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AT&T Inc. (T)

  • Oct. 23, 2013, 4:02 PM
    • AT&T (T): Q3 EPS of $0.66 beats by $0.01.
    • Revenue of $32.15B (+2.2% Y/Y) misses by $0.01B. (PR)
    | Oct. 23, 2013, 4:02 PM | 1 Comment
  • Oct. 23, 2013, 12:10 AM
  • Oct. 22, 2013, 5:35 PM
  • Oct. 20, 2013, 7:58 PM
    • Cashing in on the consolidation action among cell phone tower operators, AT&T (T) agrees to lease/sell its tower portfolio to Crown Castle International (CCI) for $4.85B in upfront proceeds.
    • Crown Castle will have the rights to lease about 9.1K AT&T towers and purchase roughly 600 others. The average term of the lease rights is about 28 years, after which Crown Castle has an option to purchase the towers for approximately $4.2B. AT&T will sublease space on the towers for at least 10 years with an option to renew up to a total of 50 years.
    • AT&T had put the portfolio on the block in September, and two weeks ago a deal with Crown Castle was reported to be close.
    • Press release.
    | Oct. 20, 2013, 7:58 PM | 3 Comments
  • Oct. 18, 2013, 6:49 PM
    • AT&T (T) discloses in an FCC filing it plans to phase out its new Aio prepaid wireless brand in favor of Leap Wireless' well-known Cricket brand, following the closing of the Leap acquisition.
    • AT&T launched Aio earlier this year in an effort to halt share losses in the prepaid segment, which is accounting for a growing share of U.S. smartphone sales. Ma Bell also offers prepaid services through its GoPhone plans, which have more of a low-end focus relative to Aio.
    • The Leap deal is widely expected to be cleared by regulators, though some think more spectrum concessions might be needed.
    • Q3 results arrive on Wednesday. Archrival Verizon reported strong Q3 subscriber figures yesterday.
    | Oct. 18, 2013, 6:49 PM | 2 Comments
  • Oct. 11, 2013, 2:57 PM
    • Starting Oct. 25, AT&T (T +0.2%) will eliminate its traditional voice/data plans to new postpaid subs, and require them to sign up for one of its relative costly Mobile Share plans. Existing subs can retain their current plans.
    • AT&T launched Mobile Share a year following the launch of similar plans from Verizon. Under Mobile Share, a smartphone sub is charged $70/month for unlimited talk/text and a mere 300MB/month data bucket; upgrading to a 2Gb bucket costs $25/month, and sharing the data with tablet another $10/month.
    • AT&T's move comes at a time when T-Mobile and Sprint, both of whom offer unlimited data to postpaid subs, have become more aggressive with their pricing.
    • ~18% of postpaid subs used Mobile Share at the end of Q2. AT&T claims over 25% of Mobile Share subs sign up for 10GB or higher plans.
    • Earlier: AT&T ad unit downsizes, conducts layoffs
    | Oct. 11, 2013, 2:57 PM | 8 Comments
  • Oct. 11, 2013, 2:34 PM
    • AT&T (T +0.2%) says it's "refocusing" its AdWorks unit, which provides an ad network stretching across online, mobile, and IPTV distribution channels, on the carrier's own properties (e.g. U-verse,, and "moving away" from ad sales on non-AT&T properties. Layoffs have been confirmed.
    • BI's sources suggest AT&T "appears to be closing most if not all of its AdWorks offices," and that "many if not most" of the unit's NYC staff has been laid off. The LA and Chicago offices are also reportedly seeing layoffs.
    • AT&T once envisioned AdWorks growing into a giant multi-screen targeted ad platform that could leverage AT&T's massive customer base and the data the company has amassed on it. But the unit also faced competition from Google and a slew of other digital ad providers. It's far from the first tech initiative from a telco that didn't live up to expectations.
    | Oct. 11, 2013, 2:34 PM | 1 Comment
  • Oct. 8, 2013, 5:49 PM
    • Bloomberg reports AT&T (T) is close to selling its wireless tower portfolio (already confirmed to be on the block) to Crown Castle (CCI). The news service previously reported a sale could fetch $5B.
    • Today's report comes only a month after American Tower announced a deal to buy private Global Tower Partners for $4.8B, and thereby significantly grow its own U.S. tower footprint.
