For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL - February 12, 2016 - 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 BCE Inc. ( BCE ), Charter Communications Inc. ( CHTR ), Level 3 Communications Inc. ( LVLT ), Verizon Communications Inc. ( VZ ) and Yahoo! Inc. ( YHOO ).
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Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:
Telecom Stock Roundup
The last week was not among the happier ones for the telecom sector as all major stocks lost value on the bourse. Nevertheless, a few developments were worth noting.
On the earnings front, Canadian telecom firm BCE Inc. ( BCE ) reported strong financial numbers in the fourth quarter of 2015. Both the top and the bottom line surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The company added a net of 91,308 postpaid wireless, 38,908 high-speed Internet and 74,092 Fibe TV customers but lost 36,306 satellite TV subscribers in the quarter.
On the other hand, U.S. cable MSO (multi service operator) Charter Communications Inc. ( CHTR ) reported weak financial results in the fourth quarter of 2015, with both the top and the bottom line lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Nevertheless, in the reported quarter, the company gained 29,000 video, 115,000 high-speed Internet and 47,000 voice customers within its residential segment and added 4,000 video, 14,000 high-speed Internet and 10,000 voice customers within its commercial segment.
Meanwhile, Level 3 Communications Inc. ( LVLT ) posted mixed financial results in the fourth quarter of 2015 wherein the bottom line met the Zacks Consensus Estimate while the top line missed the same. However, management provided a strong outlook for full-year 2016.
Apart from earnings news, a few significant developments also took center stage in the telecom sector last week. According to a recent Bloomberg report, U.S. telecom behemoth Verizon Communications Inc. ( VZ ) has assigned Tim Armstrong, chief executive officer of its AOL unit, the key task of exploring options to bid for the core assets of Yahoo! Inc. ( YHOO ). However, neither company has confirmed the news as yet.
Recently, Lowell McAdam, CEO of Verizon, stated in a CNBC Mad Money show, that the company may opt for selected assets of Yahoo if the deal promises adequate value for its shareholders.
Read the last Telecom Stock Roundup for Feb 4, 2016 .
Recap of the Week's Most Important Stories
1. Quarterly net income of BCE was approximately $371.6 million, down 8.5% year over year. GAAP earnings per share were 43 cents, down 9.4% year over year. However, adjusted net income per ADS (American Depositary Share) came in at 53 cents, above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 51 cents. Total revenue was approximately $4,198 million, up 1.4% year over year and ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,953 million. (Read More: BCE Tops Q4 Earnings & Revenue Estimates, Ups Dividend .)
2. Charter Communications' GAAP net loss in the fourth-quarter 2015 came in at $122 million or $1.09 per share compared with a net loss of $48 million or a loss of 44 cents per share in the year-ago quarter. Quarterly loss per share of $1.09 was significantly wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 12 cents. Total revenue of $2,512 million increased 6.4% year over year, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,519 million by a small margin. (Read More: Charter Communications Posts Q4 Loss, Revenues Miss Mark .)
3. On a GAAP basis, net income of Level 3 Communications in the fourth-quarter 2015 was $3,323 million, or $9.24 per share compared with net income of $66 million, or 21 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2014. Meanwhile, adjusted (excluding non-recurring gains and charges) earnings per share of 52 cents were exactly in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Quarterly total revenue improved 7.3% year over year to $2,053 million but fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,068 million. (Read More: Level 3 Communications: Earnings in Line, Revenues Miss .)
4. Verizon is currently focusing on online content delivery, mobile video and online advertising for future growth. The acquisitions of AOL and Millennial Media have enabled Verizon to sell digital media services to large companies and social media firms by monetizing its massive wireless customer base. With an Internet giant like Yahoo in its kitty, Verizon can potentially gain a strong and extensive foothold in the global online content and advertising market. (Read More: Verizon Communications: Is a Yahoo Buyout in the Cards? )
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