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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Tesla Motors, Oracle, Nissan Motor, General Motors and LinkedIn

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – July 31, 2013 – 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 Tesla Motors Inc. ((TSLA - Free Report) -Free Report), Oracle Corporation ((ORCL - Free Report) -Free Report), Nissan Motor ((NSANY - Free Report) -Free Report), General Motors ((GM - Free Report) -Free Report) and LinkedIn Corp. (-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:

Tesla Motors Rises Despite BMW i3 Launch

The recent launch of BMW’s new i3 battery electric car in New York, London and Beijing does not seem to endanger the popularity of Tesla Motors Inc. ((TSLA - Free Report) -Free Report) and its Model S electric car.

Shares of Tesla rose to the 52-week high of $135.37 and closed at $134.62 yesterday, up 4.0%, despite the i3 launch, which proves that the Palo Alto, Calif.-based automaker still reigns the electric car market.

Although BMW i3 is launched with a lower price tag ($41,000) compared with Model S, it lags behind Tesla’s car in terms of driving range. The i3 delivers 100 miles per battery charge, which is less than half of Model S.

According to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Model S can travel up to 265 miles on a single charge of its 85-kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery pack. It is for this reason and other factors the car has received the highest rating from the popular Consumer Reports magazine.

Shares of TSLA more than tripled this year. The stock debuted in the NASDAQ-100 Index and the NASDAQ-100 Equal Weighted Index on Jul 15, replacing technology giant Oracle Corporation ((ORCL - Free Report) -Free Report).

Tesla Motors, named after the renowned physicist and inventor Nikola Tesla, posted its first-ever quarterly profit of $15.4 million, or 12 cents per share, on an adjusted basis, in the first quarter of 2013. This indicated a whopping positive earnings surprise of 271.4% given the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 7 cents for the quarter.

Revenues jumped manifold to $561.8 million from $30.2 million in the first quarter of 2012, thanks to the impressive 5,000 units of Model S electric car sales during the quarter. For full year 2013, the company expects to deliver 21,000 Model S cars globally, up 5% from its prior guidance of 20,000 units.

In May, TSLA also paid off the remaining $465 million U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) loan much earlier than expected. The electric carmaker received the loan in Jan 2010 and agreed on a 10-year repayment program. However, the company repaid the full outstanding amount of the loan in the second installment itself.

Electric cars have always been criticized for limited driving range leading to their weak demand. This led to limited sales of vehicles such as Nissan Motor’s ((NSANY - Free Report) -Free Report) Leaf and General Motors’ ((GM - Free Report) -Free Report) Volt. However, Tesla’s innovative ideas about making electric cars much more affordable and driver-friendly give it a competitive edge over rival automakers.

The revelations of Tesla’s innovative ideas and mounting stock price pose a threat to the prominent automaker General Motors, so much so that the Detroit automaker revealed that it has recently assigned a team to study the challenges faced by the Calif.-based automaker in electric vehicle technology.

We expect TSLA to beat estimates when it reports 2013 second quarter results before the opening bell on Aug 7 due to the combination of the stock’s Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and +16.7% ESP (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method).

Will LinkedIn Beat Earnings?

LinkedIn Corp. (-Free Report) is slated to report its second-quarter 2013 results on Aug 1, 2013. In the last quarter, it posted 340.0% positive surprise. Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Growth Factors This Past Quarter

LinkedIn delivered decent first-quarter 2013 results, with earnings per share of 22 cents comprehensively beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 5 cents. The company also witnessed substantial increase in revenues, with all business segments contributing meaningfully and operating income increasing significantly from the year-ago quarter.

LinkedIn is mostly benefiting from the Talent Solution and Premium Subscription businesses. The company has gained customers over the years and has grown steadily.

However, operating costs increased in the reported quarter but the operating profitability increased due to higher revenue. Apart from this, the company faces stiff competition in the professional networking space.

Earnings Whispers?                                       

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the second quarter stands at 4 cents per share while that for fiscal 2013 stands at 34 cents.

LinkedIn missed estimates in the year-ago quarter, but beat in the last three quarters, which resulted in an average positive surprise of 350.0% in the preceding four quarters.

Looking ahead to the upcoming quarter, as well as the fiscal year, we see no estimate revisions in the last 30 days. As a result, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for both periods have remained unchanged during this time period. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

We caution against stocks with Zacks Ranks #4 and #5 (Sell-rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions momentum.

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

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