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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Virgin Media, TiVo, Harmonic, Liberty Global and Statoil

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CHICAGO, March 25, 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 Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED), TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO), Harmonic Inc. (Nasdaq: HLIT), Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTYA) and Statoil ASA (NYSE: STO).

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Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Virgin Media Offers TV Anywhere

Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) is offering an innovative video service called TV Anywhere. This state-of-the-art application platform will enable the company's subscribers to watch up to 45 live TV channels on several devices including TVs, PCs, smartphones and tablets. This simply means that customers can view the live TV shows even if they are out of home using their mobile devices. Furthermore, by using this application, subscribers can manage recorded programs and control TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) developed set top box from a remote place.

Since Dec 2010, Virgin Media started offering a next-generation Web TV platform to its subscribers. The company is utilizing TiVo Inc.'s industry-leading set top boxes for this offering. This new converged digital TV platform provides improved graphics, on-demand video content, catch-up TV service, Web-based applications including games and personal video recorder. Virgin Media's new product integrates the Internet and live TV on one screen through fiber-optic cable. Over 1 million subscribers have already installed Virgin Media's next-generation TV platform.

For its latest TV Anywhere service, Virgin Media has used Harmonic Inc.'s (Nasdaq: HLIT) ProMedia software suite for video processing and encoding. The company has also used Concurrent Computer Corp.'s MediaHawk VX content delivery network solution for content workflow features, DRM management and session-based policy controls for multi-screen video delivery.   

On Feb 5, 2013, in a significant strategic move, Virgin Media came out with a joint press statement with Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTYA), regarding an agreement per which, Liberty Global will acquire a full 100% in Virgin Media, in a cash and equity deal. The deal has a total consideration of around $15.8 billion or an enterprise value of nearly $23.3 billion. Both the companies expect the deal to be completed by the second quarter of 2013, subject to customary regulatory approval. Virgin Media currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Statoil Fortifies Gulf Endeavor

Oil and gas company Statoil ASA (NYSE: STO) has claimed for 15 leases in the central region of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (GoM) in an auction under the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). The addition will further strengthen its already significant foothold in the region. However, the lease awards remain subject to proper approval by BOEM.

With this addition, the Norwegian giant will get hold of over 340 leases in the GoM region in total. This emphasizes its commitment in boosting its spending level in North America, which Statoil foresees as a core long-term growth driver.

The company's main aim was Walker Ridge Block 271, a high-impact single prospect also known as Monument, for which it has given the highest bid of $81.7 million along with co-venture Samson Offshore. Statoil now expects potential resources of more than 250 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBOE) from this type of prospects.

The presence of Statoil – the world's largest offshore operator – in North America dates back to more than 25 years. The company also holds the pioneering position in subsea technology and remains involved in numerous discoveries in the GoM, including Julia, Stampede, Vito and Statoil-operated Logan. The company has been able to create a robust portfolio with offshore and onshore possessions in Canada and the U.S.

Statoil intends to spud two to three wells within a year in the Gulf prospects it operates and also aims to take part in one or two wells that are to be drilled by its associate partner. The company currently remains a partner in three U.S. Gulf producing fields and seven fields that are under the development phase.

The company aims to achieve an equity production of above 2.5 MMBOE per day in 2020. Notably, the U.S. GoM plays a key role in Statoil's agenda to boost its North American oil and gas production to 500,000 BOE per day by that specified time period. It has progressed on various projects and expects to make significant additions to its resource base in the coming years.

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About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

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.

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5517

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leon Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=5518.

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SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.



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