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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Verizon Communications, T-Mobile US, Apple, Google and Hyatt Hotels

CHICAGO, Dec. 23, 2013 /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 Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ-Free Report), T-Mobile US Inc. (NYSE:TMUS-Free Report), Apple Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL-Free Report), Google Inc. (Nasdaq:GOOG-Free Report) and Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE:H-Free Report).

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

Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Verizon & T-Mobile Swap Spectrum

As per a Bloomberg report on Dec 18, leading telecom carrier,Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ-Free Report) is reportedly swapping spectrum with T-Mobile US Inc. (NYSE:TMUS-Free Report). According to a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filing, both these companies are reportedly exchanging airwaves license in 518 U.S. counties covering about 133 cities and towns.

The deal involves exchange of advanced wireless service (AWS) and personal communications service spectrum. We believe the move will allow both the companies to beef up their spectrum holding in key coverage areas as well as streamline unprofitable assets in the form of unused airwaves.

The news failed to see much reaction in the market. The Verizon stock prices did not register much change and closed at $48.43 on Thursday closing. However, T-Mobile USshares grew around 9% to $29.61 on Thursday closing in comparison to $27.25 at Wednesday's closing.  

According to the FCC filing, Verizon and T-Mobile are exchanging 10–20 MHz of AWS-1 spectrum in 285 counties across 59 markets. In terms of AWS swaps, Verizon would provide 10 MHz of AWS spectrum to T-Mobile in 16 counties across four cellular markets. In exchange, T-Mobile would assign 10–20 MHz of AWS spectrum to Verizon in 26 counties across nine cellular markets.

With respect to PCS spectrum exchange, both the companies would exchange 5–20 MHz of PCS spectrum covering 153 counties across 47 markets. Additionally, Verizon would assign 20 MHz of PCS spectrum to T-Mobile in 11 counties across three cellular markets in Texas and receive 10 MHz of PCS spectrum in exchange. Going forward, Verizon will also offer 5–10 MHz of PCS spectrum in 34 more counties across 13 cellular markets to T-Mobile.

According to the news report, Verizon has struck a separate agreement with T-Mobile US for swapping these spectrums other than its existing deal to sell its 700-megahertz A-block spectrum to T-Mobile US Inc. According to news reports, Verizon spent around $2.4 billion for acquiring these spectrums covering 150 million POPs and company's willing to repurchase these from Verizon have to strike an at par deal if not more.

Spectrum crunch has become the major issue in the U.S. telecom industry that has a saturated wireless market. Most of the carriers are finding it increasingly difficult to manage mobile data traffic, which is growing by leaps and bounds. The situation has become even more acute with the growing popularity of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL-Free Report) iPhone and Google Inc. (Nasdaq:GOOG-Free Report) Android-based smartphones as well as rising online mobile video streaming, cloud computing and video conferencing services. We believe the new spectrum exchange between companies and new auction by FCC will likely open up new channels for the companies to address airwaves shortage and issues related to it.

Verizon has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Hyatt Strengthens Chinese Portfolio

In a concerted effort to boost its presence in the lucrative Chinese market, leading hotelier Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE:H-Free Report) recently declared the launch of two properties under Park Hyatt and Hyatt Regency brands in Changbaishan, China. These openings are in line with the company's goal to expand its presence worldwide, especially in the Asian market.

The two hotels named Park Hyatt Changbaishan and Hyatt Regency Changbaishan mark the debut of Hyatt branded ski resorts in the region. Situated close to each other at the base of Changbai Mountain range and in close proximity to the Changbaishan Airport, the Songjianghe railway station and several other entertainment options, the properties form a part of the Changbaishan International Resort development project.

The Changbai Mountain range, with its natural and cultural attractions, is one of the leading tourist destinations in China. The country's National Tourism Bureau conferred a rating of 5A for its picturesque beauty. These factors justify Hyatt's decision to expand in the area.

While Park Hyatt Changbaishan boasts 163 guestrooms along with 36 suites, Hyatt Regency Changbaishan has 278 guest rooms. These hotels have various amenities, which are expected to attract both business as well as leisure travelers.

China is set to be the world's leading travel destination by 2020. In order to tap this attractive opportunity, the Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company is now venturing into various untapped but economically viable Chinese cities. Presently, the company boasts 23 properties in China of which 10 operate under the Hyatt Regency brand while 4 operate under the Park Hyatt brand.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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