AT&T Inc.
 (T)

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  • Wed, Feb. 3, 7:30 PM
    • Shortly after Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) confirmed it's exploring "additional strategic alternatives" while pushing ahead with a reverse spinoff of its core business, the FT reports Bain, TPG, and other P-E firms are weighing potential bids for core Yahoo. The paper adds AT&T (NYSE:T) and InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IAC) "are also believed to be examining the company."
    • Many firms are expected to make full or partial bids for core Yahoo. CFO Ken Goldman: "A number of companies have said they want to look at us, and there are a number of private equity firms that are interested in looking at us. I’m not saying that we’ve received offers ... I’m saying parties have expressed interest in us. And what we’re saying is that we’ll be open [to] that.”
    • Re/code's Kara Swisher reports Yahoo has hired well-known tech i-banker Frank Quattrone to help it explore options; Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are already on the payroll. "It is clear to us that what is happening inside is very dysfunctional," says an unnamed major investor talking to Swisher.
    • Meanwhile, with a sale effort and job cuts already expected, Yahoo fell below $28 in regular trading following its Q4 report and myriad of job cut, writedown, and strategic review announcements. Weak guidance may have weighed: Yahoo guided in its earnings slides (.pdf) for Q1 GAAP revenue of $1.05B-$1.09B and 2016 revenue of $4.4B-$4.6B, below consensus estimates of $1.14B and $4.78B.

      2016 ex-TAC revenue guidance of $3.4B-$3.6B is below 2015 ex-TAC revenue of $4.09B, which itself was below 2014's $4.4B. Non-GAAP op. income is  expected to drop to $150M-$250M from 2015's $342M and 2014's $755M.
    • Also of note: 1) $230M of Yahoo's $4.46B goodwill writedown was related to the $1.1B Tumblr acquisition. On the earnings call (transcript), Yahoo disclosed Tumblr failed to hit the company's $100M 2015 revenue target. 2) Along with everything else, Yahoo has begun exploring the sale of "non-strategic assets" such as patents and real estate. It estimates such sales could yield $1B-$3B in cash by year's end.
    • Prior Yahoo coverage
    | Wed, Feb. 3, 7:30 PM | 20 Comments
  • Tue, Feb. 2, 9:00 AM
    • January monthly performance was: -3.31%
    • AUM of $1.63B
    • 52-week performance vs. the S&P 500 is: -2%
    • $0.10 in dividends were paid in January
    • Top 10 Holdings as of 12/31/2015: Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM): 3.35%, AT&T Inc (T): 3.15%, Microsoft Corp (MSFT): 3.11%, Apple Inc (AAPL): 2.84%, Verizon Communications Inc (VZ): 2.5%, General Electric Co (GE): 2.36%, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): 2.21%, Chevron Corp (CVX): 2.2%, Wells Fargo & Co (WFC): 2.06%, Procter & Gamble Co (PG): 1.93%
    | Tue, Feb. 2, 9:00 AM
  • Mon, Feb. 1, 3:56 PM
    • With the DirecTV acquisition in the rear-view mirror and long-term video consolidation plans under way, AT&T (T +0.5%) today is reshuffling execs to address the convergence of video and mobile.
    • Ralph de la Vega, previously chief of mobile, is becoming vice chairman and taking over business and international units, while John Stankey (Internet and TV) is becoming CEO of the entertainment group, and adding mobility to his responsibilities there.
    • De la Vega will continue to run Mexico's wireless unit and will take over DirecTV's Latin American operations from Stankey, while Stankey will take over consumer aspects at the company.
    • Both men will report to CEO Randall Stephenson. Glenn Lurie, who was made chief of the mobility business in 2014, will report to Stankey.
    | Mon, Feb. 1, 3:56 PM
  • Fri, Jan. 29, 2:44 PM
    • AT&T (NYSE:T) is up 1.5% and inching close to a new 52-week high.
    • The stock's at $36.05, just a bit below its high of $36.45, set last June. Moody's has given a Baa1 rating to AT&T's new debt offering, but is retaining a negative outlook on its ratings, expecting pro forma leverage won't change materially.
    • "Moody's anticipates AT&T will require additional capital to support ongoing investments and finance its growing working capital needs," the firm writes. "The negative ratings outlook reflects the risk that AT&T is unable to return to growth within its wireless segment such that leverage is sustained below 3.0x. Merger synergies related to the DirecTV acquisition will relieve some EBITDA pressure, but ongoing weakness in wireless revenues or a large asset purchase could place additional pressure on AT&T's ratings."
