The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:DISH Network, EchoStar, NTELOS Holdings, Sprint and Terex

Jan 02, 2014, 09:30 ET from Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

CHICAGO, Jan. 2, 2014 /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 DISH Network Corp. (Nasdaq: DISH-Free Report), EchoStar Corp. (Nasdaq: SATS-Free Report), NTELOS Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: NTLS-Free Report), Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S-Free Report) and Terex Corp. (NYSE: TEX-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 Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

DISH to Wait for LightSquared Auction

Recently, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan has allowed LightSquared Inc. to send a standalone bankruptcy plan to creditors for vote. This bankruptcy exit plan has been supported by Fortress Investment Group LLC., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Melody Capital Advisors LLC.

DISH Network Corp. (Nasdaq: DISH-Free Report) has won a favorable ruling to take part in the spectrum auction of LightSquared Inc. The creditors of LightSquared can now choose LightSquared's plan or DISH Network's spectrum purchase.

In May 2013, DISH offered $2.22 billion to acquire 40 MHz of wireless spectrum held by LightSquared, which is currently bankrupt. However, Harbinger Capital Partners, the principal owner of LightSquared, rejected this bid stating that DISH has resorted to fraudulent means to enter the bidding process. Both DISH and EchoStar Corp. (Nasdaq: SATS-Free Report), controlled by Charlie Ergen, are major competitors of LightSquared.

In Oct 2013, a Manhattan bankruptcy judge approved DISH's bid and has set an auction date on Nov 25, 2013. Earlier, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had refused the use of this particular airwave as it was interfering with the global positioning system. This led to LightSquared's bankruptcy. Later on, the FCC conducted more tests on the spectrum and eventually permitted an auction with a few modifications.

Meanwhile, in the last couple of years, DISH has constructed an extensive wireless/satellite spectrum base. On Jun 17, 2013, DISH and NTELOS Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: NTLS-Free Report) jointly started providing fixed-mobile broadband network to offer high-speed Internet service to areas served by NTELOS. This joint venture will reach other parts of the U.S. in early 2014.

On Dec 17, 2013, DISH together with Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S-Free Report) announced that the two companies have decided to jointly develop and deploy a fixed broadband network in Corpus Christi, in Texas. The network is expected to start from mid-2014 on a trial basis. If successful, then the two entities may extend the broadband network to other areas.

Terex Upgraded to Strong Buy

On Dec 31, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Terex Corp. (NYSE: TEX-Free Report), a global equipment maker, to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Why the Upgrade?

On Oct 23, Terex reported third-quarter 2013 adjusted earnings of 77 cents per share, a 24% improvement year over year, mainly due to reduced interest expense and a lower effective tax rate. The results also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 58 cents.

Backlog for orders to be filled during the next 12 months was around $1.8 billion as of Sep 30, 2013, a 7% rise year over year. Strong demand for Associated Wire Products (AWP) together with large port equipment orders for Material Handling & Port Solutions (MHPS) led to the increase.

Total debt of the company decreased to $1.8 billion as of Sep 30, 2013 from $2 billion as of Dec 31, 2012. The company expects more than $400 million in free cash flow during the year and remains committed to reducing its debt.

In addition, starting from 2014, Terex intends to realize benefits, from its actions undertaken in the third quarter to further adjust the cost structure of the MHPS and the Cranes and Construction segments.

This month Terex announced its plans of selling its truck business. The decision to offload this unit is part of Terex's efforts to transform into a lifting and material handling solutions company. The truck business will be sold for $160 million to Volvo Construction Equipment.

Terex also declared the initiation of quarterly dividends and a share repurchase program. Its Board approved an initial quarterly dividend of 5 cents per share which was paid on Dec 20, 2013, to shareholders of record as of Dec 16, 2013. Terex intends to pay four quarterly dividends of 5 cents a share, for an aggregate of 20 cents per share, for 2014.

Additionally, Its Board sanctioned a buyback of shares worth up to $200 million till Dec 31, 2015. The dividend initiation and buyback is in line with Terex's commitment to return wealth to shareholders and reflects its long-term growth potential and strong financial profile.

In the near term, strong backlog in the MHPS segment is likely to aid results. The company also expects to benefit from recovery in the construction sector.

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