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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Hasbro, Zynga, Mattel, JAKKS Pacific and Vodafone Group

CHICAGO, Jan. 7, 2013 /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 Hasbro Inc. (Nasdaq:HAS), Zynga, Inc. (Nasdaq:ZNGA), Mattel Inc. (Nasdaq:MAT), JAKKS Pacific Inc. (Nasdaq:JAKK) and Vodafone Group PLC (Nasdaq:VOD).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5513

Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Hasbro Partners with Callaway

Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based toy maker Hasbro Inc. (Nasdaq:HAS) has partnered with Callaway Digital Arts to introduce MR. POTATO HEAD Create & Play, a latest interactive application for children.

Callaway has created some of the world's leading apps including The Monster at the End of This Book and Another Monster at the End of This Book.

The newly launched touch-based application is the first official MR. POTATO HEAD application available in the market. This latest mobile game has various features such as 3D characters, customized selections and user-controlled animations. It can easily be used in iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

Hasbro engages in designing, manufacturing and marketing of games and toys. The company principally provides children's and family leisure time and entertainment products and services. 

Hasbro is all set to expand its globally recognized brands through several strategic partnerships. In 2012, the company has launched new line of gaming products in U.S., U.K., Australia and Canada in collaboration with the world's largest social game developer - Zynga, Inc. (Nasdaq:ZNGA).

Hasbro struck another deal with Volumique, a France-based innovator and provider of technologies, by virtue of which Hasbro attained the rights to deploy Volumique's proprietary technology and include it in its new line of Hasbro zAPPed Games, based on iconic brands such as BATTLESHIP and MONOPOLY. Hasbro's management believes that these associations will enhance its coverage in the social gaming arena and restructure its portfolio of gaming products.

Hasbro's wide range of product line, attractive product associations with popular motion pictures as well as steady penetration into the emerging markets are likely to boost its business moving ahead.

Hasbro, which competes with Mattel Inc. (Nasdaq:MAT) and JAKKS Pacific Inc. (Nasdaq:JAKK), retains a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold). We currently have a long-term 'Neutral' recommendation for Harsco.

Vodafone Launches "Nearly New"

Vodafone Group PLC (Nasdaq:VOD) has forayed into the second hand handset market with its Nearly New program. The new program targets customers willing to buy smartphones that are barely used and available at discounted prices. This initiative is likely to enhance its smartphone penetration and in turn result in higher data revenues.

Currently, Vodafone remains focused on increasing its smartphone penetration, which represents nearly 80% of all sales, and comprises 53% of the customer base. Besides Nearly New, the company has come up with plans like Vodafone Red, which incorporates unlimited voice and SMS, increased roaming services, shared plans, early upgrades, cloud and other value added services.

By introducing such plans, the company expects to mitigate competitive threats from big players that are winning over data services. The company launched these plans in Italy, the UK and Spain and targets further expansion in other European countries alongside emerging markets.

We believe the prospect of mobile data is better in emerging markets where Vodafone is expanding its presence through partner-market agreements. In September 2012, Vodafone and Zain Group (Kuwait-based telecom company with businesses across the Middle East and North Africa) entered into a multi-country partner market agreement. The deal would enable Vodafone to expand its presence in the Middle East.

Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5515.

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

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.

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5517

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leon Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=5518.

Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

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SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

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