From the Wires
The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Microsoft, Google, Apple, Wyndham Worldwide and Marriott International
By: PR Newswire
Jan. 7, 2013 09:30 AM
CHICAGO, Jan. 7, 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), Google (Nasdaq:GOOG), Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL), Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (NYSE:WYN) and Marriott International Inc. (NYSE:MAR).
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Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:
Microsoft Buys R2 Studios
Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT) recently acquired a home and entertainment technology startup, id8 Group R2 Studios Inc. for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition is an attempt by Microsoft to expand its presence in the home by combining entertainment with other functions.
Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Blake Krikorian started R2 Studios Inc. in 2011. It recently launched an application for controlling heating and lighting systems in the home from smartphones powered by Google's (Nasdaq:GOOG) Android OS. Through this acquisition, Microsoft also acquired some patents related to controlling electronic devices.
Other tech giants such as Google and Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL) were also looking to acquire this startup company. The interest shown by key industry players indicates increasing focus on home electronics with a view to create multi-functional hubs.
Microsoft, for the past few years, has been trying to evolve its Xbox 360 units into something more than just a gaming console. As a part of this initiative, it is now offering digital downloads and live TV apart from games. Thus, the acquisition makes sense for Microsoft as it can leverage its position in the home entertainment segment to expand into other areas through the acquired patents.
Technology companies have been eyeing the digital home entertainment market for some time now, not only because of the good growth prospects but also because of several new technologies (including the cloud) that makes this simpler. The introduction of high-definition (HD) technology has increased the popularity of interactive games and video on demand is making this segment more attractive to consumers. However, home entertainment units like audio equipment and video game consoles are being cannibalized by tablets and smartphones. Therefore, it makes sense for companies in the segment to offer combined technologies to market share and also offer growth opportunity.
Whether Microsoft can put the patents to good use to edge past other tech giants in the attractive home entertainment market remains a wait-and-see story.
Microsoft reported revenue, excluding deferrals, of $16.01 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2013, down 11.4% sequentially and 7.9% from the year-ago period. Revenues also missed the consensus by 2.5%.
Microsoft, Apple and Google have a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold).
Wyndham Continues Acquisition Spree
In order to further strengthen its vacation rental portfolio, Wyndham Worldwide Corporation's (NYSE:WYN) namesake segment recently sealed three bolt-on acquisitions - two beach resorts in the U.S. and one in United Kingdom. Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.
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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.
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