The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Tyson Foods, McDonald's, Wendy's, Yum! Brands and Amazon.com

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – December 18, 2013 – 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 Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN-Free Report), McDonald's Corp. (MCD-Free Report), The Wendy’s Company (WEN-Free Report), Yum! Brands Inc. (YUM-Free Report) and Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN-Free Report).

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Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Tyson Faces Stricter Antibiotic Rules

Meat processors like Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN-Free Report) will have to eliminate the use of antibiotics on their livestock following a voluntary guideline issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (:FDA). According to the rule, the food processors should gradually phase out the use of antibiotics, used to enhance growth of their livestock.

The regulatory watchdog has given a 90-day grace period to the meat producers to let the authority know if they will comply with the rule. The meat processors will get three years to completely phase out the use of antibiotics on their livestock.

Some of the antibiotics which are injected to the livestocks are also administered to humans to treat infections. As a result, humans who consume the antibiotic-treated meat products become antibiotic resistant and they do not react to the medicine when they are infected.

The FDA feels that the antibiotics have been overused by meat processors for more than half a century. The FDA ruling will also require drug manufacturers to stop listing certain antibiotics as effective in promoting animal growth. Henceforth, farmers would require to present prescriptions from veterinarians for purchasing any antibiotic to ensure proper usage of the drugs.

Most restaurants like McDonald's Corp. (MCD-Free Report), The Wendy’s Company (WEN-Free Report) and Yum! Brands Inc.'s (YUM-Free Report) KFC have stopped purchasing meat of animals that were given antibiotics for non-therapeutic uses.

Tyson has already started reducing the use of growth-enhancing antibiotics on its livestock. In early 2013, it launched 100% antibiotic-free Nature Raised Farms brand. It has further enhanced the brand with the addition of a line frozen products — Individually Quick Frozen.

Tyson claims that live poultry operations use only FDA-approved pharmaceutical compounds. They may include antibiotics that are administered under the direction of a licensed veterinarian in compliance with the FDA protocols. The  Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) meat processor, however, promises to become more responsible in the use of antibiotics in its conventional meat products.

Amazon Workers Plan to Strike in Germany

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN-Free Report), the world's largest online retailer, is facing a strike by its German employees for higher pay and a better work environment.

Earlier this year, German labor union Verdi launched a one-day strike at two major distribution warehouses – Bad Hersfeld and Leipzig – and stated that it would continue till Christmas if their demand is not met. As of now, Verdi said that workers would strike in Amazon's logistic centers in Bad Hersfeld, Leipzig and Graben. Additionally, a delegation of German workers will protest at Amazon's headquarters in Seattle, helped by the U.S. workers unions.

The demands of the German workers include the right for collective bargaining, proper working conditions and regard for their efforts. However, Amazon claims that the current wages are above-average in the logistics industry.

Germany is Amazon’s biggest European market, with sales reaching more than €6.5 billion in 2012. Though the company assured that previous strikes had not affected deliveries, the current strike could be a matter of concern. Christmas is the peak shopping period and any strike during this period could impact Amazon’s sales and profit figures.

Seeing the increasing problems in Germany, in October, Amazon announced its plan to open two new fulfillment centers in the Czech Republic by the end of 2014 to cater to the increasing demand across Europe.

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

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