The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Yahoo!, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Archer Daniels Midland

  The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Yahoo!, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and
                            Archer Daniels Midland

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Feb. 8, 2013

CHICAGO, Feb. 8, 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), Google
Inc. (Nasdaq:GOOG), Facebook (Nasdaq:FB), Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) and Archer
Daniels Midland Company (NYSE:ADM).

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Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

Yahoo, Google Strike Global Ad Deal

Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO) has signed a global, non-exclusive contextual
advertising deal with Google Inc. (Nasdaq:GOOG) to generate impressive revenue
growth in future years. Following the news, shares of Yahoo rose more than
1.5% in after-hours trading.

Google ads will now appear on various Yahoo properties and certain co-branded
sites using Google's AdSense for Content and AdMob services. Google will
retain a part of the revenues generated from the ads displayed on its partner
sites. Though the exact ratio wasn't disclosed, website owners who display the
kind of ads covered in the agreement would likely get to keep 68% of the
revenues.

Contextual advertising is a form of targeted advertising in which the content
of an ad is in direct correlation to the content on the web page. Hence, Yahoo
will be able to display contextually relevant ads on its web properties,
including Yahoo Sports and Yahoo News.

This will help the company to improve its search revenues going forward. Last
quarter, the company's search revenues were up both sequentially as well as
from the year-ago quarter due to improvements in the quality of ads.

The alliance will also benefit Google by providing it with additional space to
run its ads and increase its advertising revenues. Last year, Google's ad
sales on its partner sites totaled $12.5 billion.

The deal comes seven months after Marissa Mayer, formerly one of Google's top
executives, took over as the CEO of the company. Analysts have been predicting
that Mayer's old ties with Google might eventually improve its relationship
with Yahoo and help Mayer to produce more impressive growth in future years.

However, confidence in Yahoo's prospects remains low, given the growing
success of archrival Google and Facebook (Nasdaq:FB). Facebook has become
extremely popular with users, so much so that it is already the most popular
social networking platform.

On the other hand, Yahoo has repeatedly failed to deliver. The company's
revenues continued to decline for three consecutive years before registering a
small gain last year. Yahoo already has a broad search and advertising
partnership with Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT), which did not turn out as well as it
had hoped. The company is steadily losing market share and it remains to be
seen whether the current CEO can reverse the trend.

Though the deal could have some positive impact and help Yahoo to generate
additional ad dollars, we will take a wait-and-see approach because Yahoo is
still struggling despite Mayer's sincere efforts on all fronts.

Archer Daniels Boosts Dividend

Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE:ADM) has increased its quarterly dividend
by 8.6% to 19 cents per share from its earlier payout of 17.5 cents per share.
As a result of this revision, the company's annualized dividend stands at 76
cents per share.

The increased dividend, which is the 325th successive quarterly payout, will
be paid on Mar 13, 2013, to stockholders of record as of Feb 20, 2013. The
dividend yield based on the new payout and the last closing market price is
approximately 2.5%.

Archer Daniels has been increasing dividend every year since 2002. Starting
from 5 cents in 2000, the quarterly dividend payout has now increased nearly
four times to the current level of 19 cents. The current dividend hike comes
after 5 quarters. The last dividend hike of 1.5 cents or 9.4% from 16 cents
was announced on Nov 15, 2011.

It is evident from the company's history of dividend payment that it is always
on the lookout for maximizing shareholders' wealth.

The news of the dividend hike comes immediately after the company's strong
second quarter 2013 results that were reported earlier this week. Archer
Daniels reported earnings of 60 cents per share, up 17.6% from the year-ago
quarter and beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. Net sales
increased 6.9% year over year to $24,921 million, significantly above the
Zacks Consensus Estimate of $21,957 million.

The outperformance was mainly attributable to improved performances at
Oilseeds and Agricultural Services segments, partially offset by weak results
at the company's Corn Processing segment.

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