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Verizon Communications Extends Alliance With ShotSpotter

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Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ - Free Report) recently expanded its collaboration with ShotSpotter, Inc. (SSTI - Free Report) . The alliance will see Verizon as a reseller of ShotSpotter Flex-ShotSpotter’s leading gunshot detection solution. Notably, ShotSpotter Flex enables law enforcement agencies to improve the responding time to crime events by guiding police to the gunfire events location.

Touted as one of the most reliable gunshot detection solutions, ShotSpotter Flex supplements the work of police by sending notification within one minute of gunshot detection through dispatch centers and smartphones. As a matter of fact, this instant service enables first responders to help victims and collect evidence. Earlier, ShotSpotter had announced an agreement with Verizon to expand gunshot detection solution across cities, utilizing the latter’s Light Sensory Network.

Existing Business Scenario

Verizon is on track to expand its fiber optics networks to support 4G LTE and upcoming 5G wireless standards as well as wireline connections. The company has an attractive fundamental outlook based on increasingly favorable growth prospects for its Wireless business and the possibility of improved performance from its Wireline operations. Verizon will continue to achieve growth and profitability backed by its focus on gaining share in the retail post-paid market, increasing penetration of smartphones and sales of more Internet devices such as tablets. Management is bullish on the industry's ability to grow revenues from smartphones, tablets and cloud computing.

Moreover, Verizon has started conducting field trials for its upcoming 5G wireless network with partners. The company is looking at mobile hotspot and home-based fixed wireless for initial deployment of the next-generation 5G wireless networks in the United States in 2018. A full phased 5G wireless network is likely to be offered in 2020.

The Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has returned 12.4% in the past three months, outperforming the industry’s growth of 8.3%.

However, it continues to struggle in a highly competitive and saturated wireless market, where spectrum crunch has become a major issue. The company’s Wireline division is struggling with persistent losses in access lines owing to competitive pressure from VoIP service providers and aggressive triple-play offerings by cable companies.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks in the same space are Telenav, Inc. (TNAV - Free Report) and Windstream Holdings, Inc. (WIN - Free Report) . Both these companies carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Telenav surpassed estimates in each of the trailing four quarters with an average positive earnings surprise of 3.72%.

Windstream Holdings exceeded estimates twice in the preceding four quarters with an average earnings surprise of 23.50%.

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