    • CCI +0.8% AH.
    | Oct. 8, 2013, 5:49 PM | Comment!
  • Oct. 1, 2013, 6:57 PM
    • Backing up a statement issued immediately following Google's (GOOG) Austin Fiber announcement, AT&T (T) says it will upgrade its Austin U-verse infrastructure to offer 1Gbps connections to residents.
    • AT&T says its service, christened U-verse with GigaPower, will initially offer 300Mbps connections to "tens of thousands of customer locations throughout Austin" in December, and will expand to additional neighborhoods throughout 2014. 1Gbps connections will be offered by mid-2014. Google Fiber is set to launch in Austin in late 2014.
    • Two unanswered questions: 1) Will AT&T's pricing match what Google has been charging thus far for Fiber (free 5Mbps connections, $70/month for 1Gbps)? 2) Does AT&T have plans to offer GigaPower (or something similar) in markets where it isn't set to compete against Google?
    • AT&T's standard U-verse offerings provide a tiny fraction of the bandwidth promised for GigaPower.
    | Oct. 1, 2013, 6:57 PM | 10 Comments
  • Sep. 30, 2013, 4:33 PM
    • In addition to  providing fresh global smartphone sales estimates, Kantar Worldpanel has provided estimates for U.S. carrier smartphone sales. Verizon (VZ -0.7%) is the big winner: Kantar thinks the nation's top carrier accounted for 37.1% of U.S. smartphone sales in the June-August timeframe, +520 bps Y/Y.
    • On the other hand, Kantar thinks AT&T's (T -0.5%) share fell 680 bps to 21.7%, and Sprint's (S +1%) share 620 bps to 14.6%. T-Mobile USA (TMUS -0.3%), its fortunes recently improving thanks to iPhone sales and new service plans, is assigned a 13.2% share, +110 bps. Curiously, "Other" carriers are given a 13.4% share, +500 bps.
    • AT&T recently announced it expects its Q3 smartphone upgrades to be up Y/Y, and that it will add 1M smartphone subs during the quarter. However, it also predicted upgrades will drop on a Y/Y basis in Q4.
    • Smartphone users made up 64.4% of Verizon's postpaid base at the end of Q2, up from 61.4% at the end of Q1. That figure still trailed AT&T's 73%. Higher smartphone sales hurt near-term margins, but also boost ARPUs by migrating subs to costlier data plans.
    | Sep. 30, 2013, 4:33 PM | 1 Comment
  • Sep. 27, 2013, 2:14 PM
    • AT&T Inc. (T) declares $0.45/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.
    • Forward yield 5.32%
    • Payable Nov. 1; for shareholders of record Oct. 10; ex-div Oct. 8.
    | Sep. 27, 2013, 2:14 PM | 9 Comments
  • Sep. 24, 2013, 5:47 PM
    • Using the LTE-Broadcast standard and spectrum it acquired from Qualcomm (QCOM) in 2011, AT&T (T) plans to create a mobile broadcast network to deliver video services to its subs. CEO Randall Stephenson hints the project has a 3-year ETA.
    • AT&T's plans come even though Qualcomm's FLO TV mobile broadcast service (it used the spectrum sold to AT&T) crashed and burned in epic fashion. Nonetheless, Qualcomm is a major backer of LTE Broadcast, and is integrating the technology into its baseband chips.
    • Qualcomm argues LTE Broadcast's broader chip/phone support, integration with existing LTE networks and spectrum, and ability to let carriers quickly change what kind of content is broadcast at a particular base station will allow it to succeed where FLO TV failed.
    • Stephenson also mentioned AT&T is close to selling its wireless tower assets. A sale could yield AT&T ~$5B in cash it could use to either pay down debt or make a European acquisition.
    • Previous: AT&T closes ATNI deal, provides business update
    | Sep. 24, 2013, 5:47 PM | Comment!
  • Sep. 23, 2013, 12:28 PM
    • SocGen's Andy Perkins isn't impressed Apple's (AAPL +3.5%) new FQ4 revenue guidance remains within its original range in spite of the company's strong weekend iPhone sales. He takes this as a sign higher 5S/5C sales "came at the expense of the 4S." His $500 PT remains unchanged.
