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For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – March 29, 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 Apple Inc. ( (AAPL - Analyst Report), Google Inc. ( (GOOG - Analyst Report), Sprint Nextel Corp. (S - Analyst Report), Dish Network Corp. ( (DISH - Analyst Report) and Verizon Communications (VZ - Analyst Report).
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Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:
Spectrum: A Wireless Game Changer
The present wireless market is ready for the incipient boom in the wireless data space with expanding broadband services. Data traffic is growing in leaps and bounds and has more than doubled over the last three years.
As a result, U.S. carriers are finding it increasingly difficult to manage rising mobile data traffic. The situation becomes even worse with the growing popularity of Apple Inc.’s ( (AAPL - Analyst Report) iPhone and Google Inc. ( (GOOG - Analyst Report) Android smartphones. Stiff competitive pressure and limited wireless spectrum licenses add to the difficulties.
The carriers are in need of additional airwaves to expand their high-speed services and support 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband services. As a result, the wireless industry in 2012 is intent on tapping unused spectrums to expand their capacity.
Sprint Nextel Corp. (S - Analyst Report), which is in the midst of a multibillion-dollar network upgrade, may strike a deal to acquire wireless spectrum licenses from satellite TV provider Dish Network Corp. ( (DISH - Analyst Report) sometime in the near future. Under the deal, Dish could provide wireless services using the Sprint network and its spectrum.
After focusing for several years on cost containment and business stabilization, Sprint is slowly turning around its post-paid wireless business. This in-vogue business is expected to benefit from increased penetration of smartphones, rising average revenue per user and lower churn.
Dish had previously disclosed its willingness to partner with wireless operators like Sprint. It is seeking regulatory approval to build cellular networks using the $3 billion airwaves bought earlier. Alternatively, Sprint can participate in the U.S. government auction for the purchase of spectrum.
Sprint, the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, is in need of additional spectrums, which could improve its competitive position vis-a-vis its larger rivals such as Verizon Communications (VZ - Analyst Report).
Spectrum purchase has thus become a moot point for these wireless operators and we will be carefully watching how it all unravels going ahead. As such, we are currently maintaining our long-term Neutral recommendation on Sprint, AT&T and Verizon. For the short term, the stocks retain the Zacks #3 Rank (Hold).
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