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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Best Buy, Computer Sciences, Cisco Systems, Accenture plc and Hewlett-Packard

CHICAGO, April 17, 2012 /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 Best Buy Company Inc. (NYSE: BBY), Computer Sciences Corporation (NYSE: CSC), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Accenture plc (NYSE: ACN) and Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ).

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Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

Best Buy to Shut Some Big Boxes

Best Buy Company Inc. (NYSE: BBY), the leading specialty retailer of consumer electronic products, announced the locations of few big box stores that it intends to close, The Associated Press reported.

The company will pull down shutters on some big box stores, which are not contributing to its growth, while modifications of others are also on the cards.  The company announced the closing of 50 U.S. Best Buy big box stores in fiscal 2013, including six in Illinois, seven in California and six in Minnesota.

Earlier, Best Buy announced a string of strategic measures to boost its long-term profitability. With its multi-channel strategy, the company intends to modify its store formats while increasing its global footprints.

Best Buy, through its cost reduction program, intends to generate $800 million in costs saving by fiscal 2015, including $250 million in fiscal 2013. The company plans to open 100 U.S. Best Buy Mobile small format stores in fiscal 2013 and increase the total number of such stores to 600-800 by fiscal 2016.

Going forward, Best Buy plans to accelerate the growth of its business in China while boosting its connections and services and digital capabilities. Best Buy expects to open 50 new Five Star stores in China in fiscal 2013, while it plans to generate $4 billion in sales and increase the store count to 400-500 by fiscal 2016. 

The company expects to generate a 15% increase in its Domestic online sales in fiscal 2013. Moreover, it targets $4 billion online sales by fiscal 2016. Revenues in Domestic segment services category are expected to increase by 10% in fiscal 2013.  

CSC Embarking on Canadian Expansion

Computing major Computer Sciences Corporation (NYSE: CSC) recently revealed plans of offering its unified communications and collaboration (UCC) solutions suite to Canadian customers.

Based on its multi-paltform integration technique, CSC has developed this service in collaboration with networking major Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). This service is expected to enhance productivity and also help in the decision making process, while reducing costs.

This whole facility is built on the UCC platform, and serves as the underlying platform for a wide range of collaboration capabilities and facilitates an efficient communication process with the business customers.

The company has also expanded its cloud computing operation in the US.  CSC's BizCloud is also available in Canada and this is the first on-premise private cloud ready for workloads in 10 weeks. This new service will offer the benefits of privacy, security and control that are the hallmarks of a private cloud, while retaining the economies of a public cloud.

These facilities, when combined together, will result in cost savings for the customers, who are looking for additional benefits without incurring huge additional cost. The customer pays only for video hours delivered as a service.

CSC has never had much difficulty in attracting new takers. Apart from government orders, the company has also won some big ticket private orders in the recent past. Additionally, CSC has a large project pipeline and continues to augment it at regular intervals.

CSC has won a series of deals over the past six months although this has not yet had a noticeable impact on results. The company's third quarter 2012 results were modest, 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.

Moreover, the company faces intense competition in the IT and cloud computing space from both small and big players such as Accenture plc (NYSE: ACN) and Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ). This apart, European exposure and strained federal budgets; may pose considerable challenges for the company.

Currently, CSC holds a Zacks #5 Rank (implying a short-term Strong-Sell rating).

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About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

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Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leon Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=5518.

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