    • The company's high capital intensity has worsened with the advent of handset financing, Moody's continues, and it's got weak retained cash flow by maintaining its high dividend.
    • In the earnings call Tuesday, AT&T's chief Randall Stephenson said the company wants to spend the next few years getting debt back to "comfortable" levels before any capital-structure moves like a buyback.
    • Previously: AT&T finishes mixed day as analysts weigh in on earnings (Jan. 27 2016)
    • Previously: AT&T call: Bringing debt back to comfort levels; exploring sponsored content (Jan. 26 2016)
    • Previously: DirecTV purchase boosts AT&T revenues; Business Solutions margins grow (Jan. 26 2016)
    | Fri, Jan. 29, 2:44 PM | 26 Comments
  • Fri, Jan. 29, 2:10 AM
    • Only a couple of years late, Mexico today begins a tender for a large wholesale mobile network originally planned as part of the reforms targeting the dominance of Carlos Slim's America Movil (NYSE:AMX).
    • The winner will have to create a network costing several billion dollars and covering at least 85% of the population -- about 45% of Mexicans have mobile broadband, and only 22% of mobile data goes through 4G LTE networks -- but would get cheap use of high-quality 700 MHz spectrum and a 20-year public-private partnership to build a 4G LTE network that others would rent.
    • The government has decided, however, that the winner won't be able to sublet spectrum -- a freedom that America Movil, Telefonica (NYSE:TEF) and AT&T (NYSE:T) would prefer to have.
    • Mexico will help out with costs by making sites on its buildings available for rent, but to make the venture profitable, skeptical mobile operators will need to agree to become clients on the new network.
    | Fri, Jan. 29, 2:10 AM | 3 Comments
  • Thu, Jan. 28, 7:14 PM
    • FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says that the agency's look into so-called "zero rating" -- telecom providers exempting some services (sometimes paid) from subscriber limits -- is informational, and that he hasn't attended any meetings on it yet.
    • The talks are at the bureau level, he says: "I am not at these meetings. Nobody from the office of the chairman is in these meetings. They're gathering information and we'll see what happens from there."
    • The agency has been meeting with key providers, including T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS), Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), AT&T (NYSE:T) and surely Verizon (NYSE:VZ), now that it's rolling out its "FreeBee" sponsored data solution.
    • Meanwhile, Republican Commissioners Michael O'Rielly and Ajit Pai are expressing their concerns to the "inquistors" over a procedure they see as unnecessary.
    • Despite swirling concerns over net neutrality, Wheeler has praised T-Mobile's Binge On video streaming offering as "highly innovative and highly competitive."
    • Previously: Verizon informs FCC of sponsored data plans (Jan. 20 2016)
    • Previously: FCC summoning Internet providers to talk data policies (Dec. 17 2015)
    • Previously: FCC chairman: T-Mobile video initiative 'highly competitive' (Nov. 19 2015)
    | Thu, Jan. 28, 7:14 PM
  • Wed, Jan. 27, 7:19 PM
    • AT&T (NYSE:T) closed 0.2% higher the day after some largely in-line results where both bulls and bears heard some of what they had expected to hear going into the report.
    • FBR & Co. reiterated its Market Perform rating and $38 price target, and  Jefferies Group reiterated its Buy while lowering its target to $34.61.
    • Hilliard Lyons' David Burke has a Buy rating and $38 target, but found the revenue a "disappointment." Still, the rationale for the Buy is still solid, at least for conservative income investors: "The company is now generating ongoing modest earnings growth. Last year’s earnings were $2.71 per share versus $2.56 per share in 2014. We are maintaining our 2016 estimate of $2.85 per share."
    • Meanwhile, Craig Moffett says the company will benefit all year from “lapping numbers that aren’t quite pro form, that don’t quite line up with new segment reporting, that still benefit from accounting distortions in wireless, and that have the benefit of an almost blank check of one-time revisions and adjustments.”
    • Adding back DirecTV, he says, along with adjusting for the Connecticut divestiture and leaving aside Mexico results, revenue actually fell 4.1% last quarter rather than the reported 22.1% increase. As video continues to shrink as a business, he argues, that leaves wireless, and wireless results "are not particularly compelling."
