The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Ventas, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs Group, JPMorgan Chase and SAP

  The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Ventas, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs Group,
                            JPMorgan Chase and SAP

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, March 11, 2013

CHICAGO, March 11, 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 Ventas Inc. (NYSE:VTR), Citigroup
Inc. (NYSE:C), Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS), JPMorgan Chase & Co.


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Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Ventas Unveils Equity Offering

Ventas Inc. (NYSE:VTR) recently disclosed that it has established an
"at-the-market" equity offering program. Under the program, the company has
the option to sell up to a total of $750 million of its common stock.

Ventas plans to utilize the proceeds generated from the stock sale for general
corporate purposes, including financing for acquisitions and investments as
well as for debt payment.

From time to time, Ventas may offer and sell shares through BofA Merrill
Lynch, Barclays, Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C), Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS),
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) and RBC Capital Markets, as sales agents.

For Ventas, though the stock offering would result in share dilution,
financing for strategic acquisitions and investments would help augment its
top line while paying back of debt would reduce its interest expenses.

Moreover, only last month, Ventas reported better-than-expected fourth quarter
2012 results and announced an 8% hike in its quarterly dividend rate to 67
cents per share for the first quarter 2013. Its normalized funds from
operations (FFO) reached 99 cents per share in the fourth quarter, 2 cents
ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate and 10 cents above the prior-year
quarter figure.

This was encouraging and we expect the company's strategic move in Atria and
other opportunistic acquisitions to provide significant upside potential to
the stock going forward. Moreover, being one of the largest healthcare REITs
in the U.S., Ventas boasts a significantly diversified portfolio and exposure
to nearly all types of facilities.

Also, the healthcare sector is relatively immune to the downturn in the
economy, and provides a steady source of income that insulates the company
from short-term market volatility.

Ventas currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

SAP to Acquire Camilion

SAP AG (NYSE:SAP) recently announced its intention to acquire Camilion – a
software company that helps insurers gain enterprise-wide alertness with their
products and underwriting – to expand its insurance capabilities. The
financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The strategic decision to acquire Camilion was taken to provide a
comprehensive solution for the ever changing and demanding customer needs.
Insurers, in the present day, are looking to update their core systems to
increase the quality of their business and deliver new products to the market
more promptly. But for this, insurers need software tools that provide direct
analysis and simulation across huge volumes of data while protecting the value
of past IT investments.

Therefore, with the acquisition of Camilion, SAP will be able to meet most of
the needs of insurers who face challenging business environment and need to
make significant product and strategy changes promptly, but at low risk. With
Camilion on board, SAP will add core expertise and trusted relationships in
the new age of insurance applications which are well recognized by customers
and analysts, globally.

The acquisition will expand the SAP solution portfolio in the insurance
sector, thereby providing insurers with effective software tools to update the
management and creation of new products. In addition, the acquisition will
also provide the insurance brokers and underwriters with simple, modern tools
that speed up transactions; thereby, enabling them to grow their business in a
cost effective manner.

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