The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Dell, AT&T, Verizon Communications, IBM and Microsoft

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Dell, AT&T, Verizon Communications, IBM and
                                  Microsoft

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, June 20, 2013

CHICAGO, June 20, 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 Dell Inc. (Nasdaq:DELL-Free
Report), AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T-Free Report), Verizon Communications Inc.
(NYSE:VZ-Free Report), IBM Corp. (NYSE:IBM-Free Report) and Microsoft Corp.
(Nasdaq:MSFT-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 Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

Icahn Gives Dell Share Buyback Offer

There has been a development in the battle over Dell Inc. (Nasdaq:DELL-Free
Report) between Michael Dell and Carl Icahn. The Dell Special Committee has
received a fresh proposal from the billionaire investor, wherein he suggested
that Dell shareholders sell all their shares to Dell for a sum totaling $16
billion.

This is a fresh move made by Icahn. In a month's time, Dell shareholders will
vote for or against the $24.4 billion ($13.65 a share) bid made by Michael
Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake; Icahn needs to act before that.

Icahn is campaigning against the offer made by Michael Dell, saying that the
shares were being undervalued. Some newly appointed directors would bring
about a more favorable outcome for shareholders. The new board would approve
of Dell buying back shares at the rate of $14 a share, higher than the current
bidding price of $13.65 offered by Dell and Silver Lake.

Previously, in March, after Dell announced its intention to go private, Icahn
offered a counter bid. While Icahn offered to pay the investors $12 a share in
cash or stock, he also allowed the shareholders to hold to their share of the
company. After evaluating the deal, Dell's board came to the conclusion that
Icahn's offer would result in a $3.9 billion funding gap, reducing the
dividend figure to $10 a share from $12 per share, which in turn would give
rise to liquidity issues for the company.

Dell's attempt to go private is seeing a number of challenges with Michael
Dell – Carl Icahn conflicts, resulting in significant delays and
uncertainties. However, the possibility of a higher return to shareholders has
kept prices buoyant.

Dell has been hard-hit by the slowdown in the PC market. Moreover, the company
is up against cutthroat competition, low business growth in Europe and a
restricted spending environment. The competition faced by the company in the
Small & Medium Business (SMB) and server segments is also a concern. This is
the main reason that founder Michael Dell sought to reinvent the company.

Dell carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

AT&T, Opus in Service Deal

U.S. telecommunication giant AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T-Free Report) has struck a deal
with New Zealand based Opus International Consultants to render global
networking services.

Through the three-year agreement, AT&T's technological support will connect
Opus' workforce covering 2,500 staff at 76 offices across five countries under
one virtual roof. The security services and network acceleration technology of
AT&T – the second largest provider of wireless services in North America after
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ-Free Report) – will also be utilized by
the latter to safeguard clients' data, while providing speedier Internet.

Opus – a leading management and infrastructure consulting firm – has been
strategically expanding its business base in phases. Phase One – which was
completed in early 2013 – witnessed managed network deployment uniting
employees in 58 Opus offices across New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The
next phase will see 32 work stations in Canada, Australia and the U.S. being
interlinked. This phase is slated to be completed in Jul 2013.

This agreement will enable Opus to roll out several new applications and
services to customers using a steady, reliable and protected platform. AT&T's
global network will likely be the biggest support system for Opus for
executing various transactions.

We believe AT&T – which enjoys strong momentum in both wireline and wireless
businesses – has been steadily collaborating with several overseas companies
to strengthen its presence in foreign lands. Within the nation, the carrier is
constantly making efforts to expand its operational wings.

In recent times, AT&T signed an agreement with IBM Corp. (NYSE:IBM-Free
Report) to develop a new eCommerce solution that provides an online shopping
services platform via mobile application or in-store.

AT&T – which shares business tie-ups with companies like Microsoft Corp.
(Nasdaq:MSFT-Free Report) and The Walt Disney Co. – currently retains a Zacks
Rank #3 (Hold).

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

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