Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Andy Thurai

News Feed Item

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:AT&T, Apple, Verizon Communications, PulteGroup and Lennar

CHICAGO, Dec. 31, 2012 /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 AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL), Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ), PulteGroup Inc. (NYSE:PHM) and Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN).

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5513

Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

AT&T Expands Mobile Internet
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is expanding its mobile Internet coverage for customers in South Florida. The company is experiencing strong momentum in its wireless business driven by demand for data services. We expect the company's expansion plans in this space to strengthen its foothold in data services as well as generate incremental revenues.

The expansion will involve capacity enhancement in cell sites in order to improve mobile data traffic and voice connectivity. The company boasts the best Internet speeds in the industry as it is the only U.S. carrier that provides 4G networks through both Long Term Evolution (LTE) and High-Speed Packet Access Plus (HSPA+) technologies.

AT&T initially rolled out LTE networks late last summer that went on to become the benchmark of mobile technology and the life-blood for operators across the world. AT&T's 4G LTE service is currently available in 103 markets with more than 150 million users in the U.S.

The telecom giant aims to reach about 250 million people by 2013-end and 300 million by the end of 2014. To support its 4G LTE services, the company offers several 4G LTE smartphones and tablets, which include HTC One X, Samsung Smart PC, Nokia Lumia 900, LG Optimus G and ASUS Vivo Tablet. In addition, during the third quarter, AT&T was the highest selling iPhone 5 carrier-partner for Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL).

We expect AT&T to continue this trend as it is aggressively expanding its 4G LTE coverage. Additionally, the company's new Mobile Share plans, which allow connecting more than one device to its data plan, will further boost sales of the new iPad as it will cost only $10 per month to connect the new mini iPad to its new data sharing plan. However, we believe that persistent access line losses, competitive pressure from peers like Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and heavy iPhone subsidies might drag near-term margins and earnings.

AT&T Inc. has a Zacks #3 Rank, implying a short-term (1–3 months) Hold rating on the stock. For the long-term, we have a Neutral recommendation on the stock.

PulteGroup on a Tight Rope
We have maintained our Neutral recommendation on PulteGroup Inc. (NYSE:PHM) appraisal of the third quarter results.

PulteGroup's third quarter 2012 adjusted earnings of 27 cents per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 35%. Earnings were significantly better than the adjusted earnings of $11 cents in the prior-year quarter, driven by improved home demand and pricing, gross margin expansion and solid overhead leverage. Pulte's homebuilding revenues rose 12.7%, driven by an increase in new home orders and average selling prices.

New home orders were up 27% year over year based on the improvement in new home demand. The average selling price rose 5% as Pulte raised prices in almost 70% of its markets in the quarter. The company is seeing a definite improvement in demand in the homebuilding sector and believes its cost reduction and operating efficiency improvement plans will lead to profitability for the remainder of 2012.

With a gradual recovery in the overall economy, the homebuilding industry is finally seeing signs of stabilization in 2012. The overall U.S. housing market has seen a meaningful increase in the volume of new home sales for the first nine months of 2012 with industry-wide sales tracking roughly 25% above prior-year levels. We believe that the housing market is starting to benefit from an increase in employment rates, higher consumer confidence and several years of pent-up demand. Houses are more affordable now as mortgage loans come with record low interest rates, while renting has become more expensive. Homebuilders like Pulte with significant land positions, broad geographic and product diversity, and better capital positions are expected to benefit the most as market conditions recover.

The company is continuously evaluating its assets and prioritizing markets and projects in order to allocate capital appropriately and to invest selectively in high return projects. The company is divesting lower margin projects and exiting non-performing communities and lower margin land lots, which no longer fit into their operating strategy, thus freeing up cash to invest in other potential opportunities, which could generate higher returns. Pulte is also utilizing its existing land assets more efficiently and lowering its unsold inventory levels more aggressively, which in turn are benefiting the working capital and margins. Moreover, while the company monetizes non-profitable existing assets, it is disciplined in adding new land positions. The company is also shifting its focus toward steeply priced Pulte branded move-up homes, which will likely improve the overall average selling prices.

In addition to allocating capital more efficiently, Pulte is taking other actions to improve its operating and financial performance. These initiatives include improvement of overhead leverage and implementing new pricing strategies. These initiatives will better place the company when the housing conditions improve in the long term.

Though the housing market is showing signs of stabilization in 2012, management believes that the process is erratic and not yet adequately broad-based. A speedy housing recovery is unlikely and the timing of the markets to fully recover and return to a more historically typical operating environment is uncertain.

Pulte carries a Zacks #2 Rank (short-term Buy rating). Peer company, Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN) also carries the same rank, thus highlighting the positive momentum in the housing industry.

Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5515.

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: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5517

About Zacks
Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leon Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which 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 at http://at.zacks.com/?id=5518.

Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339
[email protected] 
http://www.zacks.com

SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Bill Schmarzo, Tech Chair of "Big Data | Analytics" of upcoming CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York (November 12-13, 2018, New York City) today announced the outline and schedule of the track. "The track has been designed in experience/degree order," said Schmarzo. "So, that folks who attend the entire track can leave the conference with some of the skills necessary to get their work done when they get back to their offices. It actually ties back to some work that I'm doing at the University of ...
DXWorldEXPO LLC, the producer of the world's most influential technology conferences and trade shows has announced the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO "Early Bird Registration" is now open. Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and sh...