Nov. 30, 2015, 10:19 AM
- Israeli telecom Partner Communications (NASDAQ:PTNR) is off 2.6% in early going after it acknowledged receiving two lawsuits that plaintiffs are pursuing as class actions against it and its subsidiary 012 Smile.
- The suits charge the companies with requiring customers to purchase specialized equipment to get fixed-line phones to work that's not in accordance with the provision of their licenses.
- If recognized as class actions, the claims against Partner and 012 Smile will be for 116M shekels and 64M shekels respectively -- 180M shekels total, or about $46.5M.
Nov. 11, 2015, 10:07 AM
- Partner Communications (PTNR +0.1%) closed down 0.5% in Tel Aviv today after posting a net loss in Q3 on revenues that fell 9% amid "continued price erosion" in Israel's wireless market.
- The loss reflects "on the one hand, the intense competition in the cellular market over the last few years which has led to significant erosion in revenues in a relatively short period of time, and on the other hand, our limited ability to cut costs further," says CEO Isaac Benbenisti.
- Revenue by segment: Cellular, NIS821M (down 6%); Fixed-line, $237M (down 16%).
- The company's cellular subscriber base fell by about 5%, to 2.74M. Postpaid phone subscribers rose by 24,000; prepaid subscribers fell 32,000.
- Cellular average revenue per user was NIS 71 (about $18), down 7% Y/Y. Free cash flow was NIS291M (about $74M), up 160%.
- Conference call link
Nov. 11, 2015, 2:16 AM
- Partner Communication (NASDAQ:PTNR): Q3 EPS of -NIS0.06
- Revenue of NIS1B (-9.1% Y/Y)
Nov. 5, 2015, 1:32 AM
- Amid mixed signals from Israel's government over the benefits of telecom consolidation, Cellcom Israel (NYSE:CEL) has announced an agreement to buy Golan Telecom for 1.17B shekels (about $300.7M).
- That deal means an enterprise value of about 1B shekels for Golan and an EV/EBITDA multiple of about 5, Cellcom says. For the first half of 2015, Golan had revenues of 243M shekels, an EBITDA of 37M shekels, and net profit of 2M shekels.
- It intends to operate lower-price brand Golan as an independent company, and finance the price through equity and debt (perhaps including a rights offering). "We currently expect that in addition to the NIS 400 million convertible note, we would issue approximately NIS 200 million of equity and the remainder from internal sources and a debt financing," the company said.
- Last week, Israeli telecoms rallied as the director general of the country's Ministry of Communications, Shlomo Filber, said that too much competition had made prices too low: "I don’t see a problem with Cellcom, Partner (NASDAQ:PTNR) or Bezeq (OTCPK:BZQIY) buying Golan if they want ... The market will continue to be competitive even with four main players and other niche players."
- That was before other ministers suggested they may be opposed to market consolidation. Cellcom had announced its intention to consider a transaction like this in a 6-K filed in August.
- Previously: Israeli telecoms give back gains on more government consolidation talk (Oct. 27 2015)
- Previously: Israeli telecoms rally as regulator suggests competition too heavy (Oct. 26 2015)
Oct. 27, 2015, 11:52 AM
- After a day of gains fueled by comments from Israel's top communications minister, the country's top telecoms are selling off today as other government officials signaled their opposition to consolidation.
- Partner Communications (PTNR -3.3%) and Cellcom Israel (CEL -2.4%) were both lower after gaining more than 3.6% yesterday.
- While the ministry's director general, Shlomo Filber, said yesterday that “I don’t see a problem with Cellcom, Partner or Bezeq buying Golan if they want," other government officials (including the finance ministry) oppose a Golan deal and Filber agreed to convey that opposition to Golan.
- Partner said that most business was approved at its annual general meeting, including terms for CEO Isaac Benbenisti, board re-elections and compensation and the company's auditor, though shareholders voted down severance terms for former CEO Haim Romano.
- Previously: Israeli telecoms rally as regulator suggests competition too heavy (Oct. 26 2015)
Oct. 26, 2015, 11:29 AM
- Israeli telecoms are sharply higher after the director general of the country's Ministry of Communications suggested that competition has driven prices too low, and that there should be fewer operators in the space.
- Partner Communications (NASDAQ:PTNR) is up 4.9% in U.S. trading, while rival Cellcom (NYSE:CEL) is up 2.5%.
- “The market has lost its correct balance regarding price,” Shlomo Filber told Bloomberg, suggesting a departure from the competition-heavier approach of the past two communications chiefs. The 35-shekel (about $9) price of a monthly line isn't economical, he says, compared with OECD prices of 86 shekels (just over $22).
- He also signaled no opposition to consolidation: “I don’t see a problem with Cellcom, Partner or Bezeq (OTCPK:BZQIY) buying Golan if they want ... The market will continue to be competitive even with four main players and other niche players, with rational prices that will enable reasonable profitability and infrastructure investment.”
- Also up in Israeli communications: IGLD +3.9%; BCOM +0.9%.
Oct. 21, 2015, 9:04 AM
- Israel's Partner Communications (NASDAQ:PTNR) says its board has adopted a plan to buy back Series B, C, and E notes, up to 250M shekels ($64.6M).
- The company can buy back notes via the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange or in private transactions, until Oct. 19 of next year.
- Any notes the company buys will be canceled and removed from trading.
Sep. 9, 2015, 10:08 AM
- Israeli telecom Partner Communications (PTNR -0.7%) has named Yuval Keinan its deputy CEO, beginning at the start of 2016.
- Keinan most recently was CTO at rival Bezeq (OTCPK:BZQIY) for eight years, following three years as VP of its Technology division.
- Keinan has proven experience in fixed-line communications, telephony, IT and the business realms in the telecommunications field, said Partner CEO Isaac Benbenisti of the hire.
