The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Virgin Media, TiVo, Harmonic, Liberty Global and Statoil

   The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Virgin Media, TiVo, Harmonic, Liberty
                              Global and Statoil

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, March 25, 2013

CHICAGO, March 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq:VMED),
TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq:TIVO), Harmonic Inc. (Nasdaq:HLIT), Liberty Global Inc.
(Nasdaq:LBTYA) and Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO).


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Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Virgin Media Offers TV Anywhere

Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq:VMED) is offering an innovative video service called
TV Anywhere. This state-of-the-art application platform will enable the
company's subscribers to watch up to 45 live TV channels on several devices
including TVs, PCs, smartphones and tablets. This simply means that customers
can view the live TV shows even if they are out of home using their mobile
devices. Furthermore, by using this application, subscribers can manage
recorded programs and control TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq:TIVO) developed set top box
from a remote place.

Since Dec 2010, Virgin Media started offering a next-generation Web TV
platform to its subscribers. The company is utilizing TiVo Inc.'s
industry-leading set top boxes for this offering. This new converged digital
TV platform provides improved graphics, on-demand video content, catch-up TV
service, Web-based applications including games and personal video recorder.
Virgin Media's new product integrates the Internet and live TV on one screen
through fiber-optic cable. Over 1 million subscribers have already installed
Virgin Media's next-generation TV platform.

For its latest TV Anywhere service, Virgin Media has used Harmonic Inc.'s
(Nasdaq:HLIT) ProMedia software suite for video processing and encoding. The
company has also used Concurrent Computer Corp.'s MediaHawk VX content
delivery network solution for content workflow features, DRM management and
session-based policy controls for multi-screen video delivery. 

On Feb 5, 2013, in a significant strategic move, Virgin Media came out with a
joint press statement with Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq:LBTYA), regarding an
agreement per which, Liberty Global will acquire a full 100% in Virgin Media,
in a cash and equity deal. The deal has a total consideration of around $15.8
billion or an enterprise value of nearly $23.3 billion. Both the companies
expect the deal to be completed by the second quarter of 2013, subject to
customary regulatory approval. Virgin Media currently has a Zacks Rank #4

Statoil Fortifies Gulf Endeavor

Oil and gas company Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO) has claimed for 15 leases in the
central region of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (GoM) in an auction under the U.S.
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). The addition will further strengthen
its already significant foothold in the region. However, the lease awards
remain subject to proper approval by BOEM.

With this addition, the Norwegian giant will get hold of over 340 leases in
the GoM region in total. This emphasizes its commitment in boosting its
spending level in North America, which Statoil foresees as a core long-term
growth driver.

The company's main aim was Walker Ridge Block 271, a high-impact single
prospect also known as Monument, for which it has given the highest bid of
$81.7 million along with co-venture Samson Offshore. Statoil now expects
potential resources of more than 250 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBOE)
from this type of prospects.

The presence of Statoil – the world's largest offshore operator – in North
America dates back to more than 25 years. The company also holds the
pioneering position in subsea technology and remains involved in numerous
discoveries in the GoM, including Julia, Stampede, Vito and Statoil-operated
Logan. The company has been able to create a robust portfolio with offshore
and onshore possessions in Canada and the U.S.

Statoil intends to spud two to three wells within a year in the Gulf prospects
it operates and also aims to take part in one or two wells that are to be
drilled by its associate partner. The company currently remains a partner in
three U.S. Gulf producing fields and seven fields that are under the
development phase.

The company aims to achieve an equity production of above 2.5 MMBOE per day in
2020. Notably, the U.S. GoM plays a key role in Statoil's agenda to boost its
North American oil and gas production to 500,000 BOE per day by that specified
time period. It has progressed on various projects and expects to make
significant additions to its resource base in the coming years.

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