The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: China Unicom, Apple, China Telecom, China Mobile and Molson Coors Brewing
CHICAGO, May 24, 2012 /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 China Unicom (NYSE:CHU), Apple Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL), China Telecom Corp. (NYSE:CHA), China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) and Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE:TAP).
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Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:
More 3G Users Join China Unicom
China’s second largest mobile operator China Unicom (NYSE:CHU) added 3.3 million cellular subscribers in April, down 5.7% from the prior month. This takes the company’s total customer base to 212.75 million.
The company’s GSM subscriber base expanded to 160.97 million with net additions of 0.34 million customers, while its 3G subscriber base increased to 51.78 million with net additions of 2.92 million.
The 3G subscriber base is growing rapidly, particularly driven by Apple Inc.‘s (Nasdaq:AAPL) iPhone sales. Additionally, China Unicom is focusing more on improving its 3G data surfing service, and offering cheaper handsets and low cost services to win new customers. These efforts are drawing more 3G subscribers, eventually leading to higher average revenue per user.
Despite the loss of exclusive hold on iPhones to China Telecom Corp. (NYSE:CHA), the company’s 3G subscriber growth remained encouraging in April relative to its major rivals. China’s mobile leader China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) attracted only 2.3 million 3G subscribers while China Telecom added 2.01 million to its 3G customer base.
China Unicom expects its 3G subscriber base to reach 90 million by the end of the year, taking the 3G service revenue to RMB 70 billion ($11.1 billion) from RMB 40 billion last year.
Coming to the fixed-line business, the company is poised to benefit from expansion and speed enhancement of fiber optic service in its broadband business. China Unicom added 0.58 million broadband customers in April, bringing the total number to 58.87 million.
But the company is experiencing significant declines in its local access lines due to the impact of the ongoing fixed-to-mobile substitution. Erosion in the fixed-line subscriber base continues with approximately 0.01 million customers lost in April, taking the total number to 92.34 million.
We are maintaining our long-term Underperform recommendation on China Unicom. The stock retains a Zacks #4 (Sell) Rank for the short term (1-3 months).
Molson Coors Launches New Brews
Global brewer Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE:TAP) has announced a new range of products and packaging innovations in order to enhance its premium brands of Coors Light, Miller Lite, Molson Canadian and Carling. Molson Coors has broadened its portfolio with the introduction of new summer brews and introduced new style of packaging to meet the consumer demands.
Coors Light Iced Tis an extension of the company’s brand Coors Light, which is Canada’s favorite light beer. Coors Light Iced T is available in Canada, and has a light and refreshing blend of natural tea and lemon flavors with a sweet tinge of Coors Light. Another summer drink Carling Zest was introduced to tap the customers in U.K. and Ireland, which provides a light citrus flavor and contains 2.8% beer. For the U.S. consumers, Blue Moon Brewing Company, an arm of Molson Coors, will introduce a new beer-based brew, Caramel Apple Spiced Ale that will deliver a crisp and refreshing taste by then end of August.
Molson Coors’ subsidiary MillerCoors introduced aluminum pints bottles for its brands like Coors Light, Coors Banquet, Miller Genuine Draft and Molson Canadian, which keeps beers ice-cold and can be resealed after opening. Other innovations include Miller Lite, MGD Punch Top Cans and Grip Cans, which increases airflow, allows smoother pour, and eases holding.
Though the company has been facing some challenging market conditions, Molson Coors’ continued to focus on its growth strategies of maximizing profitable growth opportunities in the core markets, expanding into new and emerging markets. Molson Coors has been strongly focusing on innovation for years and has delivered more than $100 million of incremental gross profit for the company over the last three years.
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