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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Crown Castle International, T-Mobile, AT&T, Arris Enterprises and SBA Communications

CHICAGO, Feb. 13, 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 Crown Castle International (NYSE:CCI-Free Report), T-Mobile USA (NYSE:TMUS-Free Report), AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T-Free Report), Arris Enterprises, Inc. (Nasdaq:ARRS-Free Report) and SBA Communications Corp. (Nasdaq:SBAC-Free Report).

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Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

Crown Castle Upped to Outperform

On Feb 11, 2014, we upgraded our recommendation on Crown Castle International (NYSE:CCI-Free Report) to Outperform from Neutral.

Why the Upgrade?

An extensive tower portfolio, successful integration of T-Mobile business, expansion of Small Cell business, increased usage of smartphones, and aggressive deployment of 4GLTE networks are likely to spur growth moving ahead.  Moreover, the proposed launch of Verizon's VoLTE service and continuous acquisitions of towers globally may further drive growth for the company.  

Detailed Analysis

Higher usage of smartphones and tablets and increased deployment of 4G LTE networks have propelled demand for tower requirement by large carriers. Moreover, the acquisition of NextG Networks Inc. (which comprises 7,000 Distributed Antenna Systems) and the purchase of 7,200 wireless towers from T-Mobile USA (NYSE:TMUS-Free Report) have positioned Crown Castle as the largest wireless tower operator in the U.S.

Furthermore, the company has entered into a definitive agreement with telecom giant AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T-Free Report) to acquire exclusive rights of 9,700 wireless towers of the latter for a total consideration of $4.85 billion.

As transporting equipment from one tower to another is cumbersome, carriers normally renew contracts upon expiration. This implies that a high percentage of Crown Castle's revenue is recurring.

Recently, the company has converted its tower business into a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). An REIT status will benefit the company in terms of tax savings and enhance long-term shareholders wealth. Moreover, it will minimize the weighted average cost of capital (WACC). Following the conversion, Crown Castle will distribute 90% of its earnings through dividends every year, reducing tax.

Crown Castle currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Stocks That Warrant a Look

Other stocks in this sector like Arris Enterprises, Inc. (Nasdaq:ARRS-Free Report) and SBA Communications Corp. (Nasdaq:SBAC-Free Report) are set to gain from the robust growth of LTE deployment in the upcoming days. Arris carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) while the other two carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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

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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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