The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Research in Motion Limited, AT&T, Apple, Google and Monsanto

 The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Research in Motion Limited, AT&T, Apple,
                             Google and Monsanto

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, March 13, 2013

CHICAGO, March 13, 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 Research in Motion Limited
(Nasdaq:BBRY), AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), Apple Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL), Google Inc.
(Nasdaq:GOOG) and Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON).

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Here are highlights from Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

BlackBerry Adds Carrier Partner

Customers in the U.S. who have waited long, will finally be able to lay their
hands on Research in Motion Limited's (Nasdaq:BBRY) latest smartphone Z10. The
Canadian handset manufacturer has now added AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) as its carrier
partner in the U.S. The launch of the smartphone has been delayed in the U.S.
by seven weeks of its earlier planned launch as it underwent extensive carrier
testing.

Priced at $199.99, the smartphone is expected to hit the AT&T stores by Mar
22, 2013 with a two year contract. In fact, presales are expected to begin
from Tuesday. Another top U.S. carrier T-Mobile USA also announced that Z10
will be widely available in its stores from next week, but did not disclosed
any specific launch date or price of the phone.

The U.S. launch of Z10 together with a takeover rumor from China's Lenovo
Group pushed the share price higher as the stock ended at $14.90, up more than
14% at the end of trade on Mar 11, 2013.

Research In Motion, once the global leader of smartphones has been struggling
over the last 3-4 years, as they failed to identify consumers' preferences and
has been battling in a crowded smartphone market mainly dominated by Apple
Inc.'s (Nasdaq:AAPL) iOS and Google Inc.'s (Nasdaq:GOOG) Android Platform.

After years of delay, BBRY finally launched its much awaited BB10 OS
(operating system) based device on Jan 30, 2013. BBRY's fresh new platform
will be tested as the company hopes to revive its fortune via its latest OS
based devices.

The company started selling its device in the U.K. one day after its launch in
the U.S. and has expanded in 20 other countries since then. Research in Motion
has seen robust demand for its flagship device in some of the markets
including U.K., Canada and U.A.E. Moreover, BBRY has witnessed strong customer
switch from other OS platforms to their latest BB10 based device.

Recently BBRY suffered a setback as major U.S. carrier Sprint-Nextel Corp. has
denied an offer to Z10 being part of its portfolio. Moreover, the U.S. launch
comes close on the launch of two popular android based devices from Asian
manufacturers – HTC and Samsung Electronics.

However, it order to gain popularity, Research in Motion has to be successful
in the lucrative U.S. market, where BBRY has a mere 6.4% market share at the
end of 2012. We believe offering the latest device on the fastest U.S. LTE
(Long Term Evolution) network of AT&T is positive news for BBRY. It will give
the Canadian handset manufacturer the opportunity of a foothold in the world's
largest smartphone market. Additionally, it will allow Research in Motion to
compete better with Apple's iPhone 5, which is also retailed by AT&T for
$199.99.

Currently, Research in Motion carries a Zacks Rank # 3 (Hold).

Monsanto Hits 52-Week High

Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON), an agricultural products provider, hit a 52-week
high of $104.30 on Mar 11, as it gains momentum after reporting solid first
quarter fiscal 2013 results. Monsanto has generated a return of approximately
8.4% year-to-date.

The company's long-term estimated earnings per share growth rate is 11.36%.
Average volume of shares traded over the last three months came in at
approximately 2,374K.

Solid First Quarter Performance

Monsanto delivered solid results for the first quarter of fiscal 2013 and
provided a positive outlook for the upcoming quarters, which we believe drove
Monsanto's shares to the 52-week high.

Adjusted earnings of 62 cents exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 67.6%
and the prior-year quarter's earnings by an incredible 169.6%, driven by solid
top-line growth. Also, sales for the quarter beat both the Zacks Consensus
Estimate as well as prior year revenue, led by an increase in both the
segments.

On the back of such strong results, management upped its guidance for fiscal
2013 to a range of $4.30-$4.40 from the previous expectations of $4.18-$4.32
per share.

The Zacks Consensus Estimates witnessed an upward bias following solid fiscal
first quarter results. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2013 rose
almost 3.9% to $4.55 while that for fiscal 2014 increased 3.0% to $5.18 in the
past 90 days.

In-fact, Monsanto has surpassed the Zacks Consensus Earnings Estimate in seven
out of the last eight quarters; posting an average surprise of 19.9%.

The corn business of Monsanto is expected to flourish both in Brazil and
Argentina immensely in the coming quarters. With the application of new R&D
innovations and strategic alternatives, Monsanto anticipates that 2013 would
be its highest revenue generating fiscal year.

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