The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Comcast, Marathon Petroleum, BP, Exterran Partners and SemGroup

 The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Comcast, Marathon Petroleum, BP, Exterran
                            Partners and SemGroup

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, April 30, 2013

CHICAGO, April 30, 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 Comcast Corporation
(Nasdaq:CMCSA), Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC), BP plc (NYSE:BP),
Exterran Partners L.P. (Nasdaq:EXLP) and SemGroup Corp. (NYSE:SEMG).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit
from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5513

Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

Will Comcast Beat Earnings?

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq:CMCSA) – the largest cable MSO in the U.S. – is
set to release its first-quarter 2013 results before the opening bell on May
1, 2013.

Why a Likely Positive Surprise?

Our proven model shows that Comcast is likely to beat earnings because it has
the right combination of two key ingredients.

Positive Zacks ESP: Expected Surprise Prediction or ESP (Read: Zacks Earnings
ESP: A Better Method), which represents the difference between the Most
Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate, is +4.08%. This is a
meaningful and leading indicator of a likely positive earnings surprise.

Zacks #3 Rank (Hold): Comcast currently has a Zacks Rank #3. Note that the
stocks with Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) and 3 (Hold) have a
significantly higher chance of beating the earnings.

The combination of Comcast's Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and +4.08% ESP makes us
confident of a positive earnings beat on May 1, 2013.

What is Driving the Better-Than-Expected Earnings?

Comcast's Cable business continued to beat market expectations and the NBC
Universal division made a solid turnaround. In spite of challenges, the
struggling video operation continued its positive momentum. Comcast has also
completed its major technical innovations, such as DOCSIS 3.0, all digital
networks and a multi-platform content delivery network.

Moreover, several newly-launched services, such as Xfinity Home, Wi-Fi, X1 and
high-speed Metro Ethernet will act as long-term growth catalysts for the
company.

On the downside, persistent loss of video subscribers affects Comcast as
customers are opting for cheaper video streaming service providers like
Netflix, Hulu.Com and YouTube.

Marathon Petroleum to Beat Earnings

We expect independent oil refiner and marketer Marathon Petroleum Corporation
(NYSE:MPC) to beat expectations when it reports first quarter 2013 results
before the opening bell on Tuesday, Apr 30.

Why a Likely Positive Surprise?

Our proven model shows that Marathon Petroleum is likely to beat earnings
because it has the right combination of two key ingredients.

Positive Zacks ESP: Earnings Expected Surprise Prediction or ESP (Read: Zacks
Earnings ESP: A Better Method), the difference between the Most Accurate
estimate of $2.19 and the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.14, stands at +2.34%.

Zacks Rank #2 (Buy): Note that stocks with Zacks Ranks of #1, 2 and 3 have a
significantly higher chance of beating earnings. The Sell rated stocks (#4 and
5) should never be considered going into an earnings announcement.

The combination ofMarathon Petroleum's Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and +2.34% ESP
makes us confident in looking for of a positive earnings beat this release.

What's Driving Better-than-Expected Earnings?

Marathon Petroleum is the fifth largest domestic refiner with a combined crude
oil processing capacity of approximately 1,193,000 barrels per day through its
portfolio of six refineries. A major advantage for the company is its
proprietary access to pipelines, which inhibit lower-cost competitors from
supplying to Marathon Petroleum's key markets.

Marathon Petroleum delivered solid earnings results in the fourth quarter,
beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 8.13%. In fact, it delivered positive
earnings surprises in 3 of the past 4 quarters, leading to a positive average
earnings surprise of 10.55%.

Additionally, Marathon Petroleum's recent purchase of BP plc's (NYSE:BP) Texas
City refinery – one of the largest and most complex in the country – will help
the company to solidify its position in the fuel export business, apart from
increasing production flexibility.

Moreover, the company possesses one of the healthiest balance sheets among
peers and a robust free cash flow generating ability. The ongoing buyback
program highlights Marathon Petroleum's commitment to create value for
shareholders.

Other Stocks to Consider

Here are some other energy firms that warrant a look as these have the right
ingredients to report earnings beat this quarter:

Exterran Partners L.P. (Nasdaq:EXLP) has an earnings ESP of +4.35% and a Zacks
Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

SemGroup Corp. (NYSE:SEMG) has an earnings ESP of +28.95% and a Zacks Rank #1
(Strong Buy).

Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the
Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5515.

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative
analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the
long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded
stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights
to developments that affect company profits and stock performance.
Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the
latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter
today: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5517

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed
in 1978 by Leon Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in
stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his
many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking
system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3
to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and
market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email
newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of
Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free
subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=5518.

Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance
numbers displayed in this press release.

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors
should always research companies and securities before making any investments.
Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell
any security.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339
support@zacks.com
http://www.zacks.com

SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

Website: http://www.zacks.com
 
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.