    • Previously: AT&T call: Bringing debt back to comfort levels; exploring sponsored content (Jan. 26 2016)
    • Previously: DirecTV purchase boosts AT&T revenues; Business Solutions margins grow (Jan. 26 2016)
    • Previously: AT&T -0.8% after in-line EPS, miss on revenue (Jan. 26 2016)
    | Wed, Jan. 27, 7:19 PM | 16 Comments
  • Wed, Jan. 27, 4:30 PM
    • After some lengthy talks, Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI +1.7%) has agreed to acquire the Tennis Channel for $350M.
    • The company -- the nation's biggest local broadcaster -- says it will benefit from more than $200M of net operating loss carry-forward, which Sinclair estimates to be worth about $65M in present value.
    • Sinclair had begun talks as of September with the various private-equity owners of the network, including Apollo Partners and Bain Capital Ventures, as well as smaller stakeholders DirecTV (NYSE:T) and Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH).
    • The deal includes established over-the-top subscription services, TC Plus and TV Everywhere, and the channel has rights to 90% of all televised tennis in the U.S.
    • "The Company expects 2015 pro forma operating cash flow for the contracted subscriber increases (including the additional license fees and advertising revenues resulting from such increased carriage), to be approximately $60M, the synergies of which will be phased in over 18 months, and resulting in a 2015 pro forma purchase multiple, including the present value of the NOLs, of 4.8x and approximately $0.40 of incremental cash flow per share," says Sinclair CFO Chris Ripley.
    • The company will discuss the acquisition in a conference call set for tomorrow at 9 a.m. ET.
    • Previously: WSJ: Sinclair in talks to acquire Tennis Channel (Sep. 21 2015)
    | Wed, Jan. 27, 4:30 PM | 4 Comments
  • Wed, Jan. 27, 1:09 PM
    • The FCC is planning to allow for open competition in pay-TV set-top boxes, which would open a new front against multichannel providers for hardware makers including Apple and Alphabet as well as TiVo.
    • A document shows that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler plans a proposal that would see a Feb. 18 vote, to open up a market where Americans spend $20B a year to lease equipment from their providers -- an average of $231/year.
    • The proposal also looks to prevent pay TV providers from using security systems to prevent competition. An industry trade group opposes competition in the device market, saying it wouldn't provide new programming or lower TV bills.
    • The entry of Apple and Google could mean that traditional set-top functions are provided by a tablet instead.
    • Set-top box rental fees have jumped 185% since 1994, the FCC's document says, while the cost of TVs, computers and mobile phones has fallen 90% in that time frame.
    • Updated 1:11 p.m.: FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler tweets: "It is time for us to unlock the set-top box market, as we did w/ Ma Bell phones & devices on wireless networks."
    • Pay TV players: CMCSA, TWC, CHTR, CVC/OTCPK:ATCEY, T, DISH, VZ, FTR, CTL
    | Wed, Jan. 27, 1:09 PM | 25 Comments
  • Tue, Jan. 26, 6:01 PM
    • AT&T (T; now down 2.1% after hours) guided to capital spending of about $22B for 2016, and in its Q4 earnings call, CEO Randall Stephenson and CFO John Stephens indicated the company had some work cut out keeping merger integration on track along with other commitments.
    • "Over the next few years we want to get our debt levels back to where we're comfortable" before talking about a share buyback of any magnitude, Stephenson said, though Stephens noted a key priority: "We're gonna pay our dividends." As for the upcoming spectrum auction, Stephenson was noncommittal but "I haven't been bashful" about grabbing an opportunity for a 2x10 block if it were there, for example.
    • When it comes to sponsored data -- very much in the wireless conversation, with Verizon introducing its "FreeBee" program and T-Mobile pushing "Binge On" video streaming -- Stephenson said not to be surprised by AT&T's moves there: "We think we have the best premium set of content available to anybody anywhere ... If you think about the most premium set of content ... sports programming, binge programming that has stacking rights, movie rights ... you'd have to assume that sponsored data would be a part of how our customers would take advantage of this kind of content library."
    • As for the DirecTV merger, the execs believe there's more benefits ahead. "We are early in the process," Stephenson says. "The sales channel is just starting to get their legs underneath them in terms of how to attach satellite to mobility." They expect to get to about $1.5B in run-rate synergies by the end of the year, coming through the Entertainment Group, as margins improve.
