39% Annualized Return And AT&T
Chris DeMuth Jr. • 175 Comments
Chris DeMuth Jr. • 175 Comments
Yesterday, 2:39 PM
- According to various media reports, AT&T (NYSE:T) has its deal to buy Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) for more than $80B, the biggest media takeover in years.
- That will come between $105 and $110 a share for Time Warner, and could be announced officially tonight.
- Attention now turns to regulatory questions. Is the deal essentially the same as Comcast's 2011 deal to acquire NBCUniversal?
- A small station ownership issue means the FCC will have a say as well.
Fri, Oct. 21, 6:19 PM
- AT&T (NYSE:T) has a deal in principle to buy Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) for $85B, a 16%-plus premium above today's closing market cap, Reuters is reporting.
- That blockbuster could come with full details as soon as Sunday, as Reuters was reporting earlier.
- Following on AT&T's $48B acquisition of DirecTV last year, adding Time Warner would make AT&T a central media player, with control not only of its wide distribution network in satellite and wireless but some of media's most coveted assets: the Warner Bros. film studio, live sports-friendly Turner Broadcasting networks, CNN, and most especially HBO.
- Now after hours: TWX +4.3% to $93.32/share; T -0.8%.
Fri, Oct. 21, 6:03 PM
- No sooner did an AT&T/Time Warner merger seem as close as Monday than Reuters reports the two companies have reached agreement on most terms, with hopes to announce the deal as soon as Sunday.
- Time Warner's (TWX +7.8%) on the move yet again, up 3.9% after hours. AT&T (T -3%) is down 0.6% in postmarket trading.
- Time Warner's after-hours quote puts it at $93.00. Meanwhile, as analysts started to weigh in more today, sources put the deal at "well north" of $90/share (CNBC), and the price could go to $110/share -- a 23% premium above today's close.
- Brean analyst Alan Gould said in a note that the deal could hit the $110-$125 range per share.
- Fox failed in its 2014 pursuit of Time Warner at $85/share.
Fri, Oct. 21, 5:23 PM
- AT&T's (T -3%) interest in Time Warner (TWX +7.8%) progressed quickly from "had talks" to "advanced talks" and now a deal could be set by Monday -- which Bloomberg says is due to a sped-up timetable caused by Bloomberg's initial report.
- That's because AT&T is said to be concerned that the publicity could allow other interested suitors like Apple (AAPL -0.4%) or Alphabet (GOOG +0.3%, GOOGL +0.3%) to jump in -- and indeed Apple is said to be monitoring the deal talks, after it made its own approach to Time Warner a few months ago, The Wall Street Journal reports.
- Those talks involved execs under Apple chief Tim Cook and didn't get beyond a preliminary stage. A source tells the WSJ that Google doesn't look interested in an offer for Time Warner.
- But the story of the deal points out just how much behind-the-scenes strategic talk is going on in the media/telecom spaces, as companies vie to be among the new leaders in an upended, converged digital media climate.
- Sumner Redstone was said to be considering not only the merger of CBS (CBS +2.1%) and Viacom (VIA +2.7%, VIAB +2.8%) that he's already pushing for, but also to combine that entity with Time Warner.
- Meanwhile, Comcast (CMCSA -0.5%) could join another company to get involved, the WSJ says, though that makes more sense if Time Warner's open to being parted out.
- Unlikely to join in this time: Twenty-First Century Fox (FOX +2.2%, FOXA +2.2%), whose own pursuit of Time Warner failed in 2014 at $85/share, and Walt Disney (DIS +1.1%).
- Previously: Time Warner at 15-year highs on merger talk; media companies rise (Oct. 21 2016)
Fri, Oct. 21, 12:02 PM
- Time Warner (TWX +12.4%) is still climbing and cruising to 15-year highs after the WSJ report that it's in advanced talks to be taken over by AT&T (T -3.9%), which is now at its lowest point since February.
- The deal -- which would create a media/telecom giant that would reshape the industry -- would be likely cash and stock, though talks are fluid and might not end in a deal.
- The mix of the deal is likely crucial to its outcome, with Time Warner (not to be confused with Time Warner Cable, now part of Charter Communications) now worth more than $75B -- and a year after AT&T ponied up nearly $49B to take over DirecTV.
