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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Alcatel-Lucent, Sprint, EXFO, Envivio and Mattel

CHICAGO, Nov. 1, 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 Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU-Free Report), Sprint Corporation (NYSE:S-Free Report), EXFO Inc (Nasdaq:EXFO-Free Report), Envivio Inc (Nasdaq:ENVI-Free Report) and Mattel Inc. (Nasdaq:MAT-Free Report).

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Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

Alcatel's TDD-LTE for Sprint

Leading telecom provider Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU-Free Report) announced that it has been awarded a contract from Sprint Corporation (NYSE:S-Free Report) for providing its ultra-broadband TDD-LTE (Time-Division Duplex Long-Term Evolution) mobile access network. The company will use the 2.5GHz spectrum that it acquired recently in the U.S.

The scope of the contract entails Alcatel-Lucent to provide its LTE solution, which comprises lightRadio Radio Access Network (RAN) with antennas and cabling. The company will also be responsible for providing integrated services for radio frequency (RF) design, system integration and optimization along with the acquisition and construction of site. Alcatel-Lucent will be using its 4G LTE network to deploy these solutions.

Sprint intends to provide its customers in the U.S. with enhanced gaming and high-definition video streaming experience with this mobile access network. Last month, China Mobile had also contracted Alcatel-Lucent for its TDD LTE solution. However, Sprint will be the first firm to deploy the technology on a nationwide scale in North America.

This contract is in line with Alcatel-Lucent's 'The Shift Plan' that was formulated to transform the company from being a telecom generalist to a specialist in IP networking and Ulltra-Broadband services. The company's 4G LTE service is a primary component of this plan.

The existing services provided by Alcatel-Lucent include lightRadio LTE, small cells and Wi-Fi for mobile service providers, GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network) EPON and VDSL2 vectoring for fixed networks, and Motive Customer Experience Management solutions to enhance customer engagement.

Alcatel-Lucent currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Relatively better-placed players within the sector that are worth mentioning include EXFO Inc (Nasdaq:EXFO-Free Report), which has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Also worth considering is Envivio Inc (Nasdaq:ENVI-Free Report), which carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Mattel's American Girl Enters Canada

Mattel Inc.'s (Nasdaq:MAT-Free Report) doll brand American Girl is all set to enter Canada through a partnership with Canada's largest book, gift, and specialty retailer Indigo Books & Music Inc. Starting spring 2014, this Toronto-based retailer will showcase American Girl branded products in its Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto, and Robson Street, Vancouver.

Mattel's Girls portfolio represents some best-selling doll brands in the world such as Barbie, American Girl, Monster High, and Disney Princess. Among these, the American Girl brand includes My American Girl, the historical collection, and Bitty Baby. American Girl products are sold directly through its catalog, proprietary retail stores and website whereas its children's publication is sold to specific retailers.

American Girl has been offering age-appropriate dolls, experiences and books for almost 30 years. This product line has contributed substantially to Mattel's revenues over the years. In its recently-concluded third quarter, American Girl Brands leaped 20% to $122.3 million, of which Historical Character products contributed 6%, 4% was due to higher sales of the 2013 Girl of the Year, Saige, while higher sales of My American Girl products contributed 3%.

We believe that the foray of this brand into the Canadian market will be an added benefit for Mattel in the upcoming quarters. Notably, Mattel's international business is expanding at a rapid pace especially in Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia. Mattel has witnessed positive revenue growth internationally in some of the recent quarters.

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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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