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AT&T Inc. (T)

  • Wed, Oct. 21, 3:38 PM
    • AT&T (NYSE:T) shares -- up in the morning and flat at midday -- slipped 0.7% as the company says the consensus estimates for its Q3 are "inflated," according to Dow Jones.
    • The company's point is that analysts are including DirecTV for the full month of July, while it will only report results from the satellite acquisition since July 25.
    • Capital IQ consensus is expecting EPS of $0.68 on revenues of $40.39B for the quarter.
    • The company is set to release earnings after the close tomorrow, with a 4:30 p.m. ET conference call scheduled.
    • Updated: From AT&T's statement -- “Under GAAP we are only allowed to include revenue beginning July 25 so current consolidated revenue consensus estimates are inflated ... This is a one-time variance as analysts sort through some of the normal modeling of an acquisition ... It is clear many revenue estimates for DirecTV include the full month of July."
    • Previously: Ahead of earnings, AT&T sets reporting segments, Venezuela writedown (Oct. 15 2015)
    • Previously: AT&T details closure of DirecTV deal (Jul. 24 2015)
    | Wed, Oct. 21, 3:38 PM | 46 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 21, 11:11 AM
    • Starwood Hotels & Resorts has named DirecTV (NYSE:T) its preferred video/audio provider in the U.S., upgrading its rooms with new HD channels and access to the carrier's NFL Sunday Ticket programming.
    • The deal's another hotel score for DirecTV -- now part of AT&T -- following a deal last year to provide TV to Hilton Hotels.
    • The company's Sheraton hotels will upgrade HDTVs starting today.
    • Starwood has 1,200 properties in about 100 countries, including the W, Westin, Sheraton, and Le Meridien brands.
    | Wed, Oct. 21, 11:11 AM | 2 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 20, 10:55 AM
    • AT&T (T +0.6%) and the Communications Workers of America have come to a tentative deal in contract negotiations over southeast wireline operations, the company says.
    • That breakthrough comes along with other agreement on terms on AT&T Billing Southeast and Southeast Utility Operations.
    • The deals, which cover about 24,000 employees across nine states, will be submitted to the union members for ratification soon.
    | Tue, Oct. 20, 10:55 AM | 3 Comments
  • Fri, Oct. 16, 7:02 PM
    • Customer dissatisfaction with copper-based broadband is a threat for firms like AT&T (NYSE:T) and CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL), Morgan Stanley says, noting a ripe opportunity for cable companies.
    • Though cable firms (CMCSA, CHTR, TWC, Cox) dominate broadband already, there's upside for them if they target providers of DSL, IPTV and even satellite broadcasters like DirecTV and Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) which resell DSL service.
    • The conclusions are based on Morgan Stanley's August-September survey of homes on broadband and TV services.
    • Cable customers got faster speeds on average -- 38 Mbps, vs. 21 Mbps for DSL -- and "U-verse and AT&T DSL had especially weak satisfaction results, and satellite pay-TV subscribers' broadband satisfaction fell materially year over year."
    • Meanwhile, FiOS (NYSE:VZ) customers were happier and saw nearly 30 Mbps service on average.
    | Fri, Oct. 16, 7:02 PM | 18 Comments
  • Fri, Oct. 16, 5:18 PM
    • In a 8-K filing, DirecTV (NYSE:T) says it concluded today that it needed to restate financials for the quarter ended June 30, as they can no longer be relied upon.
    • The move is tied to the revaluation of Venezuelan assets that AT&T is undertaking, resulting in an effective writeoff of $1.1B in assets.
    • With Venezuela's currency plunging, AT&T elected to revalue the assets at the so-called Simadi rate (197.7 bolivars to the dollar on June 30) rather than the Sicad rate of 12.8 bolivars/dollar.
    • DirecTV's restated financials will incorporate a pretax charge for $1.1B for impairment of the assets.
