Budgeting, Planning & Forecasting

Budgeting, Planning & Forecasting

May 17, 2011

Sprint Nextel, AT&T, Verizon, j2 and EasyLink Featured on Zacks Analyst Blog

Zacks.com recently announced the list of stocks featured on its Analyst Blog. The Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss daily how current events across the globe impact stocks and the financial markets. Some of the stocks recently featured on the blog were Sprint Nextel Corp, AT&T (News - Alert) Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., j2 Global Communications Inc. and EasyLink Services International Corp.

The third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, Sprint Nextel Corp reported first quarter 2011 results on April 28. The adjusted loss bettered the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 7 cents and was also 14 cents narrower from the year-ago loss. The total revenue also went up from the year-ago quarter and surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Sprint put up better results despite facing strong pressure from its chief rivals AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. Sprint went on to capture 1.1 million wireless subscribers in the first quarter to reach 51 million. Because of its multi-brand prepaid strategy like Assurance Wireless and Virgin Mobile (News - Alert) and creative offers such as Boost Mobile's Monthly Unlimited is contributing significantly to the company's subscriber growth.

The prepaid subscribers segment witnessed a strong growth while the post-paid subscriber segment went down after the launch of the Verizon iPhone and aggressive pricing by T-Mobile (News - Alert) and AT&T.

The company's healthy track record is expected to persist during the coming quarters. Sprint produced a positive average earnings surprise of 15.24% during the last four quarters, which meant that it outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by that amount over the last year.

Zacks believes that Sprint will generate higher revenue due to increased penetration of handsets, lower churn and better ARPU yet advises caution due to increased competitive threats due to the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger, lower margins in wireless and wireline; along with higher payments made to Clearwire (News - Alert), higher subsidies.

Zacks also upgrades its recommendation on j2 Global (News - Alert) Communications Inc. to outperform. Zacks believes that j2 Global's strong financial position and diversified product pipeline, together with the future growth prospects of outsourced value-added messaging services will boost its valuation levels higher in the near future.

Zacks Equity Research currently provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors make better decisions with regards to what stocks to buy and what they must sell during the long-term.

Carolyn John is a Contributor to TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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