The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: SIRIUS XM Radio, Ford Motor, Apple, Google and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide PR Newswire CHICAGO, July 11, 2013 CHICAGO, July 11, 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 SIRIUS XM Radio Inc. (Nasdaq:SIRI-Free Report), Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F-Free Report), Apple Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL-Free Report), Google Inc. (Nasdaq:GOOG-Free Report) and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (NYSE:HOT-Free Report). (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO) Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free. Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog: SIRIUS XM Crosses 25M Milestone Satellite radio company, SIRIUS XM Radio Inc. (Nasdaq:SIRI-Free Report), has crossed the 25 million subscriber base with a record net addition of 715,000 customers for the second quarter of 2013. While the company's previous best was 622,042 customer additions in the second quarter of fiscal 2012. SIRIUS XM achieved a 15% growth rate in net subscriber addition year over year while sequentially it increased by a whopping 58%. Such robust growth in subscribers is mainly attributed to increased automobile sales and the continuous launch of innovative products. SIRIUS XM gained approximately 1.17 million subscribers in the first half of fiscal 2013 with an average of 583,945 customers per quarter as compared with 1.03 million subscribers added during the first half of fiscal 2012 with an average of 513,319 per quarter. SIRIUS XM is continuously forming strategic partnerships with premium automobile companies. Last month, SIRIUS XM started offering the new Sync AppLink technology for Ford Motor Co.'s (NYSE:F-Free Report) vehicles. The technology will allow users to use voice command to listen to their favorite channels while driving. The new software is also available on Apple Inc.'s (Nasdaq:AAPL-Free Report) devices and Google Inc.'s (Nasdaq:GOOG-Free Report) Android-based handsets. Hence, customers can access SIRIUS XM programs from these devices without even turning on the satellite radio hardware. A solid product portfolio coupled with strong business relationships with the original equipment manufacturers has helped the company to raise its 2013 fiscal outlook on net subscriber addition by 100,000 to 1.5 million. Meanwhile, the company has already achieved 78% of its target and is expected to easily surpass the outlook by the end of the third quarter of 2013. Currently, SIRIUS XM has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Starwood Upgraded to Strong Buy On Jul 9, 2013, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (NYSE:HOT-Free Report) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) ahead of its second-quarter results due to be released later this month. Why the Upgrade? Starwood is expected to report its second-quarter earnings on Jul 25, 2013. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the upcoming quarter is 73 cents, representing a year-over-year increase of 2.8%. Starwood expects to post strong results in the upcoming quarters of 2013 as it benefits from the gradual economic recovery and emerging opportunities in the fast-growing markets. The White Plains, NY-based hotelier is focusing on rebalancing its business in a fee-driven model. Its business is capital efficient as the owner/developer partners provide the capital and the company earns a fee for managing/franchising the hotel. This fee-based business will help the company to increase its profitability in the ensuing quarters. Asset disposition is another strong point that will help Starwood reduce earnings volatility and provide a more stable growth profile. Starwood seeks to earn $3 billion in cash through asset sale by 2016. In 2013, Starwood expects to post earnings of $2.75–$2.83 per share which represents growth of nearly 15% – 18% from 2012 earnings of $2.39 per share. The guidance was increased from prior expectations of $2.59 – $2.68 at the first-quarter conference call following better-than-expected first-quarter results and management's unyielding faith in the company's future prospects. The first-quarter 2013 earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate gaining from its margin expansion. This was the fourth consecutive quarter of positive earnings surprise for Starwood with an average beat of 19.23%. A share repurchase program will also help drive earnings in 2013. Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free. 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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: SIRIUS XM Radio, Ford Motor, Apple, Google and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
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