Welcome!

News Feed Item

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Sotheby's and Millennial Media

CHICAGO, Feb. 14, 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 Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq:CMCSA-Free Report), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE:TWC-Free Report), Charter Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:CHTR-Free Report), Sotheby's (NYSE:BID-Free Report) and Millennial Media Inc. (NYSE:MM-Free Report).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

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

Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

Comcast to Take Over Time Warner Cable

Confirming a long-standing rumor, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq:CMCSA-Free Report) has reached an agreement to acquire Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE:TWC-Free Report) for which the official announcement is yet to come. Notably, Comcast and Time Warner Cable are the largest and second largest cable MSOs (multi-service operator) in the U.S.

The deal is likely to be designed as an all-stock acquisition. Comcast will offer approximately $159 per share of Time Warner Cable, which amounts to a total consideration of around $45.2 billion. Each share of Time Warner Cable will be converted into 2.875 shares of Comcast.

After the completion of the deal, the existing Time Warner Cable shareholders will hold about 23% of the merged entity. The deal is expected to close within a year, subject to regulatory approval and approvals of the shareholders of the both companies.

Just a month ago,Charter Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:CHTR-Free Report) had offered $132.50 per share to acquire Time Warner Cable, amounting to a total consideration of approximately $37.3 billion. However, the board of directors of Time Warner Cable rejected the bid as insufficient as it valued its owned assets at around $160 per share. Comcast's present bid is very close to this expectation.

The merged entity will have around 33 million pay-TV (video), 32 million high-speed broadband (Internet) and 16 million telephony (voice) subscribers.

In 2013, the combined total revenue of these companies was approximately $86.8 billion and net profit was approximately $8.8 billion. Comcast is expected to derive a significant $1.5 billion of operating synergies from this merger of which 50% may be realized within the first year after merger.

The deal is expected to face tough scrutiny and close monitoring by the regulator, Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Although Comcast's and Time Warner Cable's operations overlap in very few U.S. markets, Comcast may assume near monopolistic power by installing better delivery mechanism, newly launched  innovative products and the bundled offerings of its NBC Universal division.

According to sources, Comcast has decided to divest around 3 million Time Warner Cable video subscribers to maintain its total market share at 30% of the U.S. pay-TV industry.

We believe if the deal finally crosses regulatory hurdles, it will be a win-win situation for both the companies. Time Warner Cable, together with most of the cable TV operators in the U.S., is getting marginalized gradually by fiber-based video offerings of telecom giants and online video streaming services by low-cost operators.

However, Comcast is the only one notable exception, which added video customers. Thus, a union with Comcast will definitely help Time Warner Cable to regain its lost ground.

Similarly, Comcast will benefit from geographic expansion, significant operating cost synergies, which will boost its bottom line and free cash flow, and a unique combination of triple-play (voice, video and data) delivery and high-quality content distribution mechanism.

Currently, Comcast carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) whereas Time Warner Cable has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Yellen Doesn't Surprise, But 2 Business Services Stocks Will

Undeterred by the turmoil in the emerging markets, continued softness in Europe and lesser-than-expected 113,000 job additions in January, Janet Yellen, the new Federal Reserve Chairwoman, vowed to maintain the modest tapering efforts of her predecessor with near-zero interest rates to spur economic growth.

That the economic recovery picked up steam in the latter half of 2013 with real GDP increasing at an average annual rate of over 3.5% in the third and fourth quarters, versus 1.75% in the first and second quarters was strong enough reason for the Fed Chief to validate that the economic hand-holding could be gradually eased. In addition, about 3.25 million jobs were reportedly added since the Fed began its monthly bond-buying program in Aug 2012, although the unemployment rate was yet to achieve the set threshold limit of 6.5%. Inflation had also remained low as both the headline and core personal consumption expenditure (PCE) price indexes rose only about 1% in 2013, which was well below the Fed's 2% long-term objective for inflation.

Amid these mixed market feelers, most companies in the Business Services industry would aim to hold their purse strings until at least a clearer picture of the economic policy unfurls. The primary growth drivers in this highly fragmented industry hinge on a healthy economy with decent job growth prospects, higher disposable income and new business initiatives. An ideal mix of services, effective marketing strategies and ability to retain and attract new customers serve the perfect recipe for profitability for most of these companies.

However, as the current market conditions remain highly unpredictable with a clouded economic scenario, most companies have curtailed their operating costs, reduced marketing expenses and have deferred new business initiatives. In spite of that, the Business Services sector is expected to outperform the overall equity markets with an earnings growth expectation of 10.7% in the fourth quarter versus 9.1% for the S&P 500 index.

Given the promising forecast, it might be a good idea to zero-in on a handful Business Services stocks that are poised to beat earnings estimates this quarter. An earnings surprise should help these stocks outperform in the near term.

How to Pick?

The Business Services sector covers an array of services that include marketing, consulting, staffing, security, telecommunications, Internet services, logistics and waste handling. In this motley crew of companies, picking the right stock for your portfolio could appear to be a daunting task. An easy way to narrow down the list is to look at stocks that have a solid Zacks Rank and a favorable Earnings ESP.

Earnings ESP is our proprietary methodology for determining which stocks have the best chances of a surprise in their next earnings announcement. The Earnings ESP shows the percentage difference between the Most Accurate Estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

The combination of a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), #2 (Buy) or #3 (Hold) and a positive Earnings ESP is usually a harbinger of an earnings beat. For investors seeking to benefit from this strategy, we have mentioned two Business Services stocks below matching these criteria. It can make them potential winners in this difficult earnings season.

