The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Yahoo!, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and McDonald

  The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Yahoo!, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, June 12, 2013

CHICAGO, June 12, 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 Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO-Free
Report), Facebook (Nasdaq:FB-Free Report), Google (Nasdaq:GOOG-Free Report),
Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT-Free Report) and McDonald Corp. (NYSE:MCD-Free Report).


Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of
the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

Yahoo's New Look Unveiled

Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO-Free Report) CEO Marissa Mayer recently unveiled the
new look of the website. The redesigned website will comprise a navigation bar
for Yahoo shortcuts at the top of the page with the search tab moving to the
left-hand side margin.

The right side of the redesigned home page will feature a stack of capsules,
which Yahoo calls "utilities", dedicated to finance, sports, weather, video
clips, Flickr for photo sharing and friends' birthdays. Each of these can be
customized or scrapped as per user preference. The left side of the page will
display Yahoo services. Yahoo is also working on the structure of the website
to considerably reduce loading time. The redesign is aimed at giving the site
a cleaner and fresher look.

Yahoo's market position has deteriorated in the last few years as it lost its
position in search and even its leadership in display advertising to Facebook
(Nasdaq:FB-Free Report) and Google (Nasdaq:GOOG-Free Report). Engagement on
its properties has also been on a decline. The design change is aimed at
making the site more attractive so that users spend more time on the page.

According to a report by comScore, Google sites in the U.S. alone have 66.5%
market share followed by Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT-Free Report), which has 17.3%.
As of Apr 2013, Yahoo had 12% market share. Thus, Yahoo has a long way to go
to reclaim its lost market share.

Currently, Yahoo has a huge task at hand, which is to bring back its users and
make them spend more time on its properties. If successful, Yahoo may reclaim
some of its lost market share going forward. This would be crucial in bringing
back advertisers as well.

In the first quarter of fiscal 2013, Yahoo generated revenues of $1.14
billion, which were down 15.3% sequentially and 6.6% year over year. Traffic
acquisition cost (TAC) was down 42.3% sequentially and 49.9% year over year.
Excluding these costs in all periods, net revenue was down 12.5% on a
sequential basis and 0.8% from last year, short of the consensus estimate.

Yahoo has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Is McDonald's Back on Track?

After a dismal performance so far in the year, McDonald's Corp.'s
(NYSE:MCD-Free Report) same-store sales (comps) increased in May as the
world's biggest burger chain witnessed positive comps growth in all three
geographical segments – U.S., Europe and Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa

Among the three, the U.S. segment led the positive momentum. Menu-innovations,
value-options and breakfast offerings did the trick across the globe. The
recent upside came as a pleasant surprise, although the rate of growth was
lower than the year-ago level in the U.S. and Europe. The persistent global
economic turmoil and peer pressure led to the year-over-year decline in comps.

Global comps grew 2.6% in May 2013 as against 0.6% decline in the previous
month and 4.4% growth in the year-ago month. System-wide sales were up 3.6%
and 5.2% in constant currencies in the month under review.


In the United States, comps advanced 2.4% compared with 4.4% growth recorded
in May 2012 and 0.7% growth in Apr 2013. Sustained focus on value menu, solid
breakfast offerings, and a variety of chicken options bolstered the comps.

The new menu including Egg White Delight sandwich, which is a healthy
breakfast offering and the premium chicken McWraps delighted consumers.
Strategic expansion of its four pillars – chicken, beef, breakfast and
beverages helped the Oak Brook, Ill.-based company drive sales.


In Europe, comps grew 2.0% compared to an increase of 2.9% in the year-ago
period and a decline of 2.4% last month. Strong performances in UK and Russia
were partially offset by a rather tepid show in Germany and France.

Summer-time promotions featuring premium burgers and specialty menu options in
UK and Russia were the high points in the month. Also, value messaging and the
breakfast lineup enjoyed their share of success.


Unlike U.S. and Europe, growth in APMEA was meager with just 0.9% increase.
However, on a year-over-year basis, comps bounced back from the last year's
decline of 1.7% and last month's fall of 2.9%. Decent performance in a number
of markets offset the avian flu-ridden weak Chinese performance. Japan was
flat in the month as the country is still recovering from the aftermath of
last year's earthquake with consumers dining out less frequently.

Our Take

Although McDonald's has been faltering for quite some time now due to fragile
macro economy, changing eating habits and cutthroat competition, we still
believe that the company has strong value. It is consistently striving to
bounce back amid a challenging macroeconomic environment by resorting to
value-proposition and menu innovation.

With two major regions including the U.S. and Europe gaining considerable
growth momentum, things are looking up for McDonald's. The burger chain is
also taking every required step to score on profits as well. The recent
elimination of the Angus burgers from the U.S. menu in the wake of escalating
beef prices is such an attempt.

Currently carrying a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell), McDonald's is slowly but steadily
moving in a positive direction and might breeze past investor expectation in
its second quarter of 2013, results of which are expected on Jul 22.

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of
the Day pick for free.

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