For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – April 9, 2012 – 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 Yahoo Inc. (YHOO - Analyst Report), Aluminum Google Inc. , Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC - Analyst Report), Accenture plc (ACN - Analyst Report) and Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ - Analyst Report).
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Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:
Yahoo to Cut 14% of Workforce
Web pioneer Yahoo Inc. (YHOO - Analyst Report) plans to eliminate 14% of its workforce or about 2,000 jobs in order to reduce operational costs. This layoff is an attempt to optimize the cost structure, concentrate on the core businesses, and thereby improve the company’s competitiveness.
The workforce reduction will be conducted across all the divisions at Yahoo but the product division is expected to be hit the hardest. Along with other unspecified operational changes, the layoffs are expected to save $375 million upon completion of all employee transitions. Currently, the company expects $125 million to $145 million in a pre-tax cash charge relating to employee severance packages.
Management is looking to restructure its businesses by focusing on its online content properties and media business, which drive most of its revenue. In the fourth quarter, Yahoo posted a decent performance, with non-GAAP earnings beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a couple of cents.
However, despite being one of the biggest brand names, Yahoo has not done very well in the last few years. The social networking site Facebook and Google Inc. have been eating away its market share over the years.
In fact, the company has seen limited growth for quite some time, hence the new CEO, Scott Thompson is not leaving any opportunity for additional revenue generation. Thompson plans to provide more information about his strategy during the company's first-quarter earnings announcement, which is scheduled for April 17.
Sometime in mid-March, Yahoo filed a patent infringement suit against Facebook alleging infringement of 10 patents. The counter-suit that Facebook filed against Yahoo’s patent infringement claims is simply the latter’s bad luck as it could drag Yahoo into a long-drawn legal dispute.
We believe that Yahoo’s restructuring efforts are not enough to bring a total turnaround in the company. However, a leaner cost structure will boost margins and earnings growth in the near future.
Government Deals for CSC
Tech behemoth Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC - Analyst Report) has recently entered into a discussion with the National Health Service (NHS) department of the U.K., which may be expected to extend its relations with the government department. The interested parties have issued a non-binding letter of intent, which is expected to become binding by March 31, 2012.
The relationship between the two may be expected to improve as a result, although it will take some more time to come to an agreement.
Apart from NHS, the company is also enhancing its business prospects with NAVAIR UAS to enhance its business prospects with the U.S. Navy.
This job has been awarded to three main vendors under its indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) agreement with them. The contract has been valued at $874 million, to be received over a 60 month period.
As per this agreement, CSC is eligible to receive task orders to fly land-based UAS aircraft to deliver streaming video from electro-optic and infrared cameras directly to military users in a remote theater of operations. The company is expected to deploy trained people, equipment and supplies to execute this job.
These facilities combined together results in cost savings for the customers, who are expected to receive Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) coverage without any additional investment in labor and equipment. The customer pays only for video hours delivered as a service.
CSC has never found much difficulty in attracting deals. Apart from Government orders, the company has also won some big-ticket private orders in the recent past. Overall, CSC’s pipeline of projects looks good right now and the company continues to augment it at regular intervals.
CSC has won a series of deals over the past six months. The company reported modest third quarter 2012 results, with EPS exceeding our expectation. Although revenues declined on a year over year basis, the flow of new business improved substantially from the year-ago period.
Despite the intense competition in the IT and cloud computing space from both small and big players such as Accenture plc (ACN - Analyst Report) and Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ - Analyst Report), the European exposure and strained federal budgets; we believe that things are beginning to look up given the new business wins.
Currently, CSC holds a Zacks #3 Rank (implying a short-term Hold rating).
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