For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – November 12, 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: Vodafone Group Plc (VOD), Telefonica (TEF), Deutsche Telekom (DT), France Telecom (FTE) and Verizon (VZ).

Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit from the Pros newsletter:

Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Vodafone Profit Leaps, Lifts Savings

Vodafone Group Plc (VOD), the largest wireless carrier in the world by revenue, has announced interim results for fiscal year 2010 with adjusted net income of £4.58 billion (US$7.3 billion) increasing 15% year over year from £3.99 billion (US$6.4 billion) reported a year ago, driven by favorable exchange rate movements and reduced tax. Adjusted earnings exclude one-time items such as impairment losses.

The telecom giant reported consolidated revenues of £21.8 billion (US$34.8 billion) for the period, representing a 9.3% year over year growth. Favorable exchange rate (euro-sterling) swings and net impact of merger and acquisition initiatives contributed to this growth. Excluding these impacts (organic basis), revenue declined 3% year over year.

Group service revenue declined 2.6% year over year on an organic basis to £20.5 billion (US$32.7 billion), primarily due to weaker contributions from European markets as recessionary conditions curbed demand for wireless services. Adjusted EBITDA increased 2.9% year over year to £7.5 billion (US$12 billion) driven by cost control.

Revenues for the European segment increased 3% year over year (down 5.1% on organic basis) to £14.9 billion (US$23.8 billion). Service revenue in Europe declined 4.5% organically as growth in Italy and the Netherlands was more than offset by decreases across Spain, Germany and the UK due to a weaker economy, regulatory pressure and intense competition.

Decline in voice revenue continues to offset growth in data. Revenue in Germany and the UK remains under pressure due to mobile termination rate (inter-operator fees) cuts. Vodafone is also losing customers in the UK as subscribers switch to its major rival Telefonica’s (TEF) O2 which is marketing iPhone in the UK.

Moreover, Deutsche Telekom (DT) and France Telecom (FTE) have recently finalized an agreement to combine their UK units, which will create the largest mobile carrier in the UK.

This segment posted revenues of £3.7 billion (US$5.9 billion), up 36% year over year. Organically, service revenue fell 3.2% as consistent growth at Vodacom (South Africa) and increase in subscriber count were partly offset by weak contributions from Romania and Turkey. Service revenue at Vodacom increased 4.2% on an organic basis as a result of healthy subscriber accretion.

Asia Pacific & Middle East segment continues to perform in line with expectation. Revenue surged 15.9% year over year (11.3% organically) to £3.1 billion (US$4.9 billion), driven by continued strong growth in India , the single biggest contributor to organic revenue growth. Service revenue in India increased 20.5% organically boosted by roughly 55% growth in wireless customer base amid intense price competition.

During the six-month period, Vodafone registered roughly 20.6 million net new mobile connections across its operations, bringing the total subscriber base to 323.3 million (83.5% represented by prepaid). India continues to be a key driver for subscriber growth with a net addition of 14 million customers in the first six months of fiscal 2010.

In Europe, the company registered a net loss of 262,000 subscribers during the half-year period. Verizon’s (VZ) mobile unit, Verizon Wireless, in which Vodafone holds a 45% stake, however, posted a net addition of 1.1 million customers.

Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the Pros newsletter:

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous 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.

Zacks “Profit from the Pros” e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today:

About Zacks is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leonard Zacks. As a PhD in mathematics Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it’s your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at

Visit for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Follow us on Twitter:

Join us on Facebook:

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Mark Vickery
Web Content Editor



Zacks Investment Research