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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Yahoo!, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Hibbett Sports



  The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Yahoo!, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and
                                Hibbett Sports

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Jan. 25, 2013

CHICAGO, Jan. 25, 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 Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO),
Facebook (Nasdaq:FB), Google Inc. (Nasdaq:GOOG), Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) and
Hibbett Sports, Inc. (Nasdaq:HIBB).

(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 Thursday's Analyst Blog:

Yahoo Acquires Snip.it

Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO) recently announced the acquisition of social news
start-up Snip.it. First reported by AllThingsD, the news was later confirmed
in a Snip.it blog post. The terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed,
but media reports suggest that it will cost Yahoo more than $10 million.

Founder Ramy Adeeb started the company in 2011 with funds from True and Khosla
Ventures as well as other investors. Snip.it is a social platform that allows
users to collect, organize and share articles. Users can check other
collections, add another collection into their own and share their collection
on other social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook (Nasdaq:FB), Google
Inc.'s (Nasdaq:GOOG) Google+ and others.

Following the acquisition, Snip.it's 10-member team will be working with
Yahoo. The service from Snip.it will be shut down but users have the option of
downloading their data up to Feb 21, 2013.

Yahoo is marching ahead with its plan to acquire struggling start-up
companies. Before Snip.it, it acquired another small startup, OnTheAir
specializing in broadcasting video chats or interviews to online audiences.

The idea behind acquiring these start-ups is to pick up engineering talent,
key technologies and products offered by them. These acquisitions could help
Yahoo get into the emerging social marketing segment, where its rivals have
already made a play.

In fact, Yahoo's leadership position in display advertising has been lost to
Facebook and Google. With search advertising revenues on a secular decline –
not only because of Google but also Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT), Yahoo needs to
focus on the other major growth area. As per an Internet survey, it was found
that 65.0% of Internet users in the U.S. used social networking sites, an
indication of the growing popularity of the platform.

In the third quarter of fiscal 2012, Yahoo generated revenue of $1.20 billion,
which was down 1.3% sequentially and 1.2% year over year. Traffic acquisition
cost (TAC) was down 17.7% sequentially and 22.2% from last year. Excluding
these costs in all periods, net revenue was essentially flat on a sequential
basis and up 1.6% from last year, in line with the consensus estimate.

Yahoo has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Outperform Stance on Hibbett

We have maintained our long-term 'Outperform' recommendation on Hibbett
Sports, Inc. (Nasdaq:HIBB). Our recommendation is based on the company's
better-than-expected bottom-line performance in 9 back-to-back quarters and
enhanced outlook for fiscal 2013.

Why Reiterate?

The company's quarterly earnings have been outperforming the Zacks Consensus
Estimate for the past 9 consecutive quarters with an average surprise of 9.3%.
Hibbett's most recently reported earnings of 71 cents per share for
third-quarter of fiscal 2013, comfortably beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of
68 cents and climbed 20% from the year-ago quarter earnings of 59 cents. The
company's bottom line was primarily benefitted from robust sales growth and
operational efficiencies.

Boosted by strong business from back-to-school buyers, net sales escalated
9.6% year over year to $202.9 million and surpassed the Zacks Consensus
Estimate of $201.0 million.

Buoyed by better-than-expected results, continued sales strength along with
improved cost management and margins, the company raised its expectations for
fiscal 2013. It now forecasts earnings in the range of $2.66–$2.71 per share,
versus the prior guidance of $2.57–$2.67 per share. The current Zacks
Consensus Estimate for the fiscal is pegged at $2.71 per share. Comparable
store sales for the year are expected to increase in the mid-single digit
range.

Apart from strong third-quarter results, Hibbett's growth story looks
compelling. We believe that the company's sharp focus on expanding its store
network in mid-sized and smaller markets, as well as better product mix are
the key growth drivers.

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