- Other potential acquisition targets in media (is anything off the table in a rapidly consolidating sector?) are on the move: DISCA +6.4%, SNI +5.6%, AMCX +4.3%. Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF) made its own move up, +2.4%.
- Engaged in talks about their own re-merger, Viacom (VIA +2.8%, VIAB +4.1%) is up, as is erstwhile and possibly future partner CBS (CBS +2.7%).
Fri, Oct. 21, 11:01 AM
- Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) shares have been halted again after popping another 7.8%, on news that the talks to be acquired by AT&T (NYSE:T) are in their advanced state, and a deal could come as soon as this weekend.
- As with yesterday, AT&T has taken a dive again, -2.7%.
- On reports before the closing bell yesterday that the two companies were meeting to talk about strategic moves (including a merger), Time Warner closed yesterday up 4.7%. AT&T closed down 1.9%.
- Updated 11:04 a.m.: TWX has reopened, now up 8.2%.
- Previously: Bloomberg: Time Warner's Bewkes will sell to AT&T in merger talks if price is right (Oct. 20 2016)
Thu, Oct. 20, 4:05 PM
- In meetings discussing a potential AT&T (NYSE:T) merger with Time Warner (NYSE:TWX), AT&T execs have found a willing seller in Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes, sources tell Bloomberg, so long as he sees an offer he thinks is fair. And AT&T is on the hunt for content as part of a company transformation that has included its takeover of DirecTV (for an also-whopping $48.5B).
- The two companies met in recent weeks to talk about various strategies in discussions characterized as informal and focused on building relations at the moment, Bloomberg says. Nobody's hired a financial adviser yet.
- Time Warner famously rejected a 2014 bid from Rupert Murdoch and Fox (at $85/share) that valued the company at more than $75B; it's worth about $64.5B in market cap today accounting for today's gain.
- A deal makes sense, says Albert Fried analyst Rich Tullo, with 5G mobile on the way and AT&T set to benefit from a great content catalog at Time Warner.
- The talks are probably more about skinny bundles and "VMVPD distribution," he figures, but 5G mobile and its video-transferring capabilities make a deal more worthwhile. The company's sum-of-the-parts analysis had previously figured Warner Bros. and Turner networks as worth about $30B each.
- TWX has given back some of its initial spike, closing up 4.8%; T closed down 1.9%.
Thu, Oct. 20, 3:41 PM
- AT&T (NYSE:T) is said to have discussed a takeover of Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) in meetings with the media company, Bloomberg is reporting.
- Senior executives from the two met in recent weeks to talk over various strategies, including a possible merger, according to the report.
- Time Warner is spiking, up 7% in the past minute.
- AT&T has dropped quickly, -2.2%.
Wed, Oct. 19, 2:51 PM
- A new TV service from Google (GOOG +0.8%, GOOGL +0.6%) is likely to come in early 2017 after the company reached a carriage deal with CBS (CBS +0.7%) and is near distribution deals with Disney (DIS +0.6%) and Fox (FOX +0.8%, FOXA +0.4%) as well, The Wall Street Journal reports.
- Reportedly called "Unplugged," the service would target cost-conscious viewers with a "skinny" bundle of live channels at $25-$40 per month, sources told the paper.
- While it would be housed on Google's YouTube infrastructure, it would be separate from the existing ad-free YouTube Red subscription offering, though a curated part of Red would be part of the Unplugged bundle.
- The bold move (with deals coming more rapidly than Apple's progress into TV) comes ahead of a planned live service from Hulu (CMCSA +0.2%, DIS, FOX, FOXA, TWX -0.1%) as well as AT&T's (T +0.2%) DirecTV Now offering arriving later this year (likely at $50/month or more), and enters a skinny space that already holds Sling TV (DISH +1.4%).
- Updated 3:48 p.m.: Viacom (VIA +0.3%, VIAB +0.8%), home of MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and BET, is also in advanced talks to join the service.
- Wall Street Journal report
Wed, Oct. 19, 2:38 PM
- Google (GOOG, GOOGL) has reached a deal with CBS (NYSE:CBS) on a planned Web TV service -- and the search giant is also in advanced talks with Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) and Twenty-First Century Fox (FOX, FOXA) to join, according to Dow Jones Newswires.
