The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Pandora Media, Ford Motor, Facebook, Daimler and General Motors

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For Immediate Release
 
Chicago, IL – November 21, 2013 – 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 the Pandora Media Inc. (P-Free Report), Ford Motor Co. (FFree Report), Facebook Inc. (FBFree Report), Daimler AG (DDAIFFree Report) and General Motors (GMFree Report).
 
Today, Zacks is promoting its ”Buy” stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Will Pandora (P) Miss Earnings Estimates?

Pandora Media Inc. (P-Free Report) is set to report fiscal third quarter 2014 results on Nov 21, 2013. Over the last four quarters it has posted an average positive surprise of 150%. Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Growth Factors This Past Quarter

Pandora reported an impressive second quarter of fiscal 2014. Although the company reported loss of 2 cents per share (in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate and flat year-over-year), revenues improved 58.0% from the year-ago quarter to $162.0 million.

Mobile revenues surged 92.0% from the year-ago quarter to $116.0 million. This apart, the company also improved its monetization process, which is evident from a 31.8% year-over-year jump in total advertising revenue per thousand listener hours (ad RPMs) that aided results in the quarter. Moreover, listener hours improved 18.0% year over year to 3.88 billion in the quarter.

Active users jumped 30.0% to 71.2 million at the end of the quarter. Moreover, Pandora also raised approximately $400.0 million from its stock offering in September, which it expects to use for domestic and international expansion as well as for strategic acquisitions.

However, Pandora expects advertising revenue growth to slow down and lesser listener hours in the near future, particularly due to increasing competition. The company expects to continue to report losses in the near term.
 
Earnings Whispers?

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Pandora is likely to beat earnings this quarter. That is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank of #1, 2 or 3 for this to happen. That is not the case here as you will see below.

Negative Zacks ESP:  That is because the Most Accurate estimate of break-even is lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a penny. That is a difference of -100%.

ZacksRank #3 (Hold): Pandora’s Zacks #3 Rank (Hold), when combined with a negative ESP, makes surprise prediction difficult. We caution against stocks with Zacks #4 and #5 Ranks (Sell-rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions momentum.

Ford to Unveil New Mustang December 5th

Ford Motor Co. (FFree Report) announced that it will unveil the all new version of its Mustang sports car on Dec 5. This will be the sixth generation of the car, first launched in 1964, simultaneously in New York and 11 European capitals.
 
While the Mustang will mark its 50th year in 2014, the new version will have a more modern design, greater refinement, world-class power and performance, and innovative technologies. The new model will debut in six cities across four continents. Launch events will be held in New York, Los Angeles, Barcelona, Shanghai and Sydney in addition to Ford’s hometown of Dearborn, Mich.
 
Over the next 15 days, prior to its launch, Ford is teaming up with Facebook Inc. (FBFree Report) and Instagram to promote the new Mustang. With over 5.5 million fans, Mustang is the most “Liked” vehicle on Facebook. Moreover, the car has more than 1 million photos tagged on Instagram.
 
As a part of the promotional activity, 15 top Instagram video creators will make short videos based on photos provided by fans representing what Mustang means to them. Ford will also showcase the first photo of the car on Instagram.
 
Ford released its third-quarter 2013 results in October. The company posted a 12.5% rise in earnings per share to 45 cents in the reported quarter from 40 cents in the year-ago quarter (all excluding special items). With this, the company beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 38 cents.
 
Revenues in the quarter grew 12.2% to $36 billion, exceeding the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $33.8 billion. The improvement was attributable to increased wholesale volumes in automotive business and higher market share in all the regions.
 
Ford is pursuing a major expansion plan in the mature and emerging markets, primarily Argentina, Brazil, China, India and Thailand. Moreover, the company is creating a new business unit – Ford Middle East and Africa, to capitalize on the growing importance of the Middle East and African markets.
 
Ford currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Other major automobile stocks worth considering are Daimler AG (DDAIFFree Report) and General Motors (GMFree Report). While Daimler is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock, General Motors carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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