The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: United Parcel Service, AT&T, Apple, Sprint Nextel and Amazon.com

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: United Parcel Service, AT&T, Apple, Sprint
                            Nextel and Amazon.com

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Nov. 20, 2012

CHICAGO, Nov. 20, 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 United Parcel Service Inc.
(NYSE:UPS), AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), Apple Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL), Sprint Nextel Corp.
(NYSE:S) and Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq:AMZN).

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Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

UPS Service Rates Go Up

Leading cargo carrier firm United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE:UPS) has
introduced new service rates for 2013 that will be effective from December 31,
2012.

The new published rates will reflect a 4.5% hike for all UPS Air and U.S.
origin international services. Further, the UPS Ground services will now be
costlier by 4.9%.

The existing rates have been revised to take into account the effects of
higher base rates and reduced fuel surcharges. For the UPS Air and
International Services, average base rate went up by 6.5% and is partially
adjusted by the 2% dip in fuel surcharge prices.

On the other hand, increase in the UPS Ground service rates underlines a 5.9%
jump in average base rate, adjusted by 1% lower Ground fuel surcharge rates.

Atlanta, Georgia based United Parcel also announced a 4.9% hike in its Next
Day Air Freight, Second Day Air Freight and Three Day Freight shipment rates
within and between the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.

We believe that the renewed rates will likely bring in more profits for the
company. However, most of the customers will be affected by the inflated rates
amidst the prevailing sluggish macroeconomic conditions.

AT&T Starts Selling iPad Mini

Huge popularity of iPad Mini series of tablets has induced the largest carrier
in the U.S. – AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) to kick start the sale of Apple Inc'.s
(Nasdaq:AAPL) new iPad Mini to its customers at a reduced price.

The new iPad Mini, which possesses a 7.9 inch multi touch display integrated
with 5 megapixel camera and is 23% lighter and 53% thinner than its
predecessor iPad 3. Both iPad Mini and the fourth generation iPad are powered
with iOS 6, which offers faster wireless connectivity and increased battery
life. Customers can get the new iPad Mini at a discount from AT&T owned stores
with a two-year data plan.

Apple has already sold three million iPad Minis within just three days of its
launch, which indicates that AT&T will be having a huge Christmas ahead with
strong customer additions and solid revenue generations.

Last quarter, AT&T was the highest selling iPhone 5 carrier-partner for Apple
with 4.7 million smartphone sales. So, it is highly anticipated that AT&T will
continue to maintain this trend as the company is aggressively expanding its
4GLTE coverage (already covered 103 countries till date) across the nation.
Moreover, its new Mobile Share plans, which allow connecting more than one
device to its data plans will further boost the new iPad sales as it will cost
only $10 per month to connect the new mini iPad to its new data sharing plan.

However, AT&T is not the only carrier-partner to offer the new iPad Mini
devices. Even the third largest carrier in the U.S. – Sprint Nextel Corp.
(NYSE:S) has also joined the bandwagon with attractive data plan rates to
offer stiff competition to its nearest rival. Moreover, Amazon.com Inc'.s
(Nasdaq:AMZN) Kindle Fire HD tablet, which happens to be quite popular among
low-end market, will further offer stiff resistance to iPad Mini sales. Hence,
the upcoming Christmas season is all geared up for the new tablet war. Hence,
it is to be seen how AT&T deals with such impediments while moving ahead.

We are currently maintaining our long-term Neutral recommendation on AT&T. The
stock retains Zacks#3 (Hold) Rank for the short term (1-3 months).

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