The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Google, ICG Group, Facebook, Best Buy and Target

 The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Google, ICG Group, Facebook, Best Buy and
                                    Target

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Feb. 11, 2013

CHICAGO, Feb. 11, 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 Google Inc. (Nasdaq:GOOG), ICG
Group Inc. (Nasdaq:ICGE), Facebook (Nasdaq:FB), Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) and Target
(NYSE:TGT).

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Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Google Buys Channel Intelligence

Google Inc. (Nasdaq:GOOG) recently announced that it has acquired an online
marketing service Channel Intelligence (CI), a consolidated company owned by
ICG Group Inc. (Nasdaq:ICGE) in a $125 million all cash deal. The transaction
is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2013, subject to customary
closing conditions.

Orlando-based Channel Intelligence offers a number of data-driven services
that help brands and retailers to boost e-commerce sales. The company's
offerings integrate with other platforms such as Facebook (Nasdaq:FB) and its
widgets feature alongside products giving options such as Where to Buy and
where to look for specific products.

CI is already one of the original launch partners for Google Shopping,
developing a technology that can help maximize sales and Return On Ad Spend
(ROAS) with Product Listing Ads (PLAs). CI operates in 31 countries and works
with 850 retailers like Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) and Target (NYSE:TGT).

The Channel Intelligence deal shows that e-commerce is becoming an important
part of Google's strategy. The acquisition will enable Google to better
compete with online retailers by offering its customers a better shopping
experience. The service will save time for customers by helping them find the
best product deals on the Google Shopping search engine.

Google is a market leader in online advertising and it has been exploring
various ways to increase its revenues and fight competition. The company has
stepped up its efforts in the e-commerce space. In Jun last year, the company
announced that retailers would have to pay for space on Google Shopping in an
attempt to improve ad quality and help merchants maximize sales from ads
purchased on Google Shopping.

Google has done well in the fourth quarter, with its gross revenues touching a
record $14.4 billion. Revenues from both Google-owned and partner sites,
continued to grow in double digits on a year-over-year basis.

Though Google is the No. 1 web-search engine, it lags online retail giants in
terms of shopping-related searches. So, we believe the CI acquisition is a
part of the company's ongoing efforts to improve on the Google Shopping
experience.

However, legal entanglements related to competitive matters or patent
infringements remain an overhang. Currently, Google retains a Zacks Rank #3
(Hold).

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