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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: T-Mobile US, Apple, AT&T, Verizon Communication and Altra Holdings

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – July 30, 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 T-Mobile US, Inc. (TMUS-Free Report), Apple Inc. (AAPL-Free Report), AT&T, Inc. (T-Free Report), Verizon Communication Inc. (VZ-Free Report) and Altra Holdings, Inc. (AIMC-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:

TMUS Offerings Without Downpayment

T-Mobile US, Inc. (TMUS-Free Report) makes another attractive offer by introducing zero down payment plans for 4GLTE-based phones and tablets. This zero down payment scheme is available at all T-Mobile retail and online stores from Jul 27, 2013.

The cost of the device will be divided into 24 monthly installments without any interest or service contract. Moreover, the plan comes with a Simple Choice Plan, which features unlimited talk, text and 500 MB of data usage for $50 per month.

A few days back, T-Mobile US launched Jump plan, which allows subscribers to upgrade their handset twice a year rather than in two years, as in the case of other carriers.

The company is charging $10 a month for Jump, which also offers insurance coverage. The customer can avail the first upgrade service after six months, after which there will be no waiting period.

A few months back, T-Mobile US launched another contract-less service called Uncarrier. This plan allows subscribers to buy smartphones like Apple Inc.’s (AAPL-Free Report) iPhone at $100 and pay the balance in installments of $20 per month for the next two years.

Unsuccessful merger attempt with AT&T, Inc. (T-Free Report) coupled with the unavailability of iPhones in its smartphone portfolio had led to a continuous loss of subscribers.

T-Mobile US is implementing these strategies to improve its business. The company has already gained 3,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2013 as compared with a loss of 261,000 subscribers in the prior-year quarter.

Therefore, we believe that such strategies undertaken by T-Mobile US will not only help it to safeguard its position against top carriers like AT&T and Verizon Communication Inc. (VZ-Free Report) but will also allow it to take unprecedented lead over its rivals.

T-Mobile US currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Altra Downed to Strong Sell

Zacks Investment Research downgraded Altra Holdings, Inc. (AIMC-Free Report) to a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) on Jul 27, based on weak second-quarter 2013 results combined with a weak outlook for the quarters ahead.

Why the Downgrade?

Altra reported earnings per share of 41 cents in the second quarter of 2013, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 12.8%. Revenues came in at $181.1 million, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $189.0 million as well as the year-ago quarter’s revenues by 3.6%.

The decline was brought about by a downturn in demand of the capital-intensive end markets like metals, mining and energy. Moreover, demands in North America and Asia were lower than expected. Margins also faced a decline in the quarter owing to higher selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses. The trend is expected to continue in the coming quarters as well.

Accordingly, Altra has reduced its outlook for 2013. The company expects revenues in the range of $715.0 million to $730.0 million in 2013, down from $740.0 million to $750.0 million as expected earlier. Moreover, Altra lowered its earnings per share expectation to a range of $1.52 to $1.64 from $1.75 to $1.85 as expected before.

Subsequent to the results, Altra witnessed a downward revision for most of its estimates for years 2013 and 2014. All the estimates have been revised downwards for 2013, resulting in a decline in the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 8.2% to $1.67 per share, over the last 7 days. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 was also reduced by 5.7% to $1.99 per share in the same period.

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

About Zacks Equity Research

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