The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Apple, Ford Motor, Toyota Motor, Honda Motor and Tesla Motors

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Apple, Ford Motor, Toyota Motor, Honda Motor
                               and Tesla Motors

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Jan. 24, 2013

CHICAGO, Jan. 24, 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 Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL), Ford Motor
Co. (NYSE:F), Toyota Motor Corp.(NYSE:TM), Honda Motor Co. (NYSE:HMC) and
Tesla Motors, Inc. (Nasdaq:TSLA).

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Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

No Homerun for Apple

Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL) was able to beat earnings estimates in its fiscal first
quarter following two consecutive misses, but everything else about the
company's performance was lackluster at best. The revenue result fell short of
expectations as iPhone sales were soft.

As a result, shares of AAPL were down more than 6% in the after hours.

The report was certainly not a disaster for this influential tech company, but
it wasn't the turnaround that people were hoping for. Strong reports from IBM
and Google yesterday had the market preparing for another good performance
from the biggest bellwether in the industry. Now, we're left to wonder what
kind of an impact this will have on earnings season, which has been moving
along at a decent, though not spectacular, pace thus far.

Apple reported fiscal first quarter earnings per share of $13.81, which was
nearly 3% better than the Zacks Consensus Estimate at $13.44. It was flat from
last year's $13.87, but improved upon negative surprises of 2.03% in last
year's fiscal fourth quarter and nearly 10% in the fiscal third quarter.

The problem was on the top line. Revenue of $54.5 billion was a record and
more than 17% better on a year-over-year basis. However, it missed the Zacks
Consensus Estimate at $54.8 billion. It was a very slight miss, but a miss
nonetheless for a company that once left such expectations in the dust.

The biggest disappointment though was the all-important iPhones. It shipped
47.8 million of them in the quarter, which was less than expected. Sales of
the iPad were in line with expectations. Apple may still be the biggest growth
story over the long term, but it is obviously facing more, and better,
competition than ever before.

Quite frankly, Apple probably needed a better quarter than this to get back on
track. Shares of the company are down approximately 30% from its peak, and
reached a nearly 52-week low last week. Furthermore, it is a Zacks Rank #3
(Hold). The past 60 days have seen 18 of 39 earnings estimates for this fiscal
year move lower, while only 2 were revised higher.

Ford Fusion Tops Safety Ratings

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has avowed the top
vehicle safety rating on Ford Motor Co.'s (NYSE:F) 2013 Ford Fusion and Fusion
Hybrid. In the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) testing by NHTSA, which
assess vehicle performance in frontal and side-impact crash tests and
resistance to rollover, both the gasoline-powered and hybrid versions of
Fusion obtained a five-star Overall Vehicle Score.

Recently, 2013 Fusion was also rated as the Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance
Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). This is the highest rating offered by
IIHS for vehicle safety.

Both versions of Fusion are equipped with personal safety system, new safety
belt technologies and airbag systems. The airbags are specifically designed to
provide added protection to the passengers.

Recently, Toyota Motor Corp.'s (NYSE:TM) best-selling 2013 Camry passenger car
received a poor crash-test rating from IIHS. However, its predecessor, 2012
Camry was chosen as a Top Safety Pick by IIHS and received a 5-star safety
rating from the NHTSA.

Meanwhile, Honda Motor Co.'s (NYSE:HMC) redesigned Accord sedan received high
marks from IIHS. Accord was among a group of 2013 model year midsize cars
tested by the insurance industry group.

Michigan-based Ford is one of the largest automobile producers in the world.
The company operates in two segments: Automotive and Financial services.
Although the company's primary selling ground is the U.S.; Europe, South
America and the Asia-Pacific constitute its other major markets.

Ford posted a 17.6% rise in earnings per share to 40 cents in the third
quarter of the year from 34 cents a year ago, driven by impressive results in
its North American operation and, to some extent, its Asian operation. With
this, the company has also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 10 cents
per share. Total profit rose 15.6% to $1.6 billion from $1.4 billion a year
ago.

However, total revenue in the quarter slid 3.0% to $32.1 billion due to lower
revenues in South America, Europe and Financial Services operations that
offset the marginal improvement in revenues in North America and Asia.
However, revenues were higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $31.0
billion for the quarter. Currently, the company retains a Zacks Rank #3
(Hold).

Tesla Motors, Inc. (Nasdaq:TSLA) is performing well. The company carries a
Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock.

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