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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Verizon Communications, Comcast, Google, AT&T and Sprint

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – July 25, 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 Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ - Analyst Report)-Free Report), Comcast Corp. (CMCSA - Analyst Report)-Free Report), Google Inc. -Free Report), AT&T, Inc. (T - Analyst Report)-Free Report) and Sprint (S - Analyst Report)-Free Report).

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

Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Verizon FiOS 500MB Beats Comcast

Leading U.S. carrier, Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ - Analyst Report)-Free Report) has launched Quantum fiber-optic service, an Internet service through its FiOS cable network. The new service outpaced the Internet speed of MSO Comcast Corp. (CMCSA - Analyst Report)-Free Report).

The telecom giant is offering speeds up to 500 MB per second, just behind Google Inc.’s -Free Report) 1 GB speed but well ahead of Comcast’s 305 MB downloading speed.

Since yesterday, the Quantum fiber-optic service is available across all FiOS markets at a price of $309.99 for a double-play service of Internet, TV or telephone. In case of a triple-play service (inclusive of video, Internet and voice), the subscriber has to pay $329.99. However, Comcast’s Internet service is slightly cheaper than the Quantum fiber-optic service, costing $299.95 per month.

Similarly, Google Fiber service starts at $70 a month. The service is already available in Kansas City, Missouri and is expected to be launched in Austin, Texas, and Provo, Utah, by the end of 2013.

Recently, Verizon reported second-quarter 2013 financial results where its bottom line was in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate but the top line missed the same. During the quarter, Verizon added 140,000 and 161,000 customers to its FiOS Video and FiOS Internet services, respectively.

Verizon exited the quarter with 5.0 million (up 12.6% year over year) FiOS Video customers and 5.8 million (up 12.2%) FiOS Internet subscribers. The penetration rate (subscribers as a percentage of potential subscribers) of both FiOS Internet and FiOS Video increased to approximately 34.5% and 38.6%, across all markets from the year-ago levels of 32.6% and 36.6%, respectively.

Hence, we believe that the launch of the new service will not only drive Verizon’s FiOS business but will also help the company to consolidate its position in the U.S. telecom market against leading players like AT&T, Inc. (T - Analyst Report)-Free Report) and Sprint (S - Analyst Report)-Free Report).

Currently, Verizon has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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

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.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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