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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Anadigics, Pioneer Energy Services, Ecopetrol, Helmerich & Payne and Seadrill Partners

CHICAGO, April 21, 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 Anadigics, Inc. (Nasdaq:ANAD-Free Report), Pioneer Energy Services Corp. (NYSE:PES-Free Report), Ecopetrol SA (NYSE:EC-Free Report), Helmerich & Payne, Inc. (NYSE:HP-Free Report) and Seadrill Partners LLC (NYSE:SDLP-Free Report).

Zacks Investment Research, Inc., www.zacks.com.

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

Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

Anadigics to Power Samsung's GALAXY S 5

Leading semiconductor manufacturer Anadigics, Inc. (Nasdaq:ANAD-Free Report) recently disclosed that its ALT6735 ProEficient-Plus power amplifier (PA) has been selected by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. for its GALAXY S 5 series in China. The PA will enable Samsung to deliver high-speed wireless connectivity and extended battery life for the 3G/4G market in China.

The soon-to-be-available GALAXY S 5 mobile offers a 5.1-inch full HD Super AMOLED display, a 2.5 GHz quad-core processor, 16 megapixel camera, and Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system. The mobiles will be marketed in the Chinese market through China Telecom, which currently has over 100 million 3G subscribers in the country.

Tailor-made for increased 3G/4G usage by Chinese customers, Anadigics' PA leverages the company's patented InGaP-Plus technology and innovative design architectures to deliver the industry's highest efficiency across all power levels. These facilitate greater talk time and longer data application use by consumers. In addition, exceptionally low current flow without the use of a DC/DC converter helps to maximize battery life in the mobiles.

Anadigics continues to support higher data usage and proliferation of high performance WiFi connectivity in mobile devices and tablets to strengthen its market position. Incremental demand for enhanced wireless connectivity in consumer devices, including smartphones and tablets, provides substantial growth opportunities for Anadigics.  

Headquartered in Warren, NJ, Anadigics designs and manufactures semiconductor solutions for the broadband wireless and wireline communications markets. The company's products include power amplifiers, tuner integrated circuits, active splitters, line amplifiers, and other components. Armed with a diversified portfolio, Anadigics is well positioned in three fast-growing markets: 3G, WiFi and CATV (cable television).

Anadigics currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Strong Buy on Pioneer Energy

On Apr 16, 2014, Zacks Investment Research upgraded contract land drilling service provider, Pioneer Energy Services Corp. (NYSE:PES-Free Report) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Why the Upgrade?

The company reported a positive earnings streak in the last four quarters with an average beat of 84.7%. The company's asset divestiture, contract renewals and debt reduction endeavors have placed Pioneer Energy well in the market. In the first quarter 2014, Pioneer Energy projects Drilling Service segment margin in the range of $8,000 to $8,500 per day and expects production service segment revenue to be flat.

Mounting exploration and production activity in the U.S. on account of the shale boom has boosted the need for drilling services including well services and wireline services which in turn proved beneficial for Pioneer Energy.

The positive factors are reflected in our estimates. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 increased sharply by 125% over the last 60 days to 9 cents per share. This reflects a year-over-year estimated increase of 276%.

Pioneer Energy successfully renewed all of its eight drilling rigs contracts at higher day rates with Ecopetrol SA (NYSE:EC-Free Report) which will improve the its revenue stream.

Pioneer Energy's financial position also looks promising given its strong cash balance backed by impressive operating cash flow and proceeds from asset sale. Moreover, the company's efforts to alleviate its debt level are progressing well. In the fourth quarter 2013, the company decreased its debt by $35 million.

Oil and gas exploration and production operators will continue to exploit the oil and gas plays. Consequently, demand for drilling services is expected to escalate by 8.1% annually through 2014 which could provide increased growth opportunities for Pioneer Energy.

Other Stocks to Consider

Other players in oil and gas drilling industry presently looking attractive are Zacks Ranked #1 (Strong Buy) Helmerich & Payne, Inc. (NYSE:HP-Free Report) and Seadrill Partners LLC (NYSE:SDLP-Free Report).

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.

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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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