Telecom & Wireless

Verizon Is Looking to Acquire Growth: 5 Companies That May Be Targets

Comcast

This broadcasting-related stock could have solid upside potential and is on the Merrill Lynch US 1 list. Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA) is the largest U.S. provider of cable services, with over 22 million basic subscribers. It owns NBCU, which includes the NBC TV Networks, Telemundo, MSNBC, USA, SyFy, Bravo, E!, CNBC and several other cable networks, as well as Universal Films and Universal Theme Parks.

Comcast has invested in technology to build an advanced network that delivers among the fastest broadband speeds and brings customers personalized video, communications and home management offerings. Some analysts have revised their first-quarter estimates higher and also think the company could benefit from regulatory and potential tax relief.

Comcast investors receive a 1.68% dividend. Merrill Lynch has set its price target at $45. The consensus price objective is $42.61, and shares ended last week at $39.19.

Disney

This company is a top consumer media company with multiple streams of income to push revenue and is also on the Merrill Lynch US 1 list. Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) stock continues outperforming on a near-term and long-term basis. With the movie studio business poised to improve, as with accelerating theme park business, the network programming continues to drive viewership with extensive sports programming. Combining that revenue growth with the company’s solid media networks and interactive presence, and 2017 revenue estimates could be conservative.

The Disney Media Networks segment operates broadcast and cable television networks, domestic television stations and radio networks and stations, and it is involved in the television production and television distribution operations. Its cable networks include ESPN, Disney Channels and ABC Family, as well as UTV/Bindass and Hungama. This segment also owns eight domestic television stations. Disney is also one of 24/7 Wall St. top ten stocks to own for the next decade.

Disney shareholders receive a 1.36% dividend. Merrill Lynch has a $134 price target, and the consensus price objective is $119.11. The shares closed Friday at $115.60.

Dish Network

Plenty of analysts on Wall Street think the value of the company’s spectrum is significantly undervalued by the market. Dish Network Corp. (NASDAQ: DISH), through its subsidiaries, provides approximately 13.909 million pay-TV subscribers, as of Sept. 30, 2015, with the highest-quality programming and technology with the most choices at the best value. Dish offers a high-definition lineup with more than 200 national HD channels, the most international channels and award-winning HD and DVR technology.

Dish also offers its Sling TV services that require an internet connection and are available on streaming-capable devices, including TVs, tablets, computers, game consoles and smartphones, primarily to consumers who do not subscribe to traditional satellite and cable pay-TV services. Additionally, the company operates Sling International, which offers over 200 channels in 18 languages. The Sling domestic package consists of over 20 channels and tiers of programming, including sports, kids, movies, world news, lifestyle and Spanish language, and premium content, such as HBO.

Merrill Lynch rates the stock Underperform and has a $48 target. The posted consensus figure is $74.59. Shares closed last Friday at $64.44.

These five companies could all be in the sights of the Verizon management. While Charter probably has been tossed about the most in terms of takeover chatter, all these have been mentioned and could be in play.