The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Telefonica, Dell, France Telecom, Vodafone Group and CME Group

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Telefonica, Dell, France Telecom, Vodafone
                             Group and CME Group

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, May 13, 2013

CHICAGO, May 13, 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 Telefonica S.A. (NYSE:TEF), Dell
Inc. (Nasdaq:DELL), France Telecom (NYSE:FTE), Vodafone Group Plc.
(Nasdaq:VOD) and CME Group Inc. (Nasdaq:CME).

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Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Telefonica Signs Deal with Dell

Spanish telecom operator, Telefonica S.A. (NYSE:TEF) has struck a deal with
Dell Inc. (Nasdaq:DELL) to offer mobile connectivity solutions for its Windows
7 and Windows 8-based devices throughout Europe by means of Dell NetReady
solution.

Dell is already using Telefónica's mobile service. Therefore by connecting to
Dell NetReady technology, the customers can easily connect their devices to
the Telefónica's pay-as-you-go Internet plan.

The new bundled service, will serve corporate users better as they can easily
access the network whether in office or away by just a click of a button. The
plan is also made flexible starting from 30 minutes up to 1 a month with two
different rate plans.

Telefonica is facing intense competition from the likes of France Telecom's
(NYSE:FTE) Orange mobile brand and Vodafone Group Plc. (Nasdaq:VOD). In order
to safeguard its position in the European region the company is continuously
upgrading its 3G mobile broadband networks –– High Speed Packet Access Plus
(HSPA+) and Dual Cell HSPA. The company is further working to deploy LTE
services in urban areas and also taking initiatives to adopt new technologies
like Voice over LTE (VoLTE) to drive its top line.

The company has undertaken several efforts to enhance efficiency across
European markets such as removal of handset subsidies in Spain, gradual
reduction of subsidies in the U.K., network sharing agreement in the U.K. and
Mexico and redundancy program in Spain. Such initiatives would lead to further
savings and boost profit in the coming years.

Telefonica S.A. currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

CME Group Upped to Neutral

We have upgraded derivative exchange – CME Group Inc. (Nasdaq:CME) to Neutral
based on some improvement in volumes and strict expense control in the
first-quarter of 2013. However, top line continued to remain weak.

Why the Upgrade?

Estimates for CME Group have witnessed a marginal decline since its
first-quarter 2013 results on May 2. The company's first-quarter earnings of
73 cents a share were at par with the Zacks Consensus Estimate, while total
revenue of $718.6 million topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $714 million.

Nonetheless, both earnings and revenues lagged the year-ago results by 8.8%
and 7.2%, respectively. Overall, CME Group delivered positive earnings
surprises in all of the last 4 quarters with an average beat of 5%.

While average daily volume inched up 1% year over year, total operating
expenses declined 3.2% and non-operating expenses were flat. However, clearing
and transaction fees, accounting for about 83% of the total revenue, decreased
4.5% year over year, whereas market data and information services decelerated
29.2%. A higher tax rate also marred the bottom line.

Following the release of the first-quarter results, the Zacks Consensus
Estimate for 2013 dipped 0.6% to $3.13 per share. The Zacks Consensus Estimate
for 2014 also inched down 0.8% to $3.62 per share. With the Zacks Consensus
Estimates for both 2013 and 2014 going only marginally down, the company now
has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

What is the cause for the strong positive bias on the company? While the top
line is facing challenges from the macroeconomic volatility and intense
competitiveness and will recover at its pace, CME Group is initiating a
disciplined expense management. Total expenses are further projected to be
below 5% for 2013.

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