CHICAGO, March 15, 2012 /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 DISH Network Corp. (Nasdaq: DISH), Verizon Communication Inc. (NYSE: VZ), AT&T (NYSE: T), PepsiCo International (NYSE: PEP) and General Mills Inc. (NYSE: GIS).
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Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:
DISH Fuels Its Broadband Goal
In a bid to enter the broadband market, satellite TV provider DISH Network Corp. (Nasdaq: DISH) completed the acquisition of DBSD North America, Inc. and TerreStar Networks, Inc. The company spent nearly $3 billion to gain access to 40 Mhz spectrum authorization for its domestic market.
In March 2011, DISH agreed to acquire satellite-based wireless services provider DBSD North America Inc. for $1.4 billion, and then followed it up with another agreement of acquiring the TerreStar Networks Inc. for $1.375 billion in June 2011.
The growing popularity of triple-play services among cable and telecom subscribers, which DISH lacks in its portfolio, has increased customer churn for the company. Additionally, large telecom carriers like Verizon Communication Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T (NYSE: T) have started deploying fiber-based pay-TV services, which has further increased competition in the pay-TV industry. So in order to cash in on the lucrative opportunity as well as to diversify its product portfolio, the company is focusing on spectrum acquisition.
DISH Network currently owns a slot of highly demanded 700 MHz wireless frequency, which is generally used for 4G LTE network. We believe that by implementing these slots of airwaves, the company can form a formidable video-on-demand service over a wireless network of mobile handsets such as smartphones and tablets.
DBSD is a hybrid satellite and terrestrial communication service provider. This acquisition will provide the extremely valuable spectrum of DBSD for both wireless and wireline communications to Dish Network.
So the acquisition of both TerreStar and DBSD will help DISH not only to penetrate a new segment but also to add a new revenue stream by means of offering triple pay services (voice, video and Internet) to its customers.
We maintain our long-term Neutral recommendation for DISH Network. Currently, DISH Network has a Zacks #3 Rank, implying a short-term Hold rating on the stock.
DISH Network Corporation was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Englewood, Colorado. The company together with its subsidiaries operates the DISH Network direct broadcast satellite (DBS) subscription television service in the U.S.
Big Launch of Pepsi's New Doritos
PepsiCo International's (NYSE: PEP) billion-dollar snacks brand Doritos tortilla chips will unveil its latest innovation - Doritos JACKED tortillas - on March 15, at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas.
The new Doritos tortilla chips are 40% larger and come in two flavors, namely Enchilada Supreme and Smoky Chipotle BBQ. With every munch, these new chips promise to give "one-two punch of intense flavors upfront, followed by a twist of spice or tanginess that packs the ultimate crunch."
The new product line will be available in 2.62-oz., 3.375-oz. and 10.5-oz. packages. Doritos JACKED tortillas will be first introduced on a 56-foot-tall vending machine. Consumers at the music festival, who taste the Doritos chips, can get 'larger-than-life Doritos-branded quarters' through Foursquare, Twitter. The giant quarters will be made available throughout the city of Austin
Moreover, they can insert these quarters into the vending machine, which will redeem products and special prizes.
Pepsi had been recently revamping its snacks business. In January 2012 the food maker revealed its plans to purchase Brazilian local cookie maker Marilan Alimentos. Based in Marilan, Sao Paulo, Marilan Alimentos. is the country's fourth largest maker of cookies. Its products include salted snacks, classical Italian, filled, classic, and sandwich biscuits; and butter cookies, cream crackers, and toasts.
On November 2011, the food and beverage giant acquired Brazilian cookie company Grupo Mabel, for an undisclosed price. The takeover added brands like Mabel, Elbi's, Kelly and Skiny into Pepsi's portfolio of snacks. Pepsi already offers snacks under brands like Elma Chips, Quaker, Toddy Chocolate Powder and Toddynho Chocolate Milk in Brazil.
Pepsi's competitor in foods and snacks business, General Mills Inc. (NYSE: GIS) (whose portfolio includes snacks like Cheerios cereal, Nature Valley granola bars and Betty Crocker cake mixes) is also striving hard to bolster its presence in the snacks market, and has subsequently decided to buy the fast-growing natural snack foods company, Food Should Taste Good. The signature tortilla chips of Food Should Taste Good come in a variety of flavors, including sweet potato, lime, olive, chocolate, multigrain and jalapeno.
We currently have a Neutral recommendation on PepsiCo. However, the stock carries a Zacks #4 Rank (Sell' rating) over the short term.
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