2014

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Research In Motion, AT&T, Nokia, Google and Raytheon

CHICAGO, April 3, 2013 /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 Research In Motion Ltd. *(Nasdaq: BBRY), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN).

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Here are highlights from Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

BlackBerry to Expand Smartphone Range

BlackBerry smartphone developer, Research In Motion Ltd. *(Nasdaq: BBRY) – plans to roll out a broader range of handsets this year to cater to a bigger market as the company wants to target customers other than the business executive ones.

BBRY is aiming for a smartphone portfolio that includes high, mid and entry level phones based on its BB10 operating platform. Though BBRY hasn't announced any specific time, the company expects the phone to be out in the market before Nov 2013.

BBRY will also target a touch screen and a QWERTY version for its mid and entry level phones, but will stop production if the range fails to attract customers. Additionally, the company is also working on its popular BlackBerry Messenger and other services to boost its revenues. 

However, the company will continue to market BlackBerry 7 models along with its latest BB10-based devices, in markets where owning a low priced phone is considered a better option.  

BBRY launched its much-awaited BB10 operating system (OS)-based device on Jan 30, 2013 and has started selling the touchscreen version (Z10) of the smartphone in 25 countries. Initially, the device received a good response and has received a record single purchase order of one million handsets from a telecom partner.

However, according to media reports, demand for Z10 has fizzled out in the Gulf region, where it is a smartphone leader with a market share of 35%. Meanwhile, Z10's U.S. launch with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) also failed to create any meaningful result since its launch in Mar 22, 2013.

Our Take

BBRY is launching the lower version of BB10 based smartphone to counter the move by its rivals, Samsung Electronics Company and Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK). Nokia has launched low-end version of its flagship Lumia device, while Samsung has also launched entry level version of its Galaxy smartphone that runs on Google Inc.'s (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android platform. We believe that extending its smartphone range will not only allow BBRY to combat market share loss but will also restrict its loyal customers from switching to other OS.

Research In Motion currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

*Research In Motion announced that effective Jan 30, 2013, the company would operate around the world under the name BlackBerry. From Feb 4, 2013, the company's ticker symbol for trading has been changed from "RIMM" to "BBRY" on NASDAQ. The legal name of the company has not changed, for which the approval of the official change by shareholders will be sought at the company's Annual General Meeting later in 2013. During the time, the company will do business as BlackBerry.

Raytheon Gets German Deal Worth $155.6M

Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) has clinched a $155.6 million missile contract from the German navy. The deal allows Raytheon to construct Block 2 Rolling Airframe Missiles ("RAM"). This is the biggest exclusive RAM award made by Germany so far.

Per the deal, RAM Block 2 production will be done at Raytheon Missile Systems' facilities in Tucson, Ariz. RAM is a mutual venture between the U.S. and German administrations with support from industry players like Raytheon and RAMSYS of Germany. RAMSYS as well as Raytheon will share this latest RAM production operation.

RAM is a light weight and supersonic missile used for defense against anti-ship cruise missiles and helicopters. The missile is already used on 100 or so ships in the U.S., Turkey, Japan, Greece, Egypt, Republic of Korea, and the United Arab Emirates. It is a type of self-governing dual-mode, passive radio frequency and infrared guidance designed missile that counters numerous threats simultaneously.

Based in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon Company is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. The company provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing, effects, and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services.

Raytheon remains focused on strong program execution, prudent capital management and strategic investments. In spite of the declining trend in U.S. defense spending, Raytheon is one of the best-positioned companies among the large-cap defense players due to its non-platform-centric focus. The company enjoys impressive order bookings and order backlog, an improving balance sheet, growing cash flow and operational enhancements.

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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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