The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Comcast, Time Warner, Twenty-First Century Fox, Netflix and AT&T

Nov 18, 2013, 09:30 ET from Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

CHICAGO, Nov. 18, 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 the Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA-Free Report), Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX-Free Report), Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (Nasdaq: FOX-Free Report), Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX-Free Report) and AT&T, Inc. (NYSE: T-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:

Comcast to Offer Movies via Set-Top Box

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA-Free Report) – the largest cable MSO in the U.S. – will be offering a wide collection of movies to its customers by the end of 2013. The movies will be available on set-top boxes and titles will cost between $15 and $20.

Unlike Video on Demand (VOD) service, which involves renting out movies, these movies will be sold in digital formats. This will give the subscribers complete liberty to stream the movies limitlessly via set-top boxes.  The available movies can also be downloaded to smartphones, tablets and PCs.

Comcast is already in talks with different Hollywood studios like Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX-Free Report) and Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (Nasdaq: FOX-Free Report). Such value-added services from Comcast will not only add a new revenue stream to the company but will also help the company to safeguard its position against low-cost video streaming companies like Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX-Free Report) and Hulu.

Last month, Comcast collaborated with online social networking giant Twitter, Inc. to help the former's subscribers to watch popular TV shows and purchase movie tickets from a tweet. Twitter users will find a 'see it' button through which they will be directed to their favorite TV shows. Moreover, they can also buy movie tickets through Fandango.

Comcast is gradually deploying its next-generation Xfinity TV, an on-demand, Web-based service, for subscribers who will have access to both video programming and the Internet. Such innovative value-added services will not only boost its subscriber growth but will also reduce subscriber churn in the upcoming quarters.

Currently, Comcast carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

AT&T Expands Fiber-Based Broadband

AT&T, Inc. (NYSE: T-Free Report) announced that it has installed fiber-based broadband in additional 450 office buildings bringing the total to 16,000 business customer locations. The company's efforts to develop its broadband services remain highly accretive to profits in the wireline segment, which has registered continues lows due to loss of voice customers. We believe the efforts to introduce wireline data services will bode well for the company's revenue growth.

AT&T remains focused on its Velocity IP initiative, which targets expansion of its business. The initiative focuses on the expansion of broadband services to 57 million users, covering 75% of the company's wireline footprint by the end of 2015. In addition, the company is also seeking to expand its fiber network to 1 million additional customer locations by 2015. The plan also includes expansion of 4G LTE as well as U-verse services to 8.5 million new customer locations, and enhancing spectrum and network capabilities. This project underlines the company's efforts to meet the growing demand for high-speed Internet. We believe that this investment program will provide AT&T with a high-potential growth platform for revenues and earnings.

We also believe that in the coming months, wireline growth will also be driven by strong business revenues and enhanced strategic services. Consistent subscriber growth in the U-verse segment is expected to continue in the coming days, leading to higher revenues. In terms of U-verse broadband speed, AT&T increased its speed up to 45 megabits per second, which is available to almost two-third of the U-verse customer base. The company is further trying to deploy speeds of up to 75 megabits per second and faster in the future. We believe the expansion of U-verse services will continue to boost data revenues and ARPU (average monthly revenue per user) in the wireline segment.

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

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