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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Apple, Alphabet, Lenovo Group and Microsoft

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – May 16, 2016 – 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 Apple, Inc. (AAPL), Alphabet, Inc. (GOOGL), Lenovo Group Ltd. (LNVGY) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT).

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Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Forget Apple: Buy These 3 Tech Stocks Instead

Earlier this earnings season, Apple, Inc. (AAPL) reported Q2 earnings and revenue that missed analysts’ estimates, and its current quarter guidance fell short of expectations as well. As a result, shares fell more than 8% in after-hours trading, which erased over $46 billion in its market cap.

iPhone Sales Decline

One of the main reasons for Apple’s declining revenue—the tech giant said reported earnings of $1.90 per diluted share on $50.56 billion in revenue. Wall Street expected Apple to report earnings of about $2 a share on $51.97 billion in revenue—was the year-over-year decrease in sales of its iPhone.

Despite beating estimates on iPhone shipments, posting 51.19 million for the quarter in comparison to analyst expectations of 50.3 million, the iPhone unit count was a 16% decline from the 61.17 million shipped during the year-ago quarter.

CEO Tim Cook told CNBC that the company “added more switchers from Android and other platforms in the first half of the year than in any other six-month period ever.”

In contrast, Apple’s “Services” segment saw its best revenue yet last quarter, bringing in $5.99 billion and beating analyst estimates of $5.78 billion. The company’s second-largest source of revenue grew 20% year-over-year.

“Our team executed extremely well in the face of strong macroeconomic headwinds,” said Cook in Apple’s earnings release, sounding optimistic despite the decline in sales. “We are very happy with the continued strong growth in revenue from Services, thanks to the incredible strength of the Apple ecosystem and our growing base of over one billion active devices.”

Looking ahead, Apple now expects revenues between $41-$43 billion, below original estimates of about $47 billion. Gross margin is estimated to be in the range of 37.5-38% and operating expenses between $6-6.1 billion.

3 Stocks to Consider

This current earnings season was expected to be one of the worst since the financial crisis in 2009. According to Bloomberg, “investors have had itchy trigger fingers about tech firms for much of this year. Signs of soft economic spots in parts of the world and hiccups in business spending have clouded hopes for tech companies that depend on growing sales.”

With this in mind, if you are an investor who is still interested in big tech stocks, here are three stocks you may want to consider for your portfolio instead of Apple.

Alphabet, Inc. (GOOGL) is the parent company of Google, and provides web-based search, advertisements, maps, software applications, mobile operating systems, and other services through its subsidiaries.

Google has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and a VGM score of C. The company has expected earnings growth of 15.00% for the current year. It has a Forward PE of 27.23, which is higher than its industry’s average of 4.02. Its earnings estimate for the current year is $26.26 per share, with eight analysts revising downwards over the last 30 days. Google’s average earnings surprise of -2.78%.

Lenovo Group Ltd. (LNVGY) is dedicated to building PCs and mobile Internet devices, and its business is built on product innovation and strong strategic execution.

Lenovo has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and a VGM score of A. The company expects earnings growth of 116.67% for the current quarter. It has a Forward PE of 8.03, which is lower than its industry’s average of 9.40. Its earnings estimate for the current year is -0.19 per share, with no analysts revising upwards or downwards. However, Lenovo expects to earn $0.39 per share for the current quarter. The company’s average EPS surprise id 18.81%.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is a technology company whose products include operating systems for computing devices, servers, phones, and other intelligent devices.

Microsoft has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and a VGM score of C. The company has expected earnings growth of 2.23% for the current year. It has a forward PE of 19.16, which is higher than the industry average of 18.86. Its earnings estimate for the current year is $2.69 per share, with two analysts revising upwards but 9 revising downwards in the past 30 days. Microsoft has an average EPS surprise of 9.42%.

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APPLE INC (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
ALPHABET INC-A (GOOGL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
MICROSOFT CORP (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
LENOVO GRP LTD (LNVGY): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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