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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: SVB Financial, Rogers Communications, AT&T, TELUS and BCE

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – October 1, 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 the SVB Financial Group ( SIVB- Free Report), Rogers Communications Inc. ( RCI- Free Report), AT&T Inc. ( T- Free Report), TELUS Corp. ( TU- Free Report) and BCE Inc. ( BCE- 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:

SVB Financial Upped to Outperform
On Sep 25, 2013, we upgraded our long-term recommendation on SVB Financial Group ( SIVB- Free Report) to Outperform from Neutral. The recommendation upgrade was based on better-than-expected second-quarter 2013 results.

The Rationale Behind the Upgrade

On Jul 25, SVB Financial reported second-quarter 2013 earnings per share of $1.06, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 94 cents. Results were driven by growth in revenues, partially offset by a rise in operating expenses. An improvement in capital ratios as well as loans and deposits were among the positives.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 advanced 1.5% to $4.06 per share over the last 60 days. Further, for 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate increased 1.2% to $4.17 per share over the same time period. Hence, SVB Financial currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

SVB Financial continues to grow organically as depicted by the growth in its deposits and increase in its net interest income over the last several quarters. Moreover, the company has been continuously lowering its long-term debt level through redemptions and maturities of senior notes. Reducing debt level will aid in procuring additional finance for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, debt-service requirements and other purposes. Moreover, this will result in reduced interest expenses, which in turn would improve the bottom line.

Moreover, SVB Financial’s capital ratios seem strong and well above the regulatory requirements. We expect the company to continue building capital over the next couple of years, resulting in a better financial position that will help meet the stringent capital requirements.
  Rogers, AT&T Sign Roaming Pact
Rogers Communications Inc. ( RCI- Free Report), a leading Canadian telecom and cable TV operator, has enhanced its 4GLTE wireless roaming services by teaming up with leading U.S. carrier – AT&T Inc. ( T- Free Report).

Rogers’ subscribers traveling to the U.S. can avail the 4GLTE wireless roaming service facility costing only $7.99 per day which includes 50 MB of daily data usage. Moreover, it will be the first Canadian carrier to offer roaming service in the U.S., thereby gaining a competitive edge over Canadian carriers like TELUS Corp. ( TU- Free Report) and BCE Inc. ( BCE- Free Report).

Rogers was also the first company in Canada to launch LTE (Long Term Evolution) network. Initially, the company deployed LTE network in 102 cities in Canada, covering nearly 68% of Rogers’ footprint.

Rogers is continuously collaborating with international carriers to offer its LTE roaming services. The company teamed up with a Hong Kong-based carrier to initiate roaming service for its subscribers in Hong Kong and also joined forces with Swisscom AG to offer provide roaming facilities to its subscribers visiting Switzerland. It also offers roaming service in South Korea.

In second-quarter 2013, postpaid retail subscribers’ base for Rogers was around 7.976 million, up 3.5% year over year. Quarterly Postpaid ARPU was $64.7, down 1.1% year over year. Monthly churn rate was 1.17% compared with 1.15% in the prior-year quarter.

Hence, we believe that such aggressive LTE service deployment will drive Rogers’ subscriber base going forward.

Currently, Rogers Communications has a short-term Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

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