The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Sony, Facebook and CNOOC

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Sony, Facebook
                                  and CNOOC

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Feb. 5, 2013

CHICAGO, Feb. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ 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 Electronic Arts Inc. (Nasdaq:EA),
Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT), Sony (NYSE:SNE), Facebook (Nasdaq:FB) and CNOOC Ltd


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Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

EA Positive on "Dead Space 3" Success

Electronic Arts Inc.'s (Nasdaq:EA) much-awaited Dead Space 3 has hit the
ground running, with the demo version of the sci-fi action game registering
approximately 2 million downloads on Microsoft's (Nasdaq:MSFT) Xbox Live
Marketplace and Sony's (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation Network. Dead Space 3 is set to
release on February 5, 2013 in North America and on February 8, 2013 in

EA also revealed that the current download was significantly higher than the
franchise's previous installment, Dead Space 2, and the new game garnered
90,000 new "likes" on social networking site Facebook (Nasdaq:FB) from gamers
across the world.

Dead Space 3 follows the adventures of Isaac Clarke and Ellie Langford, who
get separated after their spaceship crash lands on the icy planet of Tau
Volantis. The new game brings another character John Carver, who partners
Isaac during co-operative missions.

Dead Space 3 is one of the most anticipated games of 2013 and the demo version
download is an indication that the game is set to be a hit going forward. Dead
Space is one of the most successful franchises of EA (6.7 million copies sold
to date) and the publisher is making all efforts to make the new game a

We believe that EA's strong digital portfolio and continuing growth in the
online segment will drive top-line growth going forward.

However, we believe that soft video game industry performance, particularly
due to weakness in retail sales amid an aging console system lifecycle and the
cannibalizing effect of free-to-play games remain concerns in the near term.
Moreover, overdependence on any particular new title could also impact the
company's results going forward.

Currently, EA has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

CNOOC Sets 2013 Budget

China's biggest offshore oil driller CNOOC Ltd (NYSE:CEO) has proposed to
invest around $12 billion to $14 billion in 2013 to attain an average annual
output growth of 6% to 10% from 2011 to 2015.

CNOOC's estimated net production for 2013 is 338–348 million barrels of oil
equivalent (Boe), which is almost flat with the forecasted 2012 production of
341–343 million Boe.

The company intends to ramp up deepwater exploration during the year, despite
continuous island clashes between China and its neighboring countries. The
Chinese major has allocated 70% of its spending on development and expects to
bring ten new oil and gas fields online offshore China. Another 19% and 11% of
the capital is assigned for exploration and production respectively.

Of the new projects, the Liwan 3-1 is likely to be the first large-sized
deepwater gas field offshore China. But the commencement of Suizhong 36-1
phase II adjustment will establish the huge prospect of CNOOC's producing
fields in this region. The company is expected to reach its construction peak
in 2013, with 24 ongoing projects.

In 2013, the company expects to drill 140 exploration wells and maintain a
reserve replacement ratio of more than 100%. CNOOC will also purchase
2-Dimensional (2D) and 3-Dimensional (3D) seismic data, which will boost
deepwater exploration activities. Management expects 2013 to be a year of
exploration, development and construction for future growth.

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