The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: UnitedHealth Group, Accenture, Nokia, Siemens and IBM

CHICAGO, Oct. 3, 2012 /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 UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH), Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN), Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK), Siemens AG (NYSE:SI) and IBM Corp. (NYSE:IBM).


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Here are highlights from Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

UNH Discloses 2013 Medicare Plans

UnitedHealthcare – the health benefits segment ofUnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) – has come out with its Medicare portfolio for 2013. It has also disclosed a low-cost Part-D Plan as well as its preferred pharmacy network, which will enable its Medicare consumers to achieve greater cost benefits. The company offers its Medicare plans under the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) brand.

UnitedHealth has devised its plan in such a way that it attracts baby boomers who have already became eligible for Medicare last year, and also provide better service to its current 49 million beneficiaries. The company's Medicare products are also planned to offer stability, value and reliability to its more than 10 million plan participants.

Current Medicare beneficiaries have the option to make changes to their current health plans during the Open Enrollment Period, which will start from October 15, 2012.

UnitedHealthcare will launch the AARP MedicareRx Saver Plus (PDP) plan. The new plan with $15 premium will be the lowest lowest-cost Part D prescription drug plan and will enable consumers to save on both their monthly premium as well as on their prescription copays.

Accenture Boosts Video Capabilities

Management technology outsourcing and consulting service provider, Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN) recently took over certain Internet Protocol television (IPTV) assets of Nokia Siemens Networks for an undisclosed amount. Nokia Siemens Networks is a 50-50 joint venture between Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) and Siemens AG (NYSE:SI). The assets of its IPTV business include software and intellectual properties.

The IPTV assets were expected to solidify Accenture's Video Solution, which is a software platform facilitating seamless and cost-effective distribution of web-based video services.

Accenture expects to easily integrate the IPTV software business into its existing video services suite. The combined technology is then expected to deliver enhanced video and TV services through the IP network. The services can be accessed from any network connection and viewed using various devices such as smartphones, tablets, PCs and TVs. Users can also pause and record a program.

All things considered, the solution should be of immense value for the telecom, video content and online entertainment services providers that can enhance the web-based content viewing experience for their respective customers.

Accenture has years of experience in delivering video solutions. We believe that with a revamped portfolio, Accenture will be able to acquire newer customers while proving its excellence in the arena going forward.

Accenture seems to be on an acquisition spree. In August, the company acquired Singapore-based distributor management and mobility software company NewsPage Pte Ltd. and Octagon Research Solutions Inc., a reputed software solutions provider for the life sciences sector.

We are encouraged by Accenture's strategy of growing through acquisitions. However, increasing competition from IBM Corp. (NYSE:IBM), a strained spending environment and Accenture's broad European exposure (roughly 40.0%) may temper its growth prospects to some extent.

Currently, Accenture has a Zacks #2 Rank (short-term Buy rating), which has been driven by upward revisions to analyst estimates.

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