For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – March 9, 2012 – 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) AT&T Inc. ( (T - Analyst Report), Sprint Nextel Corp. ( (S - Analyst Report), Clearwire Corp. ( and Harsco Corporation ( (HSC - Snapshot Report).
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Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:
Verizon Unveils Home Broadband
The largest U.S. mobile service provider Verizon Communications Inc. ( (VZ - Analyst Report) launched an in-home wireless broadband service –– HomeFusion Broadband –– based on Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology.
Verizon introduced this service in rural and remote homes, which do not have access to DSL or cables. The service will be available initially in Birmingham, Alabama, Dallas and Nashville, Tennessee later this month.
The company will charge $59.99 per month for 10 gigabytes (GB) of data and an initial fee of $199.99 for installing the antenna device either on an outside wall or at the roof. Home Fusion provides download speed of 5 to 12 megabits per second and 2 to 5 megabits for upload.
Verizon is further seeking the deployment of 4G services to rural areas using tower and backhaul assets and its 700 MHz spectrum. We believe Verizon’s expansion into rural areas will drive subscriber growth and improve the churn rate, leading to higher growth and profitability. In addition, Verizon is ahead of its largest rivals AT&T Inc. ( (T - Analyst Report) and Sprint Nextel Corp. ( (S - Analyst Report) in providing home broadband services.
Verizon continues to lead the wireless industry with the expansion of both its 3G and 4G mobile broadband networks. As of January 23, 2012, Verizon deployed 4G LTE services in 195 markets, covering more than 200 million people. The company expects to expand its 4G network to its entire nationwide 3G footprint by mid-2013, compared with the previous forecast of year-end 2013.
Verizon is poised to grow its revenue and earnings this year based on the introduction of new smartphones, tablets and data devices in the Wireless segment as well as continued strong FiOS fiber-optic network and strategic services in the Wireline business.
However, wireless home broadband service is not a new growth revenue stream in the telecom space. Clearwire Corp. ( already provides similar rural offerings but with limited coverage.
We are maintaining our long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock. Currently, the stock retains the Zacks #3 Rank (Hold) for the short term (1–3 months).
Harsco Wins Railway Contracts
Harsco Corporation ( (HSC - Snapshot Report) has received international contract awards of more than $25 million to provide railway track equipment, parts and maintenance services. These shall cater to customers in the U.S., Canada and Australia.
Harsco Rail shall process these orders by early 2013. The primary products it shall deal with here include a wide range of equipment such as Mark VI ballast tampers, ballast regulators and track stabilizers, developed primarily for track surfacing operations.
The company recently reported financial results for its fourth quarter of 2011. Here, the Rail segment of the company declared revenues of $72 million, rising 18% year over year. Strong sales figures of equipment and parts were the primary reasons for this approbatory performance.
Traditionally, the company is expected to have a soft performance in the first quarter. Contract awards should be filling up order books for Harsco Rail this year, as they did last year.
Harsco’s goodwill has remained unblemished; creditors have never been apprehensive about catering to its credit needs. Not long ago, Harsco was allowed to renew an unsecured 5-year back-up credit facility of $525 million on account of a 3-year back up facility due for expiry this year.
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