The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Starbucks, AT&T, Telefonica, Vodafone Group and Verizon Communications

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Starbucks, AT&T, Telefonica, Vodafone Group
                          and Verizon Communications

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, June 25, 2013

CHICAGO, June 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 Starbucks Corporation
(Nasdaq:SBUX-Free Report), AT&T, Inc. (NYSE:T-Free Report), Telefonica
(NYSE:TEF-Free Report), Vodafone Group Plc (Nasdaq:VOD-Free Report) and
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ-Free Report).


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

Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

Starbucks to Raise Coffee Prices

Reuters recently reported thatStarbucks Corporation (Nasdaq:SBUX-Free Report)
has decided to raise the prices of some of its coffee beverages in several of
its cafes in the U.S., starting this week.

The average coffee price is expected to increase by about 1% nationally.
Reuters states that this would be the first price increase in some of the
regions in close to two years. However, prices are not expected to go up in
some markets like California and Florida.

The prices of some beverages like Grande or Venti brewed coffee, as well as
Frappuccino and Refreshers are expected to remain the same. Reuters reported
that the price of some of its coffee beverages, for example, a tall brewed
coffee, will increase by as much as 10 cents.

It is ironical that the coffee prices are being increased at a time when the
company's profits are improving due to lower coffee costs. In the last
reported quarter, the company said that its operating margins have improved
due to strong sales leverage and lower coffee costs.

Last week, Starbucks announced that starting this week it will post calorie
counts for its beverages and food items on its menus across all its stores in
the U.S. This initiative will provide further nutritional transparency to
Starbucks' customers and will allow this Zacks Rank # 3 (Hold) company to reap
benefits from evolving consumer needs for healthy and nutritious products.

AT&T to Connect with Europe

AT&T, Inc. (NYSE:T-Free Report) is reportedly seeking opportunities in the
European continent. According to recent Bloomberg reports, the company is in
talks to buy around 29.9% in Telefonica (NYSE:TEF-Free Report). AT&T is also
looking to own assets in Vodafone Group Plc (Nasdaq:VOD-Free Report) as well
as digital communications company – EE, one of the largest operators in the UK
and a joint venture between Deutsche Telekom AG and France Telecom S.A.

AT&T is eyeing opportunities to improve its growth profile through a number of
strategic initiatives. Acquisition being one of them, has played a major role
in shaping AT&T's growth trajectory. In the domestic market, the company
entered into an agreement with Verizon Wireless of Verizon Communications Inc.
(NYSE:VZ-Free Report) to acquire spectrum licenses. This includes 39 lower 700
megahertz (MHz) licenses, covering 42 million people in 18 states including
major territories such as Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami.

AT&T also plans to buy the remaining portion of Alltel's wireless operations
including spectrum licenses, retail stores and network assets from Atlantic
Tele-Networks Inc. AT&T aims to enhance its high-speed wireless network to
generate more profits from the growing demand for mobile Internet services for
smartphones, tablets and other devices.

AT&T is experiencing strong momentum in its wireless businesses. Continued
strength in smartphone and branded computing device sales are fueling growth
in the wireless sector.

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.

However, risk factors such as a saturated wireless market, persistent losses
in access lines, labor union issues and aggressive pricing plans of direct
competitors are likely to weigh on the company's revenues and margins in the
near to medium term.

AT&T has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) rating.

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

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