201407240930PR_NEWS_USPR_____CG76222 20140724T093000-0400 prnewswire.com 20140724 CG76222 1 urn:newsml:prnewswire.com:20140724:CG76222:1 20140724T093000-0400 20140724T093000-0400 MimeType/@FormalName The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Facebook, Delta Airline, Boeing, United Continental Holdings and American Airlines Group CHICAGO, July 24, 2014 Zacks-Investment 201407240930PR_NEWS_USPR_____CG76222.xml The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Facebook, Delta Airline, Boeing, United Continental Holdings and American Airlines Group

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Facebook, Delta Airline, Boeing, United Continental Holdings and American Airlines Group

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, July 24, 2014 /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 the Facebook (Nasdaq:FB-Free Report), Delta Airline Inc. (NYSE:DAL-Free Report), Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA-Free Report), United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE:UAL-Free Report) and American Airlines Group Inc. (Nasdaq:AAL-Free Report).

Zacks Investment Research, Inc., www.zacks.com.

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Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

Facebook Beats Earnings, Stock Soars Higher

Social media giant Facebook (Nasdaq:FB-Free Report) reported Q2 earnings after the bell Thursday, and as usual the company did not disappoint. GAAP earnings per share (EPS) reached 30 cents on revenues of $2.9 billion in the quarter, both of which beat Zacks consensus estimates of 26 cents and $2.85 billion, respectively. "We had a good quarter," said CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

One year after Facebook finally broke through with a positive earnings report when the company demonstrated it had solved its "mobile problem" -- the stocks have soared 170% since then -- Zuckerberg's company now claims mobile ads make up 62% of Facebook's revenues. Daily active users (DAU) rose to 829 million and monthly active users (MAU) totaled 1.32 billion, 1.07 billion of whom are mobile MAUs. This amounts to a 31% increase year over year in mobile MAUs.

Further, revenues gained over $1 billion year over year in its fiscal Q2, amounting to an increase of 61%. In fact, $2.68 billion of its $2.91 billion in total revenues came from advertising. Facebook's 15.4% positive earnings surprise also marks the third such surprise in EPS of the past four quarters -- all of which reached double digits.

The after-market initially had a "sell the news" moment, where FB shares dipped 1.8%, giving back most of its nealy 3% gain by the close of regular Thursday trading. As of this moment, Facebook shares are up another 4% in late trading.

Facebook has grown 30% year-to-date, with no signs of letting up. Let's face it: Facebook not only solved its "mobile problem," one year later it's absolutely crushing it.


Gaza Conflict Weighs on U.S. Airlines, FAA Ban in Place

The Israel-Palestine conflict has begun to take a toll on U.S. airline companies – at least for the time being – with The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prohibiting them from flying to Tel Aviv for 24 hours beginning Tuesday afternoon.

The restriction was imposed after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed at a distance of about one mile from Ben Gurion International Airport in Israel on Tuesday. So far, Hamas militants have fired more than 2,000 rockets toward Israel, while 609 Palestinians have lost their lives already in the deadly battle.

Delta Airline Inc.'s (NYSE:DAL-Free Report) Tel Aviv-bound flight was mid-air, when it was forced to divert The Boeing Co.'s (NYSE:BA-Free Report) 747 aircraft to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE:UAL-Free Report) has cancelled its twice daily flight to Israel from Newark, while American Airlines Group Inc. (Nasdaq:AAL-Free Report)-owned U.S. Airways has temporarily suspended its Philadelphia-Tel Aviv flight service.

Post the FAA ban, some European and Canadian carriers like Air France-KLM, Lufthansa, Swiss Air and Air Canada have cancelled flights to Tel Aviv citing safety concerns. However, international carriers like British Airways, Ukrainian International, Belavia and El Al still continue to fly to Israel.

The recent armed conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians is the third of its kind in the last five years. Moreover, the clash shows no signs of slowing down with the Hamas having rejected the latest cease fire proposal. On its part, the Israeli government has requested for the ban to be revoked immediately arguing that Ben Gurion airport is well guarded to fly safely. They believe that the flight prohibition will provide an undue advantage to the Hamas.

At present, the FAA is monitoring the situation closely, while the U.S. state department has issued a warning with regard to the ongoing conflict to its citizens travelling to the war-hit nation. Carriers adhering to the ban are currently allowing passengers a one-time change on their tickets.

Of late, air travel has been under considerable scrutiny after the recent Malaysia Airlines catastrophe, wherein Flight MH17 was reportedly hit by a surface-to-air missile which took the lives of all 298 people on board. Left with little choice, airlines are now being forced to change their routes to avoid the Ukraine skies where the government army have been battling pro-Russian separatists. We believe the flight restriction decision has been largely influenced by this recent disaster.

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