2014

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: AT&T, Verizon Communications, Crown Castle International, Amdocs and Juniper Networks

CHICAGO, May 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T-Free Report), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ-Free Report), Crown Castle International Corp. (NYSE: CCI-Free Report), Amdocs Limited (Nasdaq: DOX-Free Report) and Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE: JNPR-Free Report).

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

Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

AT&T Voice Over LTE in Select Markets

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T-Free Report) announced the launch of its High Definition (HD) Voice Over LTE (VoLTE) service in some of its existing markets.

According to a press release,the company is initially launching this service in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin, with further expansion expected in the near future. We deem the new service to benefit AT&T through increased market traction and give it a competitive niche given the top-of-the-line technology network support that it provides to its customers. 

The HD VoLTE service will facilitate clear voice conversation for customers besides providing faster data service through LTE networks. Initially, the company will enable this feature on Samsung Galaxy S4 mini and and will eventually offer it on the new line-up of phones.

AT&T is looking at opportunities to improve its growth profile through a number of strategic initiatives. The company remains focused on its project VIP initiative, which targets expansion of its business. These include expanding 4G LTE, enhancing spectrum and network capabilities. We believe the expansion of LTE service to VoLTE networks remains an integral part of this vision.

Moreover, to support network developments, AT&T acquired 39 lower 700 MHz B Block spectrum licenses from Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ-Free Report) for $1.9 billion in 2013. In Dec 2013, AT&T also completed its lease transaction for 9,000 towers and divestiture deal of approximately 600 towers with Crown Castle International Corp. (NYSE: CCI-Free Report) for $4.83 billion.

In Jan 2014, the company also announced its plans to acquire 49 AWS spectrum licenses from Aloha Partners II, L.P. The licenses cover nearly 50 million people in 14 states. The transaction is expected to be completed by the second half of the year. Moving beyond LTE, in the recent times, the company has also tied up with Amdocs Limited (Nasdaq: DOX-Free Report) and Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE: JNPR-Free Report) to support its User-Defined Network Cloud.

We believe that these developments will provide AT&T with a high-potential growth platform for revenues and earnings in the days to come.

AT&T currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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

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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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