The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: AT&T, Apple, Akamai Technologies, Limelight Networks and General Motors

Mar 26, 2013, 09:30 ET from Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

CHICAGO, March 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 AT&T, Inc. (NYSE: T), Apple Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL), Akamai Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:AKAM), Limelight Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq:LLNW) and General Motors Company (NYSE: GM).


Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit from the Pros newsletter:

Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

AT&T Charged $27.5M in Patent Suit

AT&T, Inc. (NYSE: T) faces charges of $27.5 million under a patent lawsuit filed by Colorado-based Two-Way Media LLC. We believe that the regulatory charges would remain a headwind for the company, which already remains exposed to heavy expenses on network deployment and subsidies over high-end smartphones like Apple Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL) iPhone and Android-based smartphones. However, according to news reports, AT&T plans to move against this verdict and challenge the fine amount imposed by the federal jury in San Antonio.

AT&T's legal battle with Two-Way Media has been ongoing since 2008 when the latter filed a patent infringement case against Akamai Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:AKAM) and Limelight Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq:LLNW) as well as AT&T. Two-Way Media had five patents pertaining to live streaming technology applied in Internet broadcasting, which were violated by these companies. Two-Way Media has reportedly settled its disputes with the other companies. However, its legal battle with AT&T continues to exist, as the latter's U-verse services allegedly infringed two patents of Two-Way Media.   

We believe AT&T's domestic operations are subject to regulations by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other federal, state and local agencies. These regulatory regimes frequently restrict the company's ability to provide certain products or services in designated areas.

In addition, the loss of certain licenses due to infringement and other disputes could have a material effect on the wireless business of the company. In addition, the development of new technologies, such as Internet Protocol-based services, including VoIP and super high-speed broadband and video, could be subject to conflicting regulations between the FCC and various state and local authorities. Such restrictive and conflicting regulations could significantly increase the cost of implementing and introducing new services that aid future developments.

AT&T has a Zacks Rank #3, implying a Hold rating.

GM to Close Opel Plant Earlier

Bad news for Opel: employees at the luxury car making unit owned by General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) have rejected its turnaround deal to save the struggling European unit. The failure of the deal means that the plant will be closed down by 2014 instead of 2016, significantly adding to the surging unemployment in Europe as the Bochum factory employs more than 3,000 workers.

Opel had initially intended to keep the plant in operation till 2016 and retain 1,200 of the more than 3,000 employees in other component and warehousing jobs. The company wanted workers at the plant to accept delay in wage increases. But about 76% of employees at the plant voted against the deal.

The Bochum plant manufactures Zafira compact multi purpose vehicle (MPV). Opel management started discussion with German employees in June last year to reach a resolution that would guarantee significant savings and flexibility to the company. Opel operates three more plants in Germany.

Late December, Opel announced plans to sell six facilities in Europe to GM in order to win extended funding. The transaction includes an engine plant in Hungary, a development center in Turin, Italy, and a facility in Gliwice, Poland. The decision will help the Ruesselsheim, Germany-based automaker receive funding till 2016. Opel is obligated to pay back a loan to General Motors by 2014.

Late 2012, Opel had also announced to cut its administrative workforce by 30% or 1,000 jobs at its Ruesselsheim headquarters in Germany as part of GM's 10-year plan "Drive Opel 2022" that include reduction in personnel costs. Opel had already shut down two plants in Britain, located in Ellesmere Port and Luton. The move had idled 3,000 workers at the plants.

Opel faces weak car sales, high fixed costs and an excess production capacity. These resulted in a total loss of more than $17.3 billion since 1999 due to uncompetitive models and weakening European market. Therefore, the company's turnaround plan incorporated cost reduction measures, new model launches and efforts to boost export sales.

Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the Pros newsletter:

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:

About Zacks 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

Visit for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Follow us on Twitter:

Join us on Facebook:

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339

SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.