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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Hewlett-Packard, General Motors, Ford Motor, Toyota Motor and Honda Motor

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – June 13, 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 Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ - Analyst Report)-Free Report), General Motors (GM - Analyst Report)-Free Report), Ford Motor (F - Analyst Report)-Free Report), Toyota Motor Corp. (TM - Analyst Report)-Free Report) and Honda Motor Co. (HMC - Analyst Report)-Free 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:

H-P Boosts Storage, Big Data Platform

After introducing the ‘Moonshot’ server two months back, Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ - Analyst Report)-Free Report) or H-P has now unveiled a host of new storage solutions. The new product launches will push H-P further toward the high-margin enterprise storage space, thereby curbing its dependence on the PC market.

The new products such as 3PAR StoreServ 7450 Storage, 3PAR Peer Persistence, StoreOnce Virtual Storage Appliance, StoreEver MSL6480 Tape Library and Data Protector 8 will add to the family of H-P’s converged Infrastructure portfolio.

H-P's Converged suites bring together servers, storage and networking products to manage data centers from a common platform. The Converged platform has been designed to make data center handling simpler, more flexible, efficient and cost effective.

In today's technology-driven world, the enterprise storage space is one of the most enviable growth areas and we believe that H-P is doing very well in this category. Moreover, with advanced offerings, H-P’s Converged portfolio will able to attract new clients.

In a separate development, H-P also announced the expansion of its big data portfolio. H-P introduced a big data analytics platform, HAVEn, which will offer H-P’s analytics software as well as hardware and services. The platform will allow the user to develop and operate big data-ready analytics applications and solutions.

In April, H-P launched its ‘Moonshot’ server systems to ease growing demand for cloud computing, e-commerce and big data. H-P looked quite confident with Moonshot as it is expected to surpass the benefits of traditional server systems in every possible way.

H-P has been trying hard to shift its focus from the PC-centric business to the high-margin server, storage and cloud computing space. The back-to-back launches of a new BPO (business process outsourcing) solution, a host of desktop printers, two media players and the Moonshot server in the past few months indicates that H-P’s plans are well on track.

But we think revenue flow from this could get delayed due to a tough spending environment.

Currently, H-P has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

China Slowdown Affecting Auto Sales

The sluggish economic growth in China is taking its toll on auto sales. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), growth in total vehicle sales deteriorated to 9.8% in May from 13.4% in April. A total of 1.76 million vehicles were sold in the country during the month, leading to sales of 9 million vehicles for the first five months of the year, up 12.6% on a year-over-year basis.

CAAM also revealed that wholesale deliveries of cars, multipurpose and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) increased 9% to 1.4 million units in May, compared with 13% in April and 13.3% in March.

China’s economy seems to falter mainly with respect to exports. The economy grew at its slowest pace at 7.8% in 2012 considering the last 13 years and is on the verge of missing its growth target of 7.5%.

Exports in May dipped to its lowest level of 1% almost over a year as exports to China’s top two markets, U.S. and the European Union, continue to fall.

Among the U.S. automakers, General Motors’ (GM - Analyst Report)-Free Report) sales went up 9.4% to 252,942 vehicles in the month driven by strong demand for Buick cars. Ford Motor’s (F - Analyst Report)-Free Report) sales were impressive, soaring 45% to 70,540 units in May.

Japanese automakers continued to be the losers due to the political conflict between Beijing and Tokyo over disputed islands in the East China Sea. Sales of Japanese brands, including Toyota Motor Corp. (TM - Analyst Report)-Free Report) and Honda Motor Co. (HMC - Analyst Report)-Free Report), fell 11.5% year-over-year in the first five months of the year, according to Xinhua news agency. Among them, Toyota sales grew marginally by 0.4% (for the first time since January), Honda sales increased 4.6% and Nissan sales inched up 2%.

In 2009, China overtook the U.S. as the biggest auto market in the world by sales volumes when the Beijing government introduced a stimulus package, including tax incentives for small cars.

However, the incentives were scrapped in 2011 and the Beijing government imposed quotas on new car registrations in order to control the traffic congestions. As a result, sales growth in China was lower at 4.3% compared with the projection of 8% growth by CAAM as well as with the double-digit growth in 2009 and 2010.


CAAM expects sales between 10 million and 11 million units for the first half of the year. The association believes SUVs will remain the fastest- growing segment in the year while commercial vehicles will record a moderate gain in sales.

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

About Zacks Equity Research

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.
 

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