The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Comcast, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Verizon Communications and AT&T - CW15 - OMAHA

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Comcast, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Verizon Communications and AT&T

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SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

CHICAGO, May 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 Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq:CMCSA-Free Report), DIRECTV (Nasdaq:DTV-Free Report), DISH Network Corp. (Nasdaq:DISH-Free Report), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ-Free Report) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T-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 Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

A Boost for the U.S. Cable TV Industry

Recently, Leichtman Research Group Inc. reported that the U.S. pay-TV industry has consolidated its position in the first quarter of 2014 despite stiff competition from online video streaming service providers.

Leichtman revealed that although the cable TV industry continues to face video subscriber loss, the rate of customer churn was actually the least in the reported quarter since the beginning of 2009.

Nine major cable TV operators together lost around 50,000 video customers. However, one notable exception was Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq:CMCSA-Free Report), which registered video customer addition of about 24,000.

Meanwhile, two major satellite TV operators added near about 52,000 video subscribers compared with 57,000 in the prior-year quarter. DIRECTV (Nasdaq:DTV-Free Report) added only 12,000 subscribers while DISH Network Corp. (Nasdaq:DISH-Free Report) gained 40,000 customers.

On the other hand, although the fiber-based video offerings of the two leading U.S. telecom operators, namely Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ-Free Report) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T-Free Report) continues to grow, the rate of growth declined year over year.

In the first quarter of 2014, Verizon added 57,000 FiOS video subscribers compared with 169,000 in the year-ago quarter. AT&T gained 201,000 U-Verse video customers as against 232,000 in the prior-year quarter.

During the last five years, the internal dynamics of the pay-TV market was shifting from cable TV operators toward fiber-based video offerings of large telecom and satellite TV operators. Moreover, the strong presence of online video streaming providers is posing significant threat to the existing pay-TV business model.

Video offering, the core business area of the cable TV operators, seems to be slipping out of their hands. At this juncture, a relatively better performance by the cable-TV industry bodes well.

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

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