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In an effort to offer faster broadband speeds to customers, Windstream Holdings, Inc. WIN recently announced that it will upgrade its cable TV network in North Georgia. The upgrade, which requires significant capital expenditures, will begin immediately and is likely to be completed within a year.
Windstream offers broadband services under the Kinetic brand, which includes a wide range of premium services for consumers and small businesses. With the network upgrade, 300 megabit-per-second (Mbps) internet speeds will be available to over 67,000 households in 13 communities in the region. This represents a significant upgrade from the existing speed of 100 Mbps for faster download and web surfing, and underscores Windstream’s commitment to provide best-in-class Internet and entertainment services.
The strategic move is part of a broader effort to expand Windstream’s fiber-to-the-premises, 1 gigabit Internet service throughout its 43 markets in Georgia. The network upgrade will further enable Windstream to thwart stiff competition from cable operators.
The cable TV network of the company is currently available in Dahlonega, Blairsville, Clarkesville, Cleveland, Commerce, Cornelia, Dawsonville, Helen, Hiawassee, Homer, Jefferson, Nicholson and Young Harris, as well as Hayesville, N.C. of Georgia. Windstream is currently upgrading the broadband speed in only these 13 markets and will eventually upgrade the same in the remaining ones.
Windstream is seeking to diversify its operations from legacy telecom services to business, enterprise and wholesale opportunities. To meet this end, Windstream has made a significant financial investment to upgrade its network and product portfolio, including significant advances in software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) capabilities and a new Cloud Core architecture. The company is trying to reduce dependency on consumer-based revenues and instead become a business and broadband-focused firm while serving mainly rural consumers.
Windstream has underperformed the industry in the past six months, losing 44.6% compared with a decline of 3.6% for the latter. Whether the current network upgrade will help the company to revive its sagging shares remains to be seen.
Windstream currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the industry include Motorola Solutions, Inc. MSI, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Ubiquiti Networks, Inc. UBNT and The Liberty SiriusXM Group LSXMA, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Motorola has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 8%. It exceeded estimates in each of the trailing four quarters with an average beat of 12.1%.
Ubiquiti has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 18.6%. It exceeded estimates thrice in the trailing four quarters with an average beat of 8.9%.
Liberty SiriusXM has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 24.4%. It exceeded estimates thrice in the trailing four quarters with an average beat of 90.3%.
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