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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: BlackBerry, Charter Communications, Windstream Holdings, American Tower and Verizon Communications - Press Releases

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - April 06, 2015 - 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 BlackBerry Ltd. ( BBRY - Free Report ), Charter Communications Inc. ( CHTR - Free Report ), Windstream Holdings Inc. ( WIN - Free Report ), American Tower Corp. ( AMT - Free Report ) and Verizon Communications Inc. ( VZ - 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:

Telecom Stock Roundup

Last week witnessed many significant developments in the telecom industry. Troubled smartphone developer BlackBerry Ltd. ( BBRY - Free Report ) reported mixed financial results in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015. While total revenue fell below the Zacks Consensus Estimate, the company posted earnings in contrast to the Zacks Consensus Estimate of loss.

On the cable TV front, mergers are on full swing and the latest companies to jump on the bandwagon are Charter Communications Inc. ( CHTR - Free Report ) and Bright House Networks LLC. Charter has decided to takeover Bright House, however, the deal is subject to several stringent conditions. Meanwhile, Windstream Holdings Inc. ( WIN - Free Report ) has received the final nod from its board for the spin-off of some of its select assets into an independently publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT).

On the other hand, American Tower Corp. ( AMT - Free Report ) completed the acquisition of leasing rights of nearly 11,324 wireless towers from Verizon Communications Inc. ( VZ - Free Report ). (Read the last Telecom Stock Roundup for Mar 26, 2015 .)

Recap of the Week's Most Important Stories

1. BlackBerry reported mixed financial results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015. GAAP loss from continuing operations in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 came in at $28 million or 5 cents per share compared with $423 million or loss of 80 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.

However, adjusted net income per share of 4 cents compared favorably with the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 3 cents per share. Total revenue in the reported quarter stood at $660 million against $976 million in the year-ago period. The top line also lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $833 million. (Read More: BlackBerry Q4 Earnings Beat Estimates, Revenues Lag .)

2. Recently, the board of directors of Windstream gave the final approval for the tax-free spin-off of select telecommunications network assets of the company to become an independent publicly traded REIT. The new company will be called Communications Sales & Leasing Inc. and will trade on Nasdaq under a ticker symbol of "CSAL." The financial synergies arising from the divestiture will allow the company to expand the availability of 10 Mbps Internet service to more than 80% of its customers by 2018. (Read More: Windstream's REIT Spin-off Gets Final Nod from Board .)

3. Recently, Charter Communications announced the signing of a definitive agreement with media group Advance/Newhouse to acquire a majority stake in Bright House Networks, the sixth largest cable TV operator in the U.S. Bright House currently serves about 2.5 million cable subscribers. The total consideration of the deal stands at $10.4 billion.

The merged entity will be recognized as a partnership business of which Charter Communications will hold a 73.7% stake and the remaining 26.3% will be owned by Advance/Newhouse, the current owner of Bright House. Charter Communications will issue $8.4 billion worth of common and preferred stocks of the partnership to Advance/Newhouse along with $2 billion in cash. (Read More: Charter Communications to Acquire Bright House Networks .)

4. American Tower recently closed the deal of acquiring leasing rights to approximately 11,324 wireless towers and purchasing 165 additional towers from Verizon. The deal, valued at $5.06 billion, was announced in Feb 2015. This deal will provide American Tower with the exclusive right to operate the leased towers for an average term of around 28 years with an option to buy them as well.

At the end of 2014, American Tower managed 75,164 communication towers. Geographically, the company operates 28,566 wireless towers in the U.S. and 46,598 wireless towers outside the U.S. (Read More: American Tower Completes $5.06B Deal for Verizon Towers .)

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

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BLACKBERRY LTD (BBRY): Free Stock Analysis Report

CHARTER COMM-A (CHTR): Free Stock Analysis Report

WINDSTREAM HLDG (WIN): Free Stock Analysis Report

AMER TOWER CORP (AMT): Free Stock Analysis Report

VERIZON COMM (VZ): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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