    • Previously: DirecTV purchase boosts AT&T revenues; Business Solutions margins grow (Jan. 26 2016)
    • Previously: AT&T -0.8% after in-line EPS, miss on revenue (Jan. 26 2016)
    | Tue, Jan. 26, 6:01 PM | 5 Comments
  • Tue, Jan. 26, 4:32 PM
    • AT&T's (NYSE:T) revenues grew substantially with help from the DirecTV acquisition, which boosted segment revenues 132%. Shares are now down 1.5% after hours.
    • Revenue breakout: Business Solutions, $18.2B (down 2.7%); Entertainment Group, $12.99B (up 132%); Consumer Mobility, $8.75B (down 8.1%); International, $1.85B (new); Corporate and other, $313M.
    • Margins grew in Business Solutions as the segment became the company's largest. EBITDA margin of 34.2% was up 360 basis points from the prior year. Strategic business services revenues were up 10.3%.
    • In the Entertainment Group, the company posted 214K U.S. satellite net adds. Total video subscribers were down 26K; while IP broadband net adds were 192K.
    • Conference call live at 4:30 p.m. ET
    • Full results
    • Press release
    • Previously: AT&T -0.8% after in-line EPS, miss on revenue (Jan. 26 2016)
    | Tue, Jan. 26, 4:32 PM | 3 Comments
  • Tue, Jan. 26, 4:17 PM
    • AT&T (T +1.1%) is down 0.8% after hours following after a Q4 report where revenue missed expectations, though profits came in as expected and the company added U.S. wireless subscribers in every category.
    • EPS rose 12.5% Y/Y, and the company's posted its best ever wireless service EBITDA margins for the quarter and full year.
    • It added 1.6M branded postpaid net subscribers. Overall wireless net adds were 2.8M; U.S. wireless adds came to 2.2M, with gains in every category. Postpaid churn of 1.18% vs. total churn of 1.5% (down Y/Y).
    • Cash from operations was $9.2B, with free cash flow of $3.1B. Capital investment came to $20.7B for the year.
    • For 2016, the company's guiding to double-digit growth in consolidate revenues and EPS growth in the mid-single digits or better. Capital spending is expected to be in the $22B range.
    • Conference call to come at 4:30 p.m. ET.
    • Press release
    | Tue, Jan. 26, 4:17 PM | 10 Comments
  • Tue, Jan. 26, 4:03 PM
    • AT&T (NYSE:T): Q4 EPS of $0.63 in-line.
    • Revenue of $42.1B (+22.2% Y/Y) misses by $650M.
    • Press Release
    | Tue, Jan. 26, 4:03 PM | 39 Comments
  • Mon, Jan. 25, 5:35 PM
    | Mon, Jan. 25, 5:35 PM | 55 Comments
  • Fri, Jan. 22, 5:51 PM
    • AT&T (T +1.7%) says it's expecting to record a gain of $2.2B in Q4, related to its annual remeasurement of pension and post-employment benefit plans.
    • Assumed discount rates rose to 4.6% for the pension obligation and 4.5% for post-retirement obligations, and the company updated other assumptions including mortality, and changes to demographics.
    • The gain is partly offset by adjustments related to asset returns less than the company's assumed rated of return, so it says the gain won't affect segment operating results or margins.
    | Fri, Jan. 22, 5:51 PM | 28 Comments
  • Wed, Jan. 20, 8:21 PM
    • Vodafone (VOD -2.1%) looks to be moving ahead with a public offering of its India wireless business -- a deal that could be a gateway to asset spinoffs or even more merger talk.
    • Heavy chatter about a merger with Liberty Global (LBTYA -1.5%) covered much of last year, though it pivoted to more modest talk of asset swaps in Europe before even those discussions were called off. A New Year's Eve report posited that merger talks were back on.
    • AT&T (T -1.7%) is said to be a prospective merger partner too, now that its acquisition of DirecTV is settled.
    • Vodafone still has a tax issue to sort out with India, and it could use a March spectrum auction to fill out local markets for 4G service. And then: "Statements made by Group CEO Vittorio Colao make us believe a listing in 2016 is not only possible ... but probable — especially as we expect outstanding tax cases to finally get resolved and missing 4G spectrum gaps filled," says Bernstein's Chris Lane.
    | Wed, Jan. 20, 8:21 PM | 7 Comments
Company Description
AT&T Inc, through its subsidiaries and affiliates, provides wireless and wireline telecommunications services in the United States and internationally. The Company has three reportable segments: Wireless, Wireline, and Other.