Aug. 27, 2015, 11:04 AM
- Cellcom Israel (NYSE:CEL) is off 2.5% in U.S. trading after it announced its initial review of a possible purchase of some or all of Golan Telecom, a rival that put itself on the block.
- Bank Rothschild, representing Golan Telecom shareholders, has invited offers for the company -- a move that is likely to remove a party from the hotly competitive Israeli wireless market, and result in service price increases.
- ADRs of peer Partner Communications (NASDAQ:PTNR) are 4.1% lower, and Bezeq (OTCPK:BZQIY) is down 3.4% in OTC trading.
- Earlier, Cellcom closed down 4.7% in Tel Aviv; Partner closed down 5.3%.
- Previously: Israeli telecoms up as former disrupter Golan Telecom hires bank to explore sale (Aug. 26 2015)
Aug. 26, 2015, 10:37 AM
- Israeli telecoms are surging today, as Golan Telecom -- a splashy entrant into the market that spurred fierce price cuts from competitors -- says it's hired a bank to explore selling itself.
- A sale would take some time but likely then mean price hikes from competitors. Cellcom (CEL +16.1%), Partner Communications (PTNR +12.3%) and Bezeq (OTCPK:BZQIY +0.6%) were all up in Tel Aviv and U.S. trading.
- Golan has 850K subscribers, about a third of that of market leader Cellcom.
Aug. 26, 2015, 9:34 AM
- Cellcom Israel (NYSE:CEL) has opened up 19.9% after sealing an agreement with an Israeli bank for a deferred loan of NIS 140M (about $35.7M), to be provided to Cellcom in December 2016.
- The loan will bear a fixed interest rate of 4.9%, with principal payable in five equal payments on June 30 each year between 2018 and 2022.
- In the deal's covenants, the interest rate could be adjusted in some cases, and Cellcom is on the hook for a commitment fee until the loan is taken.
- Also up: rival Partner Communications (PTNR +14.7%).
Aug. 25, 2015, 9:27 AM
- Cellcom Israel (NYSE:CEL) is up 7.6% premarket in U.S. trading, benefiting from a Tel Aviv stock exchange that is up along with the rest of Europe, +3% (with Israel's hard-hit big banks rebounding strongly today).
- Peer Partner Communications (NASDAQ:PTNR) is inactive in U.S. trading, but also up 4.1% in Tel Aviv. Bezeq (OTCPK:BZQIY) is up 4.5% in Israel as well.
- Cellcom shares are down 34% YTD, but over the past three months are up more than 40%.
Aug. 17, 2015, 10:08 AM
- Cellcom Israel (CEL +13.5%) and peer Partner Communications (PTNR +9.7%) are both up heavily, continuing a Sunday rally in Tel Aviv for telecom stocks.
- B Communications (NASDAQ:BCOM), owner of incumbent Israel landline provider Bezeq, is up 1.7% in light U.S. trading as well.
- Cellcom has set its proxy statement for an annual general meeting to come Oct. 7. Along with director re-election and reappointing its auditor, the company will consider a grant of 525K options to CEO Nir Sztern (at exercise prise of $6.68). Shares are trading currently at $7.07.
- The company also disclosed beneficial owners of more than 5% of its shares: DiscDiscount Investment Corp. (subsidiary of IDB), with 45.2%, and Psagot Investment House, with 6.7%. Directors and executive officers as a group held 0.22%.
Aug. 12, 2015, 9:58 AM
- Partner Communications (NASDAQ:PTNR) is 0.7% lower after a Q2 report where it beat expectations on top and bottom lines but pointed to an expected loss in Q3 from employee retirement plan costs and "continued intense competition."
- Profits fell 80% and the subscriber base dipped 6%, to 2.75M, at quarter's end.
- Revenue breakout: Service revenues, NIS 757M (down 12%); Equipment revenues, NIS 287M (up 28%). Of service revenues, NIS 581M were cellular segment (down 13%) and NIS 226M fixed-line (down 9%). In Equipment revenues, the vast majority (NIS 271M, up 24%) were cellular.
- In cellular, churn rate declined to 10.9%, down from the prior year's 11.4% and last quarter's 12.7%. Cellular ARPU came to NIS 70, up from Q1's 69, reflecting some seasonal roaming revenues.
- CEO Isaac Benbenisti said as part of the company's new framework with Orange, it's received an initial payment of €15M. It is conducting a market study regarding use of the Orange brand, "aimed at assessing our position within the dynamics of the Israeli telecommunications services marketplace, while examining all of the Company's options."
- The company is expecting a one-time charge of NIS 35M in Q3 related to its new labor agreements with Histadrut. The number of full-time employees is expected to drop by about 350 over the next few months.
- Conference call beginning now, at 10 a.m. ET.
Aug. 12, 2015, 4:06 AM
- Partner Communication (NASDAQ:PTNR): Q2 EPS of NIS0.06
- Revenue of NIS1.05B (-3.7% Y/Y)
Aug. 10, 2015, 12:32 PM
- In Israel wireless market news, Pelephone (OTCPK:BZQIY +3.1%) says its license has been amended to include providing LTE service, and it's been awarded dedicated frequencies to do so as part of Israel's tender.
- Earlier, Partner Communications (PTNR +5%) highlighted its receipt of 5 MHz from the 4G tender that will allow it to improve data performance. The company has 1,400 4G sites already active.
- Cellcom (NYSE:CEL) is up 5.3% as well. In January, it had received 3 MHz in the 1800 MHz band.
Partner Communications Co. Ltd. engages in the provision of communication services under the Orange and 012 Smile brands. It operates through the Cellular and Fixed-line segments. The Cellular segment offers cellular communication services such as airtime calls, international call, messaging,... More
Industry: Wireless Communications
Other News & PR