strong potential of its operating platforms and favorable market trends. We are optimistic that this provider of infusion, home healthcare and pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services can keep the momentum going over the long haul.

Why the Upgrade?

As reported earlier, BioScrip's revenue guidance for 2013 of $830–$865 million, reflects growth in the range of 25% to 30% and outpaced the then Zacks Consensus Estimate of $770 million. The robust expectations are based on the solid ongoing growth momentum. The company is confident about witnessing stronger business momentum going forward on the back of strategic acquisitions.

On a segment basis, BioScrip has been recording persistent growth in the Infusion Services segment over the past few quarters. Further, the company surpassed its forecast of annual revenues of $100–$105 million from the PBM franchise. BioScrip is taking several strategic initiatives to bolster its business through further market expansion.

BioScrip has significant opportunities for growth in three operating areas with several catalysts to accelerate growth in the future. Factors such as demographic tailwinds, increasing healthcare coverage in the U.S. and a fast growing PBM industry are material upsides for the company.

With respect to earnings trend, BioScrip delivered positive earnings surprise in 2 of 4 quarters in 2012 with an average beat of 100%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the first quarter 2013 is currently pegged at 3 cents.

This drug store retailer carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Our proven model does not conclusively show that BioScrip is likely to beat earnings this quarter. This is because though the stock carries Zacks Rank #3 (which increases the probability of positive earnings surprise), Earnings ESP (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method) is zero for the quarter.

 Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5515.

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: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5517

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leon Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which 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 at http://at.zacks.com/?id=5518.

Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339
[email protected]
http://www.zacks.com

SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.