2014

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Apple, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, BlackBerry and Nokia

CHICAGO, Sept. 5, 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 the Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL-Free Report), Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ-Free Report), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T-Free Report), BlackBerry (Nasdaq: BBRY-Free Report) and Nokia (NYSE: NOK-Free Report).

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

Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

Apple Buys Back iPhones to Boost Sales

Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL-Free Report) is buying back older versions of its smartphones in exchange for credit that customers can use for purchasing the latest iPhone scheduled for launch on Sep 10. The trade-in program initiated at Apple stores is to ensure higher sales of the upcoming model.

A buyback option and a good buyback price will certainly boost the buyer sentiment and make it easier for them to grab the latest version. The credit given to customers will help them cover the purchase price of the new version. This is a good strategy to boost sales as the cost advantage makes the iPhone more affordable.

Companies like Gazelle Inc. as well as wireless carriers such as Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ-Free Report) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T-Free Report) purchase used handsets. They are also sold in emerging markets.

Of course, the exchange value or credit will depend on the condition of the old phone. To make it more clear, an iPhone 5 with 64 gigabytes of memory could be worth $350 through Gazelle's website, whereas the iPhone 3GS may not be worth more than $10. The maximum price an iPhone can fetch at the Apple Store is fixed at $280. So we believe that this is a win-win situation for both customers and Apple.

The strategy will also help the company retain loyal customers and help stem market share losses. Apple has been successful at increasing iPhone sales, selling 31.2 million units of the iPhone in the latest quarter, up from 26 million a year earlier.

The decision is especially positive at this juncture, when Apple is facing tough competition from Google's Android, which has also pushed back sales of BlackBerry (Nasdaq: BBRY-Free Report) and Nokia (NYSE: NOK-Free Report) phones.

According to industry sources, the iPhone launch on Sep 10 would be followed by an updated lineup of iPads.

Apple has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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

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.

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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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