    • Previously: Ahead of earnings, AT&T sets reporting segments, Venezuela writedown (Oct. 15 2015)
    • Previously: AT&T may take $1.1B charge on DirecTV in Venezuela (Sep. 29 2015)
    | Fri, Oct. 16, 5:18 PM | 4 Comments
  • Fri, Oct. 16, 5:07 PM
    • The FCC is probing four companies -- AT&T (T +1%), Verizon (VZ +0.1%), CenturyLink (CTL -0.7%) and Frontier Communications (FTR -1.9%) -- over terms they set for business broadband, the dedicated mission-critical lines that make everything from schools to ATMs work.
    • That's a $20B market, and competitors including Sprint (NYSE:S), Level 3 (NYSE:LVLT) and Cogent (NASDAQ:CCOI), along with and others, are complaining about unfair lock-ups with large early termination fees.
    • The FCC has found "potentially unjust and unreasonable practices" that rise to the level of an investigation. It says the four companies it's probing use plans with “a complicated web of all-or-nothing bundling, loyalty and term commitments, complex enforcing penalties” and other provisions, and asked them to respond by Dec. 18.
    • In a mailed statement, industry group USTelecom (of which the four companies are members) says the investigation is a "rear-view mirror" approach. “Although the FCC says that it wants to be a data-driven agency, promote facilities-based competition, and incent broadband investment, it just can’t seem to get beyond its telephone-era mindset when it comes to regulating 20th century legacy services," says USTelecom President Walter McCormick.
    | Fri, Oct. 16, 5:07 PM | 31 Comments
  • Fri, Oct. 16, 10:33 AM
    • A review of U.S. wireless operators has Nomura making AT&T (T +0.9%) and T-Mobile (TMUS +2.1%) its top picks, with a more subdued outlook on Verizon (VZ, flat) and Sprint (S -1.1%).
    • The firm has Buy ratings on T and TMUS, and is Neutral on VZ and S.
    • The companies' reactions to a modest growth future vary widely, says Jeffrey Kvaal. Verizon and AT&T are taking two radically different paths into video, while Sprint and T-Mobile go after share gain -- helped by the fact that the incumbents are unlikely to lower their prices.
    • DirecTV synergies should more than offset some share loss at AT&T, and the firm faces modest video subscriber erosion, he says. Meanwhile, T-Mobile should be able to maintain share gains and EBITDA expansion with its aggressive approach.
    • As for Verizon, "visibility beyond a sideways 2016 is limited," and Sprint continues to face a balance sheet strain though its improving network and pricing models have put it "on the brink of a true revival story."
    • Price targets: For AT&T, $39 (closed yesterday at $33.49, 16.5% implied upside); for T-Mobile, $48 (closed yesterday at $39.94, 20% implied upside); for Verizon, $47 (closed yesterday at $44.67, 5% implied upside); for Sprint, $4 (closed yesterday at $4.27).
    | Fri, Oct. 16, 10:33 AM | 17 Comments
  • Thu, Oct. 15, 10:57 AM
    • An AT&T (T +0.2%) filing sheds light on a number of telegraphed changes ahead of its Q3 earnings report next week, including new business units after the closure of the DirecTV acquisition, and a writedown in Venezuela.
    • Along with some executive realignment after the DirecTV deal closed in late July, the company will switch from its two previous reporting segments (wireless and wireline) to four new ones, to accommodate TV/Internet and its international ambitions.
    • The new segments are Business Solutions, Entertainment and Internet Services, Consumer Mobility, and International.
    • As it suggested, AT&T will revalue its Venezuelan DirecTV assets at the devalued "Simadi" exchange rate of 200 bolivars/dollar, effectively writing off its $1.1B in assets there.
    • It had said the writeoff would create a "negative impact on reported revenues, operating income and the fair value of our investment in the Venezuelan subsidiary."
    | Thu, Oct. 15, 10:57 AM | 14 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 14, 8:05 PM
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  • Wed, Oct. 14, 3:04 PM
    • T-Mobile (TMUS -1.6%) has brought back its 10 GB four-line family plan in what may be a harbinger of the wireless war heating up for the holidays.
    • The plan -- $120/month for four lines, 10 GB of data -- is reminiscent of more aggressive plans ended this summer, from Verizon ($80 for 10 GB) and T-Mobile ($100 for 10 GB).
