For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – August 27, 2009 – 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: United Heathcare Group (UNH), Aetna (AET), Wet Seal Inc. (WTSLA), VeriSign Inc. (VRSN) and Syniverse Holdings Inc. (SVR).

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Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

CBO Overstates Healthcare Costs

Some of the more outrageous types of misconduct by the likes of United Heathcare Group (UNH) and Aetna (AET) might be curbed, such as the cancelling of policies as soon as someone gets sick and puts in a substantial claim. Morally, that is just plain fraud (“You didn’t tell us that you went to see a dermatologist for your acne when you were 16, so we will not cover your cancer treatment at age 55”), although the insurance companies have very good lawyers who write the contracts to make sure they can get away with it.

It might even end the practice of discriminating against sick people (aka pre-existing conditions). It will come at the expense of using the force of law to get the young and the healthy to buy coverage. Since the young, on average, seldom make expensive claims, those customers would be a gold mine for the insurance companies.

None of those things are likely to stop the relentless rise in Health Care costs as a share of GDP. The nation may go bankrupt, but the health insurance companies will not. They will be even more prosperous than they are today. Their investment in people like Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) and Kent Conrad (D-ND) has to go down as one of the most profitable in history.

Wet Seal Reports Modest Results

Wet Seal Inc. (WTSLA) reported modest results for the second quarter with earnings of 3 cents per share, which was in-line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, earnings were down 9 cents year-over-year. Wet Seal is a specialty retailer, operating apparel and accessory items stores for female customers in the U.S.

Net sales for the quarter declined 8.5% year-over-year to $136.4 million. However, Internet sales grew 12.7% year-over-year. Overall comparable same-store sales declined 10.6%. Comparable same-store sales in the Wet Seal segment declined 11.9%, and at the Arden B segment it declined 4.1% year-over-year.

VeriSign Divests Messaging Biz

VeriSign Inc. (VRSN) yesterday agreed to sell its messaging business to Syniverse Holdings Inc. (SVR) for $175 million. The transaction is subject to certain closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

Headquartered in Mountain View, California, VeriSign provides essential Internet infrastructure services to companies, service providers and website owners.

Tampa, Florida-based Syniverse provides wireless voice and data services for telecommunications companies worldwide. The company said that the deal will expand its mobile messaging capabilities and increase its global footprint through nearly 300 additional employees in the United States and Asia Pacific.

The messaging business has had an annual revenue run-rate of approximately $140 million over the last 12 months. With this divestiture, VeriSign will be left with only one of its thirteen businesses to divest. From November 2007 to date, the company has sold twelve non-core units for $750 million. The business which remains to be sold is Global Security Consulting.

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