The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Microsoft, Comcast, Amazon, Intersil and

  The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Microsoft, Comcast, Amazon, Intersil and

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, April 11, 2013

CHICAGO, April 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 Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT),
Comcast Corp (Nasdaq:CMCSA), Amazon (Nasdaq:AMZN), Intersil Corporation
(Nasdaq:ISIL) and Inc. (Nasdaq:PCLN ).


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Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

Microsoft Collaborates with NBC Sports

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT) and NBC Sports Group have announced a
partnership to use Windows Azure Media Services across NBC Sports' digital

NBC Sports is the sports division of the NBC television network, whose parent
company is Comcast Corp (Nasdaq:CMCSA). The group broadcasts premier sporting
events and its diverse program portfolio includes "Sunday Night Football," PGA
TOUR, Triple Crown horse racing, French Open tennis, Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic
Games, Premier League soccer, Formula One and Indy Car racing, Notre Dame
Football, U.S. Open golf and Major League Soccer.

According to the agreement, NBC Sports Group will adopt Microsoft's Windows
Azure Media Services for its digital platforms, including, and, starting this summer. Windows Azure Media
Services will provide both live as well as on-demand video streaming services
related to games and events on laptops, tablets, smartphones and PCs.

The alliance will broaden the reach of both the companies going forward. NBC
will be able to reach a broader customer base and Microsoft will be able to
expand its range of cloud offerings.

Windows Azure is Microsoft's cloud computing platform for building, deploying
and managing applications and services through a global network of its managed
datacenters. Windows Azure core services include Media Services, Mobile
Services, Cloud Services, Virtual Machines, Websites and Big Data. It competes
with Amazon's (Nasdaq:AMZN) AWS cloud computing platform and the OpSource
Cloud Computing Services.

IDC predicts that the cloud market may jump 130% reaching $43.0 billion in
2016. Further, Gartner predicts that around $677.0 billion may be spent on
cloud services within the 2013–2016 timeframe. Microsoft, with its solid
portfolio and growing partnerships should be able to tap this opportunity.

Microsoft remains one of the best positioned software vendors, given its wide
range of products, emerging markets strength, continued technology deployment
at data centers and growth in cloud computing. The company delivered
better-than-expected second quarter results with non-GAAP earnings up
sequentially. New products across segments, strength in the cloud computing
segment and share gains in search combined to generate the encouraging

However, Microsoft is also battling the slump in the PC market caused by the
sluggish economy. Therefore, it is important for the company to focus on
emerging segments such as mobile hardware and the cloud.

Currently, Microsoft has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks in the sector
that are performing well currently include Intersil Corporation (Nasdaq:ISIL)
and Inc. (Nasdaq:PCLN ), both carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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