Trefis Top 5 – May 24 Insights (CRM, AA, DISH, XOM, AMZN)

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Today we wrote on Salesforce.com's ( CRM ) Q1 results and the raised guidance management provided based on momentum in subscriber growth. We also wrote on Exxon Mobil's (NYSE:XOM) outlook and what key trends will impact the energy sector in the years to come. We look at Dish Network's ( DISH ) Blockbuster promotional where it offers 3 months free DVD's by mail for new subscribers. In metals and mining, Alcoa ( AA ) is confident that global growth will boost aluminum demand. Finally we peek at Amazon's ( AMZN ) motivations to push ahead with a tablet and take on Apple's ( AAPL ) iPad.

Salesforce.com Raises Guidance on Growth in Customer Base

Salesforce.com ( CRM ) recently announced its fiscal year Q1 2012 earnings in which it raised its revenue forecast range to $2.15-2.17  billion for the full fiscal year 2012 The company mentioned in its conference call that faster growth in customer additions is responsible for the revised outlook. Salesforce.com had net addition of 5,400 customers in the last quarter taking the total paying customer count to 97,700, which is an important metric for for the company as it competes with much larger tech firms like SAP (NYSE:SAP), Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and IBM (NYSE:IBM) in this market.

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Key Trends Impacting Exxon Mobil

Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) holds the view that the demand for nuclear energy in the years to come will not be adversely affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. The company believes that nuclear energy will account for 8% of the global energy supply by 2030, up from the 5% it constituted in 2005. The same report also reveals that Exxon expects the demand for oil to increase by about 20% from its 2005 levels in 2030, with natural gas demand increasing by 60% over the same period. Exxon is the world's largest independent oil and gas exploration and production company and competes with other industry giants like BP (BP), Chesapeake (CHK), Anadarko (APC), ConocoPhillips (COP) and Chevron (CVX).

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Dish Aiming for New Subscribers with Blockbuster Promotion

Dish Network ( DISH ) has launched a new promotion where it is offers 3-months of free Blockbuster DVD-by-mail service to new Dish customers. We have a couple of observations on this promotion. Firstly, Dish Network's prime concern is its pay-TV business and in the past Dish has pushed promotions to gain subscribers as it has wrangles with competitors like DirecTV (DTV) as well as cable providers like Comcast (CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable. Secondly, Dish has struggled to gain and retain subscribers in the recent past and so its ability to convert these new customers into paying for Blockbuster services after the promotion is unclear.

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Justifying Alcoa's Aluminum Growth Estimates

Alcoa ( AA ) recently announced that it expects the global consumption and supply of aluminum to double from its 2010 figures by the year 2020. This is based on the company's forecast that aluminum demand will grow at a compound average rate of 6.5% annually. Here we look at the key trends that lend support to these growth estimates by the world leader in production and management of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina. Alcoa competes with other international metals and mining giants like Rusal, Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO), BHP Billiton (BHP) and Chalco (ACH).

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Why it Makes Sense for Amazon to Make a Tablet

Speculation is rife that Amazon ( AMZN ) could soon launch its own tablet to rival Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android based tablets and Apple's ( AAPL ) iPad. Such a device will provide Amazon with a single platform to package its spate of recent product and service launches, such as the Android app store, Cloud Drive, Cloud Player, the Amazon music store, a new streaming movie and TV show service, Kindle, etc. We believe that this would be a good move for Amazon, and we believe the tablet will compete with Apple and Samsung (SEO:005930) while its online offerings already compete with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Apple, Google and others.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Investing Ideas , Stocks , US Markets

Referenced Stocks: AA , AAPL , AMZN , CRM , DISH

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