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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Micron Technology, Apple, SanDisk, Lexmark International and Mindray Medical International

CHICAGO, March 14, 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 Micron Technology Inc. (Nasdaq:MU-Free Report), Apple Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL-Free Report), SanDisk Corp (Nasdaq:SNDK-Free Report), Lexmark International Inc. (NYSE:LXK-Free Report) and Mindray Medical International Limited (NYSE:MR-Free Report).

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

Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

Micron Raised to Strong Buy

On Mar 12, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Micron Technology Inc. (Nasdaq:MU-Free Report) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). With a strong return of 166.5% over the past one year and positive estimate revisions over the last 60 days, Micron is an attractive investment opportunity.

Why the Upgrade?

Over the last 60 days, Micron witnessed three upward revisions for the current quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current quarter went up by a cent to 59 cents over the same period of time.

The current optimism surrounding the stock can be attributed to some extent to the acquisitions of Rexchip and Elpida, which will benefit Micron's share in the memory market. Moreover, the Elpida acquisition also brought Apple Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL-Free Report) on to the customer roster, which is a huge positive for the company.

According to management, DRAM supply growth is expected to decrease from 23.0% in 2013 to 22.0% in 2017. NAND supply is expected to decline from 43.0% in 2013 to 28.0% in 2017. On the other hand, demand for both DRAM and NAND is expected to increase significantly at CAGRs of 27.0% and 38.0%, respectively, through 2017.This supply/demand scenario is also a positive and should support prices.

Additionally, Micron reported encouraging first quarter fiscal 2014 results with both the top and bottom line surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate and increasing year over year. The results were primarily boosted by the Elpida acquisition and an increase in memory chip prices.

It is worth noting that Micron's Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC), aimed at innovation in memory technologies, is primarily for supercomputer systems. HMC will help to simplify complexities and deliver greater reliability for supercomputers and lower technology costs for Micron customers.

However, it may not be easy for Micron to capture share from SanDisk Corp (Nasdaq:SNDK-Free Report), a key player in the NAND zone.

Another Stock That Warrants a Look

Another stock worth considering in the technology sector is Lexmark International Inc. (NYSE:LXK-Free Report),which sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Mindray Sees Continued Int'l Growth

On Mar 11, we have updated our research report on Mindray Medical International Limited (NYSE:MR-Free Report). MR continued to see strong international sales, while the domestic market is expected to show gradual improvement in the near future.

MR delivered positive earnings surprise in each of the last four quarters, with an average beat of 18.5%. The company posted an 18.4% rise in adjusted earnings per share to 58 cents for the fourth quarter of 2013 and topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 8 cents per share.

Net revenue grew 16.5% to $368.4 million, lying above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $348.0 million. International revenues grew 23.8% to $208.0 million while revenues from China grew at a slower pace of 8.3% to $160.4 million due to delays in purchasing activities.

MR expects 2014 net revenues to grow at least 15% over 2013 based on strengths in Western Europe and some emerging markets as well as gradual improvement in China.

New products contribute in a major way to Mindray's revenues. Further, the company has the largest customer support and service team for medical devices in China. This enables MR to provide technical support, training, warranty, maintenance and repair services to end users as well as distributor support.

Currently, MR retains a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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

About Zacks Equity Research

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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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