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Cincinnati Bell to Offer Sony Xperia ZL

Zacks Equity Research

Telecom service provider Cincinnati Bell Inc. (CBB) plans to launch the high-definition Sony Xperia ZL smartphone from Sony Corporation (SNE). Cincinnati will be the first carrier in the U.S. to launch the new high-end smartphone.

The handset will cost $250 (inclusive of mail-in rebate) and is expected to hit the stores from May 1. The device will also be available on the company website along with a two-year equipment agreement.

The new smartphone, which is based on Google Inc.’s (GOOG) popular Android 4.1 platform, supports single-touch NFC (Near field communication) connector facilitating the sharing of music, videos and photos across other NFC inbuilt devices like TV, tablets and smartphones.

The new Sony handset is integrated with 1.5 GHz asynchronous quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, which supports better graphics and enhances battery efficiency. Moreover, the smartphone also features a 13 MP camera with 5-inch full HD Reality Display screen.

In the recently concluded quarter, Cincinnati Bell reported mixed financial results with the bottom line missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate but the top line surpassing the same.

Wireless revenues declined 17.0% year over year to $56.58 million due to lower equipment sales (down 50%) and service (down 13%) revenues. Moreover, wireless subscribers during the quarter also declined by 13% year over year to 397,800.

So, in order to boost its subscriber growth, Cincinnati Bell is strengthening its smartphone portfolio by launching such high-end devices which will not only drive its equipment sales but will also accelerate its service revenues. Moreover, it will also allow the company to counter threats from big industry players like AT&T Inc. (T) and Verizon Wireless.

Cincinnati Bell holds Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) rating.

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