- The service would be housed on Google's YouTube, which has made inroads this year on live-streaming as well as subscription offerings, including ad-free product YouTube Red.
- The move comes slightly ahead of an expected late-2016 launch from AT&T (NYSE:T) of its DirecTV Now streaming service. AT&T chief Randall Stephenson has said that service would be "very, very" aggressively priced; most analysts expect an offering around $50 a month or as much as $60/month.
- AT&T (T) makes a dip down, now up just 0.3% on the day.
Tue, Oct. 18, 6:37 PM
- In its latest Latin American move, AT&T (T +0.2%) has launched roaming service in Cuba, joining other telecoms taking advantage of liberalization on the island nation.
- Subscribers can talk, text, and use their data while in Cuba.
- Voice calls come at $3/minute; texting comes at $0.50 per standard message (and $1.30 per multimedia message); and data costs $2.05 per megabyte.
- "Extending service to our customers while they are in Cuba further solidifies our position as having the best global coverage of any U.S wireless provider," says AT&T's Bill Hague.
Tue, Oct. 11, 7:34 PM
- AT&T (NYSE:T) is planning a multimillion-dollar revamp for its downtown Dallas headquarters that will result in adding more than 1,300 workers in an "urban-tech center."
- It's choosing to stay in downtown after considering some attractive options in North Texas, including a possible office in Frisco and other new development in Dallas.
- The company's working with the city, Dallas Area Rapid Transit and the Downtown Dallas group on a plan that would see it renovating its four-building, 2M-square-foot complex to create more of a destination (called the "AT&T Discovery District") in the central business district.
- The added workers over the next few years would make for a total of 7,000 employees downtown. AT&T has doubled the number of employees there since moving in in 2008.
Mon, Oct. 10, 2:31 AM
- Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) has suspended production of its Galaxy Note 7 following reports of fires in replacement devices, South Korean media said Monday, a further setback for the tech giant in the midst of its worst ever phone recall crisis.
- The decision came after major mobile carriers in the U.S., including AT&T (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS), said they would stop issuing Note 7 devices over safety concerns.
Fri, Oct. 7, 7:51 PM
- AT&T (NYSE:T) is considering a plan to stop all sales and replacements of Samsung's (OTC:SSNLF) troubled Galaxy Note 7 devices, Bloomberg reports.
- Samsung began its own recall previously after widespread reports of a flawed lithium battery that could cause fire or explosions. But AT&T is likely to undertake its own solution, offering alternative phones to those who return the devices.
- AT&T didn't comment on the plan, but a final decision on it is said to come as soon as today.
Fri, Oct. 7, 1:48 PM
- It's a time of scaling back proposals at the FCC.
- First, Chairman Tom Wheeler ratcheted back an assertive plan to "ditch the box," offering a new plan to regulate pay TV set-top boxes more in line with industry wishes. Now he's unveiling a scaled-back proposal to reform regulation of business data services.
- That's a $40B annual market for key players including AT&T (T -0.5%), Verizon (VZ -0.2%) and CenturyLink (CTL +1.3%). Similar to his set-top box proposal, Wheeler's original plan for business data services was more aggressive in April.
- The market covers special access lines that run much of modern society, or the parts that rely on heavy data -- including banks' connections to ATMs and credit card readers, or hospitals and schools' networks for moving data.
Thu, Oct. 6, 12:10 PM
- AT&T (T -0.2%) is testing point-to-point fixed wireless Internet service, a move that could help serve insatiable appetites for bandwidth outside its traditional wireline service area.
- In Minneapolis, the company is trying a millimeter wave technology to get service wirelessly to building rooftops where apartments can draw 100 Mbps connections.
- That would predate work to make faster speeds available through the technology, likely a tier at 500 Mbps, AT&T said. For apartment units, the company is also pushing its DirecTV Advantage solution, offering the TV service to apartments via a single rooftop dish rather than single balcony dishes.
- Beyond Minneapolis, AT&T said it's looking at fixed wireless connections in Boston, Denver, New Jersey, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle and Washington D.C.
- Google announced a deal to acquire Webpass in June, bulking up its fiber installation efforts by adding the wireless capability to speed deployment.
- Other fixed wireless players: Towerstream (TWER -2.3%); Windstream (WIN -2%).