|By PR Newswire||
|February 14, 2014 09:30 AM EST||
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Sep. 30, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,577
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often ...
Sep. 30, 2016 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,656
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
Sep. 30, 2016 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 356
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Sep. 30, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,663
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, will discuss how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your ...
Sep. 30, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,234
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
Sep. 30, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,012
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridharabalan, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, Inc., will focus on key challenges in building an Internet of Things solution infrastructure. He will shed light on efficient ways of defining interactions within IoT solutions, leading to cost and time reduction. He will also introduce ways to handle data and how one can develop IoT solutions that are lean, flexible and configurable, thus making IoT infrastructure agile and scalable.
Sep. 30, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,652
Businesses are struggling to manage the information flow and interactions between all of these new devices and things jumping on their network, and the apps and IT systems they control. The data businesses gather is only helpful if they can do something with it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Witeck, Principal Technology Strategist at Citrix, will discuss how different the impact of IoT will be for large businesses, expanding how IoT will allow large organizations to make their legacy ap...
Sep. 30, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 548
Creating replica copies to tolerate a certain number of failures is easy, but very expensive at cloud-scale. Conventional RAID has lower overhead, but it is limited in the number of failures it can tolerate. And the management is like herding cats (overseeing capacity, rebuilds, migrations, and degraded performance). Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing for the HGST Cloud Infrastructure Business Unit, discusse...
Sep. 30, 2016 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,645
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lea...
Sep. 30, 2016 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 656
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
Sep. 30, 2016 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,465
24Notion is full-service global creative digital marketing, technology and lifestyle agency that combines strategic ideas with customized tactical execution. With a broad understand of the art of traditional marketing, new media, communications and social influence, 24Notion uniquely understands how to connect your brand strategy with the right consumer. 24Notion ranked #12 on Corporate Social Responsibility - Book of List.
Sep. 30, 2016 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 358
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
Sep. 30, 2016 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 5,258
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Sep. 30, 2016 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,162
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
Sep. 30, 2016 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 727