The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: China Mobile, China Unicom Hong Kong, Apple, China Telecom and Weibo

CHICAGO, April 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 China Mobile Limited (NYSE:CHL-Free Report), China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd. (NYSE:CHU-Free Report), Apple Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL-Free Report), China Telecom Corporation Ltd. (NYSE:CHA-Free Report) and Weibo Corp. (Nasdaq:WB-Free Report).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

China Stock Roundup

On Monday, markets continued their slide with the benchmark index posting its largest decline in more than a month. This was primarily an outcome of apprehensions that new share sales would drag away funds from older stocks. Last week, IPO prospectuses for 28 companies had been posted by the China Securities Regulatory Commission on its website during the preceding week.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.5% while the CSI 300 moved down 1.7%. According to the China Business News, regulators would begin examining IPO plans this week. Meanwhile the Economic Information Daily said preferred shares worth around 370 billion yuan ($59 billion) would be issued by banks.

The Shanghai Composite Index gained for the first time in four days, moving up 0.3% on Tuesday. Gains were largely a result of a rally in financial and phone stocks, which negated losses in technology shares.

However, the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index moved down 0.4% following the resumption of trading after holidays. The CSI 300 gained 0.4% while the Bloomberg China-US 55 Index declined 0.3%.

Stocks declined once again on Wednesday after an index of manufacturing indicated a contraction in the economy. Apprehensions that new share sales would move funds away from existing stocks continued to haunt the markets.

The preliminary reading of the HSBC Flash PMI came in at 48.3 in April, in line with analysts' estimates. However, this is below 50, which separates sector expansion and contraction. Meanwhile, the Chinese Securities Regulatory Commission posted 19 more IPO prospectuses on its website on Tuesday bring the total number posted since January to 65.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.3% while the CSI 300 fell 0.1%. Meanwhile the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index declined 1.3% while the Bloomberg China-US 55 Index gained 0.8%.

Concerns over new share sales finally dragged markets to a three-week low today. Technology and small-cap stocks suffered maximum losses.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government continued to announce new measures to stimulate growth. The government will now allow private investment in 60 projects in sectors primarily controlled by state owned companies. A statement released on Wednesday indicates these projects would include clean energy, sports and railways.

The Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.5% while the CSI 300 lost 0.2%. The Bloomberg China-US 55 Index also declined, by 1.7% while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index gained 0.2%.

Stocks in the News

China Mobile Limited (NYSE:CHL-Free Report), the world's largest mobile operator by subscriber base, announced the results for full-year 2013 with adjusted net income of RMB 121.69 billion ($19.65 billion) that fell 5.9% year over year owing to higher infrastructure cost and stiff competition. The reduction in earnings affected the stock price as it declined 6.23% after market close on NYSE on Thursday.

In 2013, total revenue climbed 8.3% year over year to RMB 630.17 billion ($101.77 billion). Telecommunication service revenues, comprising roughly 93.75% of total revenue, were RMB 590.81 billion ($95.41 billion), up 5.4% year over year. Steady revenue growth was attributable to rapid growth of wireless data revenue, which was up by a massive 58.6%. EBITDA came in at RMB 240.43 billion ($38.83 billion), down 5.2% from the prior year.

China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd. (NYSE:CHU-Free Report), China's second largest mobile operator, announced results for first-quarter 2014 with adjusted net income of RMB 3.302 billion ($539.5 million) that surged 73.8% year over year on strong revenue growth and higher adoption of the 3G plan. Earnings per share soared 75% year over year to RMB 0.14 (2 cents).

Total revenue (excluding deferred fixed-line upfront connection fee) climbed 8.3% year over year to RMB 76.5 billion ($12.5 billion) in the first quarter. China Unicom no longer has the exclusive right to distribute Apple Inc.'s (Nasdaq:AAPL-Free Report) iPhones to China Telecom Corporation Ltd. (NYSE:CHA-Free Report). In spite of that, total revenue from the mobile business increased 15.4% year over year to RMB 40.68 billion ($6.7 billion).

Weibo Corp. (Nasdaq:WB-Free Report), a Chinese language micro-blogging platform launched its IPO on the Nasdaq, last Friday. The company garnered a lower-than-expected sum of $286 million after it reduced the size of its US IPO. This follows the continuing decline in technology shares and apprehensions about a reduction in the rate of growth of users.

Earlier, Weibo Corp had filed an amended F-1, under which it offered 20 million American Depositary Shares (ADS) at a price range of $17.00 to $19.00. At the mid-point of the price range, Weibo expected to raise $360.0 million.

However, the recent slump in the markets had forced the company to offer shares at the lower end of the band according to sources. The company has also sold a lower number of shares, only 16.8 million, to reduce dilution.

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

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