The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: AT&T, Research in Motion, Telefonica Brasil, TELUS and SLM

   The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: AT&T, Research in Motion, Telefonica
                            Brasil, TELUS and SLM

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, June 17, 2013

CHICAGO, June 17, 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 AT&T, Inc. (NYSE:T-Free Report),
Research in Motion (Nasdaq:BBRY-Free Report), Telefonica Brasil, S.A.
(NYSE:VIV-Free Report), TELUS Corporation (NYSE:TU-Free Report) and SLM
Corporation (Nasdaq:SLM-Free Report).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

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

Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

AT&T to Bring Galaxy S4 to Market

Catching up with the latest smartphone trend, AT&T, Inc. (NYSE:T-Free Report)
will be launching the latest Samsung premium smartphone – Galaxy S4 – in Jun
21. The handset will be available for $199.99 on a two-year contract. We
believe the latest addition of premium handsets will drive customer additions
and upgrades leading to revenue accretion for the company.

This year, AT&T rolled out Research in Motion's (Nasdaq:BBRY-Free Report)
BlackBerry Z10 with the aim of adding customers. The company in its latest
update on its second quarter performance indicated a surge in its wireless
business, in particular the post-paid segment, following promotional
strategies that it had undertaken. These initiatives resulted in increased
smartphone upgrades along with sales. AT&T is now primarily focused on adding
devices that mostly support 4G LTE to its equipment portfolio. This is because
the company has accelerated its 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) and remains ahead
of schedule.

The company boasts the best Internet speeds in the industry as it is the only
U.S. carrier that provides 4G networks through both Long Term Evolution
(LTE)and High-Speed Packet Access Plus (HSPA+) technologies. AT&T's LTE
networks serve asthe benchmark of mobile technology and the life-blood for
operators across the world. The LTE expansion of the company is also
supported through Project Velocity. Under this project, AT&T will invest $14
billion in the coming three years to considerably expand the wireless
(investment of $8 billion) and wireline (investment of $6 billion) Internet
Protocol (IP) broadband networks.

The company targets to extend the wireline IP network to nearly 57 million
customer locations (including both customers and small businesses) – covering
75% of AT&T's wireline service area – by the end of 2015. This project
underlines the company's efforts to meet the growing demand for high-speed
Internet. We believe that this investment program will provide AT&T with a
high-potential growth platform, leading to higher revenues and improved
earnings per share over the near term.

AT&T, currently has Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Other Stocks

Telefonica Brasil, S.A. (NYSE:VIV-Free Report) andTELUS Corporation
(NYSE:TU-Free Report) with Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) are two stocks we find worth
considering in the telecom sector.

Sallie Mae Sheds Student Loan Stake

Leading U.S. student lender SLM Corporation (Nasdaq:SLM-Free Report), also
known as Sallie Mae, recently declared the formation of a new loan trust named
SLM Student Loan EDC Repackaging Trust 2013-M1. Sallie Mae sold BBB-rated
bonds at face value of $225 million with a weighted average life of 3.05-year
and a 3.5% interest rate, through this trust. The student lender also did away
with its entire residual interest of the trust.

The SLM Student Loan EDC Repackaging Trust 2013-M1 is collateralized by the
remaining interests from SLM Student Loan Trusts 2006-8, 2006-9 and 2007-1.
However, the company declared that it will continue servicing the loans in
these trusts as per existing agreements.

The sale will result in the elimination of student loans worth $6.6 billion
and associated liabilities worth $6.4 billion from Sallie Mae's balance sheet.
Further, the gains from the deal will result in approximately 23 cents per
share added to Sallie Mae's second-quarter 2013 GAAP as well as core earnings.

In Mar 2012, both the U.S. House and the Senate passed a bill to overhaul the
student loan program, ending the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP)
that provided federal subsidies to private lenders.

The bill required the origination of federally guaranteed student loans under
the Direct Loan Program run by the U.S. Department of Education while
eliminating the role of private lenders altogether. Hence, in compliance with
the above legislation, Sallie Mae stopped originating new federally guaranteed
student loans after Jun 30, 2012.

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