Sotheby's (NYSE:BID-Free Report): Headquartered in New York, Sotheby's operates as an auctioneer of authentic fine art, decorative art, and jewelry across the globe. The company regularly conducts auctions in salesrooms around the world, including Australia, Hong Kong, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Singapore, New York and London.

The company anticipates a sharp 32.7% year-over-year rise in its fourth-quarter earnings. The Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at $1.46. Analysts have revised their quarterly and full year estimates upward, which further support a solid earnings momentum for the company.

Sotheby's currently has a Zacks Rank #3 along with an Earning ESP of +4.8%. The company is expected to report fourth-quarter 2013 results on Feb 27.

Millennial Media Inc. (NYSE:MM-Free Report): Mobile advertising and data provider Millennial Media is headquartered in Baltimore, Md. Since its inception in 2006, the company has created a niche market through innovation and a diligent focus on mobile advertising platforms. The business model of the company hinges upon sophisticated data and technology, solid partnerships with global media and application developers across all operating systems, and healthy relationships with leading global brands.

Millennial Media currently has a Zacks Rank #2 along with an Earning ESP of +42.9%. The stock is trading at a forward PE of 134.8x and has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 30.0%. Millennial Media is expected to report its fourth-quarter 2013 results on Feb 19.

Moving Forward

As the U.S. stocks are finally looking for a smooth sail after a rocky start to the year, a sneak peek at the space for some possible winners backed by a solid Zacks Rank and a positive Zacks Earnings ESP could be a great idea for investors to gain from this earnings season. The party might just not be over for the U.S. equity markets at large and for the business services sector in particular.

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

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today.

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978. The later formation of the Zacks Rank, a proprietary stock picking system; continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros.  In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros.

 

Get the full Report on CMCSA - FREE

Get the full Report on TWC - FREE

Get the full Report on CHTR - FREE

Get the full Report on BID - FREE

Get the full Report on MM - FREE

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts

Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339
[email protected]om
http://www.zacks.com

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.

SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
As businesses evolve, they need technology that is simple to help them succeed today and flexible enough to help them build for tomorrow. Chrome is fit for the workplace of the future — providing a secure, consistent user experience across a range of devices that can be used anywhere. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will take a look at various options as to how ChromeOS can be leveraged to interact with people on the devices, and formats th...
First generation hyperconverged solutions have taken the data center by storm, rapidly proliferating in pockets everywhere to provide further consolidation of floor space and workloads. These first generation solutions are not without challenges, however. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Wes Talbert, a Principal Architect and results-driven enterprise sales leader at NetApp, will discuss how the HCI solution of tomorrow will integrate with the public cloud to deliver a quality hybrid cloud e...
Is advanced scheduling in Kubernetes achievable? Yes, however, how do you properly accommodate every real-life scenario that a Kubernetes user might encounter? How do you leverage advanced scheduling techniques to shape and describe each scenario in easy-to-use rules and configurations? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr, will answer these questions and demonstrate techniques for implementing advanced scheduling. For example, using spot instances ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Yuasa System will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Yuasa System is introducing a multi-purpose endurance testing system for flexible displays, OLED devices, flexible substrates, flat cables, and films in smartphones, wearables, automobiles, and healthcare.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Taica will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Taica manufacturers Alpha-GEL brand silicone components and materials, which maintain outstanding performance over a wide temperature range -40C to +200C. For more information, visit http://www.taica.co.jp/english/.
As hybrid cloud becomes the de-facto standard mode of operation for most enterprises, new challenges arise on how to efficiently and economically share data across environments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Dr. Allon Cohen, VP of Product at Elastifile, will explore new techniques and best practices that help enterprise IT benefit from the advantages of hybrid cloud environments by enabling data availability for both legacy enterprise and cloud-native mission critical applications. By rev...
When it comes to cloud computing, the ability to turn massive amounts of compute cores on and off on demand sounds attractive to IT staff, who need to manage peaks and valleys in user activity. With cloud bursting, the majority of the data can stay on premises while tapping into compute from public cloud providers, reducing risk and minimizing need to move large files. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Jeschonek, Director of Product Management at Avere Systems, discussed the IT and busine...
Organizations do not need a Big Data strategy; they need a business strategy that incorporates Big Data. Most organizations lack a road map for using Big Data to optimize key business processes, deliver a differentiated customer experience, or uncover new business opportunities. They do not understand what’s possible with respect to integrating Big Data into the business model.
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, will discuss how they b...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities – ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups. As a result, many firms employ new business models that place enormous impor...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dasher Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dasher Technologies, Inc. ® is a premier IT solution provider that delivers expert technical resources along with trusted account executives to architect and deliver complete IT solutions and services to help our clients execute their goals, plans and objectives. Since 1999, we'v...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
Data scientists must access high-performance computing resources across a wide-area network. To achieve cloud-based HPC visualization, researchers must transfer datasets and visualization results efficiently. HPC clusters now compute GPU-accelerated visualization in the cloud cluster. To efficiently display results remotely, a high-performance, low-latency protocol transfers the display from the cluster to a remote desktop. Further, tools to easily mount remote datasets and efficiently transfer...