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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Amazon.com, Royal Dutch Shell plc, Total SA, NCR and Einstein Noah Restaurant Group - Press Releases

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - December 6, 2011 - 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 Amazon.com Inc. ( AMZN ), Royal Dutch Shell plc ( RDS.A ), Total SA ( TOT ), NCR Corp. ( NCR ) and Einstein Noah Restaurant Group ( BAGL ).

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Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

Amazon Sees Prospects in China

Online retailing giant Amazon.com Inc. ( AMZN ) has ample expansion opportunities in China, which posseses an e-commerce market growing at a double-digit percentage rate. The company's expansion into China started with the 2004 acquisition of Joyo.com, the country's largest online retailer of books, music and videos, for $75 million.

China, one of the world's fastest growing economies, is replete with resources and is on course to becoming a central player in the global e-commerce industry. The low-cost, widely available telecommunication infrastructure in China has made the Internet a very handy tool for online shopping.

According to the global management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group ("BCG"), China ranks second in terms of online shoppers, with 145 million buyers (versus 175 million in the United States). But given the Internet-savvy population in China, BCG thinks that there is much room for further growth.

Another impressive forecast is that the number of e-buyers will skyrocket through 2015, growing from145 million to 329 million. Overall, ecommerce will account for 7.4% of the country's total retail spend by 2015, up from 3.3% in 2011 indicating exceptionally high growth compared to the U.S. that took almost a decade to reach that level.

Naturally, established U.S.-based ecommerce players like Amazon will try to make China a future e-commerce hub.

Shell Cuts Back Nigerian Assets

Royal Dutch Shell plc ( RDS.A ) announced that its subsidiary - Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited ("SPDC") - has closed the divesture of its 30% interest in two Oil Mining Leases and related facilities in the Niger Delta, offshore Nigeria. SPDC received total cash proceeds of $488 million from the deal.

Shell sold its stakes in Oil Mining Leases 26 to Nigerian company FHN26 Limited, a unit of Afren plc, for $98 million. The divested property spreads over 185.3 square miles, with the current production level being 6,000 barrels of oil per day.

Oil Mining Lease 42 was sold for $390 million to a consortium Neconde Energy Limited comprising Nestoil Group, Aries E&P Company Limited, VP Global, Kulczyk Investments and Kulczyk Oil Ventures. The lease includes the oil fields of Batan, Egwa, Odidi and Jones Creek and associated facilities, where operations had been freeze due to military activity. However, Batan field resumed operations early this year and is currently producing approximately 15,000 barrels of oil per day.

Two other companies - the Nigerian affiliate of Total SA ( TOT ) and Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited have awarded their interests, 10% and 5% respectively, in both leases to the buyers, netting a total of 45% interest.

The transaction has been approved by the relevant authorities of the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

This disposition forms a part of Shell's strategic initiatives by exiting unprofitable markets to improve its performance and remain competitive in this difficult environment. The company aims to reap more benefits by concentrating on its onshore activities in Nigeria.

NCR Strengthens Airport Security

NCR Corp. ( NCR ) recently announced that it has sealed an agreement with Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Financial details of the deal were not divulged. Under the agreement terms, NCR licensed its authentication technology to TSA.

Transportation Security Administration is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that exercises authority over the safety and security of travelers in the United States. TSA will use the authentication technology (namely Credential Authentication Technology - Boarding Pass Scanning System) in its pilot program designed to automatically verify passenger identification documents and boarding passes.

Post implementation, TSA will launch the pilot program at select airports in early 2012. The program will assure security and convenience, while optimizing passenger experience.

NCR has a wide range of airline check-in solutions, which are available through self-serve kiosks, Internet and even through mobile phones. NCR's customized products save check-in time and also free up employees handling the check-in process, allowing them more time to cater to the more complex travel needs of passengers.

Apart from the travel vertical, we see demand for NCR's solutions mostly in the retail space. Deployment of NCR's point-of-sale (POS) solutions is increasing. Last month, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group ( BAGL ) selected NCR's Aloha Enterprise point-of-sale (POS) software solution and Radiant POS hardware solution for the Group-owned brands Einstein Bros. Bagels and Noah's New York Bagels. In September, NCR offered its self-service checkout solution to the U.K.-based supermarket chain Tesco plc.

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AMAZON.COM INC ( AMZN ): Free Stock Analysis Report

EINSTEIN NOAH ( BAGL ): Free Stock Analysis Report

NCR CORP-NEW ( NCR ): Free Stock Analysis Report

ROYAL DTCH SH-A (RDS.A): Free Stock Analysis Report

TOTAL FINA SA ( TOT ): Free Stock Analysis Report

Zacks Investment Research

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


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

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