The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Google, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Netflix and Apple - Tucson News Now

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Google, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Netflix and Apple

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SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

CHICAGO, Feb. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 Google (Nasdaq:GOOG-Free Report), Comcast (Nasdaq:CMCSA-Free Report), Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC-Free Report), Netflix (Nasdaq:NFLX-Free Report) and Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL-Free Report).

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Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

Technology Stock Roundup

Google Extends Fiber to 34 Cities

Google (Nasdaq:GOOG-Free Report) currently offers its Fiber service (high-speed cable TV and Internet) at $120 a month in Kansas City, Austin, Texas, and Provo, Utah. The company has now announced that it is inviting nine other metropolitan areas to join the network. The authorities are required to provide some information to Google including maps of existing conduit, water, gas lines and electricity lines that would help it decide where to lay the fiber. Laying the lines is an elaborate process, but this is not expected to be a stumbling block.

Given the current size of the project, no one would assume that this could be a diversification of its revenue stream. But five years hence, the company will have spread further and learnt more about the business to put up some real competition for incumbent Internet Service Providers. So it's a project with considerable prospects and Google has been treading very cautiously so as not to make any mistakes. 

The other obvious advantage is the benefit to its existing business. Google gets to collect even more data (this time about the increased usage related to higher Internet speeds). It also gets to offer much faster and therefore more satisfactory streaming services, which could potentially increase its digital sales. So this looks like another smart move by Google.

Comcast/Time Warner Merger Not Just About Them

Comcast (Nasdaq:CMCSA-Free Report), the largest U.S. cable company is planning to absorb Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC-Free Report), the second largest player. Since this disturbs the competition in the market, the deal is under scrutiny. The only reason it may go through is the prospect of increasing competition. This is where Google's Fiber initiative could actually be favorable for the two, since Google offers an alternative to these incumbents. Google's cash and market cap are things in favor of the merger, while its fledgling efforts in the space are unfavorable.

However, the deal also impacts other Internet TV players, such as Netflix (Nasdaq:NFLX-Free Report) or Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL-Free Report) that have been in talks with Time Warner for the inclusion of their services on its platform.  Netflix is also in talks with Comcast, but the talks have not advanced that much.

The problem is with respect to Comcast's relatively new X1 set top box platform that streams movies and other programs from the cloud. Comcast has tremendous clout with content providers and is working to rapidly increase content on this device. It also has the potential to introduce social elements, such as recommendations or integration with social networking sites.

If Comcast decides to go independently, Apple and Netflix could be shown the door. But it might also decide to integrate with either one, which would be a positive for them. So a lot remains in flux until the fate of the $45 billion deal is sealed.

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