    • Others on the sell-side are more enthusiastic, taking the numbers as evidence 5C demand was better than feared. Gene Munster thinks the 5C may have accounted for 3M-4M of the 9M+ weekend sales.
    • Mobile analytics firm Localytics offers a different take. The firm's tracking data indicates the 5S outsold the 5C by a 3.4:1 margin in the U.S. over the weekend, and by a 3.7:1 margin internationally. In Japan, where NTT DoCoMo has commenced iPhone sales and the 5S is being offered for free with 2-year contracts, the ratio was 5:1.
    • The 5S/5C managed to account for 1.36% of all active U.S. iPhones tracked by Localytics as of 8PM ET yesterday. 49% of them were on AT&T's (T -0.7%) network, and 38% on Verizon's (VZ).
    | Sep. 23, 2013, 12:28 PM | 37 Comments
  • Sep. 20, 2013, 5:02 PM
    • The FCC has signed off on AT&T's (T) $780M purchase of Atlantic Tele-Network's (ATNI) Allied Wireless unit, after securing some concessions. AT&T has promised to launch 3G HSPA+ and 4G LTE services in Allied's spectrum within 15 and 18 months, respectively; to provide roaming services for the rural carrier's 3G EV-DO network at least until June '15; and to give existing subs a phone comparable to their current unit for free.
    • AT&T says it expect to move Allied customers to the AT&T network by mid-2014.
    • The FCC had previously expressed concerns about the impact of the deal, which AT&T is making to get its hands on valuable spectrum, on Allied's prepaid subs.
    • AT&T also announces it expects its Q3 smartphone upgrades to rise Y/Y, and that it will add 1M smartphone subs in the quarter. But it also expects upgrades to drop Y/Y in Q4 thanks in part to a new 24-month upgrade policy.
    • AT&T sold 6.8M smartphones in Q2, a record for the quarter. The company closed Q2 with 73% of its postpaid base using smartphones. Higher smartphone sales pressure AT&T's near-term margins, but (to the extent feature phone users are converted) also boost the number of subs using costlier smartphone service plans.
    • Also: 1) Total U-verse subs (TV and Internet) are expected to top 10M at the end of Q3; they rose by 864K in Q2 to 9.4M. 2) Consumer wireline growth is expected to match Q2 levels (2.4% Y/Y). 3) "Economic pressure on legacy services" continues to hurt business wireline sales; total wireline revenue fell 1.4% Y/Y in Q2.
    • Confirming a Bloomberg report, AT&T says it's "exploring opportunities to monetize some or all of its remaining wireless tower assets."
    • The company's 2013 guidance (provided in January) is unchanged. Q3 results arrive on Oct. 23. Shares are nearly unchanged AH.
    | Sep. 20, 2013, 5:02 PM | Comment!
  • Sep. 18, 2013, 4:32 AM
    • AT&T (T) plans to unveil a partnership with America Movil (AMOV, AMX) today that will expand the U.S. carrier's reach for business customers in Latin America to 15 countries, including Argentina, Chile and Colombia.
    • Before this, AT&T's focus in the region was mainly on Mexico and Brazil.
    • AT&T has a long-standing relationship with America Movil that includes the U.S. operator holding a stake of 9% in Carlos Slim's company. Some analysts have speculated that the firms could combine to expand in Europe.
    | Sep. 18, 2013, 4:32 AM | 1 Comment
  • Sep. 17, 2013, 12:55 PM
    • Bloomberg reports AT&T (T +0.6%) is looking for a buyer for its massive cell tower portfolio in a deal that could be worth $5B.
    • American Tower (AMT -0.3%), Crown Castle (CCI +0.1%), and SBA (SBAC) are natural potential suitors for part or all of the portfolio. AMT is fresh off announcing a $4.8B deal to acquire private tower owner Global Tower, whose assets are mostly U.S.-based.
    • AT&T has spiked slightly higher on the report. A tower sale would help Ma Bell pay down some of the $75.2B in debt it held at the end of Q2, and thus strengthen its balance sheet as it turns its eyes toward Europe.
    • Back in March, RBC speculated AT&T could sell its tower assets for a "mid-$5 billion" or higher price tag.
    | Sep. 17, 2013, 12:55 PM | 2 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.