SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva, Glenn Rossman, Ava Smith, Elizabeth White

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TriQuint, Medifast, AT&T, Verizon Communications and Crown Castle highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

CHICAGO, Aug. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks Equity Research highlights TriQuint Semiconductor (Nasdaq:TQNT-Free Report) as the Bull of the Day and Medifast (NYSE:MED-Free Report) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T-Free Report), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ-Free Report) and Crown Castle (NYSE:CCI-Free Report).

Zacks Investment Research, Inc., www.zacks.com.

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

Yesterday I got a little bit excited and decided I'd look into the next generation of smart phones. They're coming out next month. Apple will have another iPhone for you, and Samsung is coming out with a new Galaxy Note S4 for me. Among the fresh features of the next generation are 4k or UltraHD displays and curved glass. But what will remain the same is a great deal of the hardware that's inside these devices. The computing power and the wireless data receiver semiconductor chips are being made by the same providers who stand to make big bucks when these phones are mass produced over and over again.

Among the chipmakers that are included is TriQuint Semiconductor (Nasdaq:TQNT-Free Report), our Bull of the Day. TriQuint designs, develops, manufactures, and markets a broad range of high performance analog and mixed signal integrated circuits for communications markets. The integrated circuits are incorporated into a variety of communications products, including cellular phones, fiber optic telecom equipment, satellite communications systems, high performance data networking products and aerospace applications.

The vast majority of TriQuint's operations are focused on the mobile industry. With the world's demand for mobile data growing exponentially, the wireless industry is rapidly changing to meet this challenge and build the next generation of mobile devices and network infrastructure. As a result, TQNT has an intense focus on LTE content expansion. They seek to deliver premium filters and high-efficiency broadband amplifiers as well as enable dense RF integration with ultra small packaging. Basically it means they are making their chips smaller, more efficient, and more powerful.

Not stopping with mobile devices, TriQuint is gaining exposure in the defense and aerospace business as well. Their transition to products and away from non-strategic foundry is driving revenue and margins for them. Their top customers on the defense front include Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and the US Department of Defense. Their GaN technology offers greater power, smaller size, fewer parts, and higher efficiency then their current competition.

Bear of the Day:

Let's face it America. We've packed on a few extra pounds over the years. Maybe it's the burgers. Maybe it's the beer. Maybe I'm just lazy. It's probably all of the above. There are plenty of companies out there to help you get on the right track and lose that stubborn belly fat. Some of them do it by trying to get you back in the gym to exercise. Some want to give you a pill. And others try to get you to eat right. That's exactly what our Bear of the Day has been trying to do. Get you to eat their "Just add water" soups, shakes, and meals.

Medifast (NYSE:MED-Free Report) stock has been struggling since mid-June. The company has recently been dropped down to a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). The company is engaged in the production, distribution, and sale of consumable health and diet products. Basically these are powder packets you add water to for one of your snacks throughout the course of the day.

This varies from some other diet providers in that Medifast does not provide you with what you're supposed to scarf down for lunch. What it gives you is the sensible snacks you're supposed to constantly stoke your metabolism with throughout the course of the day. Then it gives you guidelines for what your main meal should be that day.

It sounds easy enough, doesn't it? But Medifast has struggled to impress analysts. Despite earnings surprises that average about 5 cents over the last four quarters, analysts have continued to revise their earnings estimates to the downside. Over the last 30 days analysts have dropped estimates for the current year from $1.84 per share down to $1.75 per share and for the next year down from $2.25 to $2.00. What doesn't help the stock is the fact that the industry ranks in the Bottom 25% of our Zacks Industry Rank.

The stock's chart has been a wild ride for investors over the course of the last two years. MED has whipsawed back and forth from as low as $21.75 to a high over $34 just a few short months ago. Today the stock currently trades down at the $27.11 level.

The recent sell-off from above $34 took the stock sharply under the 25 day moving average shifted by 5 days (25x5) and pushed stochastics well into oversold territory. In early July, with the stock finding a bid near $30 it looked like Medifast was going to make another run back at the highs and back above the 25x5. But the stock failed to push through upside resistance July 7th and subsequently headed lower.

Additional content:

AT&T Looks Forward to LTE-Based Media Broadcasting in 2015

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T-Free Report) is reportedly planning to introduce LTE-based media broadcasting in the US. According to media reports, the company will launch its own Multicast service in 2015, to compete with Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ-Free Report). Although no official disclosure has been made in this regard, we believe the prospective new service, which remains complementary to the company's project VIP initiative, will remain accretive to revenues and improve market share.

AT&T remains focused on its project VIP initiative, which targets business expansion. These initiatives target 4G LTE expansion, spectrum and network capabilities enhancement, 8.5 million new U-verse service customers and the addition of 57 million broadband users, covering 75% of the company's wireline footprint by the end of 2015. In addition, the company is also seeking to expand its fiber network to include 1 million additional customer locations by 2015.

This project underlines the company's efforts to meet the growing demand for high-speed Internet. We believe that this investment program will provide AT&T with a high-potential growth platform for revenues and earnings.

Moreover, to support network infrastructure, AT&T acquired 39 lower 700 MHz B Block spectrum licenses from Verizon for $1.9 billion in 2013. In Jan 2014, the company also plans to acquire 49 AWS spectrum licenses from Aloha Partners II, L.P. The licenses cover nearly 50 million people in 14 states. The transaction is expected to be completed by the second half of the year. In Dec 2013, AT&T also completed its lease transaction for 9,000 towers and sale of approximately 600 towers with Crown Castle (NYSE:CCI-Free Report) for $4.83 billion.

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About the Bull and Bear of the Day

Every day, the analysts at Zacks Equity Research select two stocks that are likely to outperform (Bull) or underperform (Bear) the markets over the next 3-6 months.

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Continuous analyst coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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