    • Quieter AT&T (T -0.2%), meanwhile, "seems to be taking a more passive strategy, with a distinct focus on subscriber retention, ARPU (average revenue per user) preservation and setting the stage for growth and cross leverage opportunities as it integrates the DirecTV asset," says Barclays' Amir Rozwadowski.
    • Including tablets, Rozwadowski is forecasting that Verizon (VZ -0.7%) will add 1.15M postpaid subscribers this quarter, followed by T-Mobile (1.07M), AT&T (300K) and Sprint (S -2.9%) with 270K.
    • Verizon is first up among quarterly reporters next Tuesday.
    | Wed, Oct. 14, 3:04 PM | 13 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 13, 10:00 PM
    • In Cowen's new look at telecoms, it took up the issue of how telecom service providers face their struggles with cloud computing.
    • Many providers have struggled as newcomers to the business, analyst Gregory Williams wrote. Investors have pressured CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) to sell its hosting business -- it bought data-center operator Savvis for $2.5B -- but "management remains adamant that the colocation/hosting business is a key differentiator and integral growth driver of the story."
    • Wireless leaders have the same issues, he says. "It would not be surprising for Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and/or AT&T (NYSE:T) to sell some or all of its nonstrategic (and underperforming) colo/hosting business assets ... At a recent sell-side event, Verizon management acknowledged that its Terremark assets served a specific niche effectively (enterprise/gov't security and manageability) but cannot compare to more comprehensive cloud assets in the marketplace."
    • Verizon bought Terremark for $1.4B four years ago.
    • Previously: Frontier Communications +2% as Cowen praises dividend, launches at Buy (Oct. 13 2015)
    | Tue, Oct. 13, 10:00 PM | 7 Comments
  • Mon, Oct. 12, 2:16 PM
    • Evercore adds its voice to the chorus that says Verizon (NYSE:VZ) has the lead on AT&T (NYSE:T) to build out FirstNet, the government's planned public-safety wireless broadband network.
    • FirstNet's board is reportedly looking at only "national deployment" offers from companies that respond to a request for proposals due out by year-end -- which means it likely won't be split among the big four wireless firms.
    • The project, focused on emergency first responders, is expected to cost $20B-$30B, and states can opt out of it.
    • "Verizon already has a rural partnership program — which allows rural carriers to use Verizon's 700 MHz spectrum in building out their markets with LTE," notes Evercore's Jonathan Schildkraut.
    | Mon, Oct. 12, 2:16 PM | 9 Comments
  • Thu, Oct. 8, 3:13 PM
    • AT&T (T +0.7%) and T-Mobile (TMUS -1.9%) have agreed to swap PCS and AWS-1 spectrum licenses around the U.S., according to FCC filings -- a move that should bring more service efficiency.
    • The deal is pending FCC approval. Some major markets involved include Phoenix, Minneapolis, Boston, and Austin-San Antonio.
    • The blocks are being swapped in identical amounts, so each carrier's total holdings will be unchanged -- but the ability to work in bigger contiguous blocks means greater efficiency for both, including a coveted 15+15 and 20+20 Wideband LTE offering that T-Mobile had hoped to provide.
    | Thu, Oct. 8, 3:13 PM | 3 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 7, 11:29 AM
    • After calling out the FCC in public, AT&T (T +0.9%) has received what had been a stalled waiver that now allows it to begin offering Wi-Fi calling on its iPhones.
    • The company had applied for a waiver in June from rules regarding support for hearing- and speech-impaired users under TTY, but a comment cycle passed without it being granted.
    • The company's grateful, says its Jim Cicconi, but: "At the same time we are left scratching our heads as to why the FCC still seems intent on excusing the behavior of T-Mobile and Sprint, who have been offering these services without a waiver for quite some time."
    • The FCC seems to be skipping enforcement action and inviting T-Mobile and Sprint to apply for similar waivers, Cicconi said.
    | Wed, Oct. 7, 11:29 AM | 9 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 7, 9:59 AM
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  • Mon, Oct. 5, 9:25 AM
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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.