For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – April 29, 2013 – 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 Harris Corporation (HRS), Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM), Sonus Networks Inc. (SONS), Motorola Solutions Inc. (MSI) and Regions Financial Corp (RF).
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Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:
Harris Wins Virginia Radio Deal
Harris Corporation (HRS), a leader in the public safety and professional communications market, has won a $19 million contract in Spotsylvania County, Va. to improve its critical communication network.
As part of the deal, Harris will replace the existing public system network and enhance different communication needs of law enforcement, fire service and other emergency service departments of Spotsylvania County. The new solution will remarkably improve the communication capacity and extend the coverage area to more than 95% of the county.
Harris will install seven new transmission sites based on its Project 25 Technology standard. The new digital radio system features Harris’ VIDA (Voice, Interoperability, Data and Access) network, which is an IP based technology used for flexible, secure and high performance public safety and professional communication.
Harris’ RF Communications segment provides secure radio communications and embedded high-grade encryption solutions for military, government and commercial organizations. At the end of the previous quarter, order backlog in the segment was $1.14 billion including $581 million in the Public Safety and Professional Communications division.
However, Harris is suffering from tightness in the U.S. government spending for defense coupled with a slowdown in international defense expenditures. Of late, the company has won small contracts only and the reduction in budget spending has resulted in delays in tactical radio order procurements. We believe that the ongoing defense budget contraction will continue to affect Harris in the long run and see no immediate growth catalyst.
The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for the third quarter of fiscal 2013 for Harris Corp. is pegged at $1.12 with a growth rate estimate of (19.42%). For 2013 and 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate are $4.66 and $4.81 with a growth rate of (10.41%) and 3.22%, respectively.
Currently, Harris carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
Other Stocks to Consider
Other stocks to consider within the same industry are Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM), Sonus Networks Inc. (SONS) and Motorola Solutions Inc. (MSI). All the stocks currently carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Regions Boosts Shareholder Value
In an attempt to enhance shareholder value, Regions Financial Corp’s (RF) board of directors announced a threefold hike in its quarterly cash dividend on common stock. The new dividend of 3 cents will be paid on Jul 1, to shareholders of record as of Jun 14.
Additionally, the board declared a quarterly cash dividend of $15.9375 per share (equivalent to approximately $0.398438 per depositary share) associated with the outstanding shares of its 6.375% Non-Cumulative Perpetual Series A Preferred Stock.
Each outstanding share of the Series A Preferred Stock is represented by depositary shares, each of which carries a 1/40th interest in a share of Series A Preferred Stock. This will be paid on Jun 15, to stockholders of record at the close of business as of Jun 1.
These actions follow the Federal Reserve’s approval of Regions’ 2013 capital plan under the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCARF) in March. Earlier, following the approval of the capital plan, the company authorized a new share repurchase program of up to $350 million of its shares.
The latest boost in the company’s dividend reflects its commitment to return value to shareholders through its strong cash generation capabilities. Regions’ current capital position may allow it to further enhance shareholder value. The company’s cash and due from banks was $1.8 billion as of Mar 31, 2013.
Regions’ favorable funding mix, improved core business performance and strategic initiatives are expected to yield decent earnings in the near future. However, regulatory restrictions and sluggish economic conditions remain matters of concern.
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