AT&T Inc. (T) - NYSE
  • Fri, Jul. 22, 12:44 PM
    • Leaks that Verizon (VZ +1%) continues to be the front-runner to close a deal for core Yahoo (YHOO +1%) have the telecom spending about $5B on the deal, vs. an earlier $3.75B-$4B.
    • While earlier Verizon interest excluded Yahoo's patent portfolio and real estate, the current talks do reportedly include the real estate.
    • Yahoo had set aside about 3,000 patents into a subsidiary called Excalibur for separate auction by Black Stone IP, though other bidders like AT&T (T +1.5%) or a group with Quicken Loans' Dan Gilbert (still reportedly talking with Yahoo) or an aggressive TPG might yet want to buy the IP along with core assets.
    • The deal would be a "great outcome," Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says, with time of the essence since "the real value here is unlocking Yahoo Japan and Alibaba (BABA +0.1%) in a cash-free transaction. And they really need to get that done before the election."
    • The $5B figure is still a bit low, Munster says, as he expects the deal to be around $6B. "If you look at the tax benefit for Yahoo Japan and Alibaba, that's about a $10B or $11B tax benefit, so a billion dollars here and there doesn't make much difference; there's still upside to Yahoo shares."
    | Fri, Jul. 22, 12:44 PM | 32 Comments
  • Tue, Jul. 19, 1:13 PM
    • The typical metrics that telecom investors examine may not matter as much to their holdings as a favorable macroeconomic environment, industry analyst Craig Moffett writes.
    • That's accounting for the price war as well as common bellwethers like average revenue per user, he says. In most industries, developments like telecom has seen in the past year (Verizon's (VZ -0.5%) recent moves to reset pricing; T-Mobile's (TMUS -0.3%) un-carrier promotions; aggressive phone financing revamps) would spur meaty debates about valuation and growth: "But telecom isn't most industries. It has now been a full decade since fundamentals were last a major part of the telco equity performance story (good or bad)."
    • Fundamentals may matter again soon, ahead of a new iPhone introduction (that could benefit T-Mobile and Sprint (S -3.9%) more than AT&T and Verizon), and AT&T's (T -0.2%) full integration of DirecTV finances.
    • But in the meantime, macro factors are still prevalent: "When interest rates are falling and the dollar is rising, the story appears to have been pretty straightforward, after all: Buy telecom."
    | Tue, Jul. 19, 1:13 PM | 18 Comments
  • Thu, Jul. 14, 3:38 PM
    • The FCC voted unanimously today to open up four bands of frequencies above 24 GHz for 5G wireless service, setting the stage for exploiting next-generation technologies for mobile transmission.
    • That's nearly 11 GHz of spectrum (3.85 GHz in licensed bands at 28 GHz, 37 GHz and 39 GHz, and 7 GHz in an unlicensed band between 64 GHz and 71 GHz).
    • The agency says companies will be able to exploit the spectrum for "fiber-fast" capabilities, up to 100 times faster than current 4G networks.
    • In addition, the agency pledged to push for opening up more millimeter wave bands as quickly as it can, via a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that looks to apply today's rules to another 18 GHz of spectrum (in eight additional high-frequency bands)
    • In related stocks: (T +0.5%); (VZ -0.2%); (TMUS -0.5%); (S +1.9%); (DISH +1%); (CMCSA +0.4%); (STRP +5.7%); (GSAT -1.2%)
    | Thu, Jul. 14, 3:38 PM | 35 Comments
  • Fri, Jun. 10, 4:08 PM
    • Bloomberg reports AT&T (T +0.6%) and a group led by Quicken Loans founder/Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert (backed by Warren Buffett) each submitted a ~$5B second-round bid for Yahoo's (YHOO -1.4%) core business, patents, and real estate.
    • Separately, a day after CNBC reported Verizon (VZ +1.4%) made a ~$3.5B second-round bid, Re/code reports Big Red made an offer valued between $3B and $3.5B, depending on "how employee compensation commitments are treated." However, Verizon's bid excludes Yahoo's patents and real estate.
    • When adjusted for the absence of patents/real estate, Verizon's bid might be competitive with the others. Re/code observes Yahoo respectively values its patents and real estate at $3B and $1B, while adding others assign much lower values to each (~$1B for the patents).
    • Yahoo slipped today amid a 2.1% drop for Alibaba, and a 1.3% drop for the Nasdaq.
    | Fri, Jun. 10, 4:08 PM | 36 Comments
  • Wed, May 25, 11:12 AM
    • In a surprise revelation, AT&T (NYSE:T) made a bid for Yahoo (YHOO -2.1%) and is still in the running for the core Internet business, Bloomberg reports.
    • They were out of the offing according to earlier reports. But they kept involved in the process through a stake in YP Holdings -- which was involved in the early round in April -- and while YP isn't pursuing the transaction any longer, AT&T is still around.
    • The interest from the telecom giant would present a formidable challenge for presumed frontrunner Verizon (NYSE:VZ). But Verizon didn't submit one of the highest first-round bids, a pair of the sources said.
    • The process has another week or likely more time to play out.
    | Wed, May 25, 11:12 AM | 65 Comments
  • Wed, May 4, 4:58 PM
    • AT&T (NYSE:T) is breaking up a 15-year hosting partnership with Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), electing to give most of that business to Synacor (NASDAQ:SYNC).
    • Synacor has jumped 56% in after-hours trade; YHOO is flat in postmarket action.
    • In return for hosting AT&T's Web and mobile portals, Yahoo had shared revenues from the sites with the telecom, while AT&T customers got access to Yahoo's search engine and media services on the AT&T portal.
    • Yahoo's share came to about $100M/year, which will now go to Synacor, a company with a market cap of $44.5M.
    • Yahoo will still keep a small piece, continuing to host mail for AT&T customers. Yahoo says only that AT&T is still a "valued partner."
    | Wed, May 4, 4:58 PM | 26 Comments
  • Thu, Apr. 7, 2:58 PM
    • Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) shares have jumped into positive ground, now up 1.2%, on news that Verizon (NYSE:VZ) is proceeding with a bid for its core assets.
    • Shares were down as much as 2.6% today.
    • Alphabet unit Google (GOOG, GOOGL) is also weighing its own bid, Bloomberg reports, with interest also showing up from Bain Capital and TPG. Time Inc. (NYSE:TIME) is still out there as well.
    • AT&T (NYSE:T) and Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) are losing interest, Bloomberg also said, with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) also deciding it wouldn't bid.
    • Verizon might also put in for Yahoo's Japan interests, the report said.
    • Updated 3:06 p.m.: After a big spike into positive ground, Yahoo shares have gone negative again, -0.1%. Verizon is said to value the core business at less than $8B, vs. Yahoo's hopes for a $10B valuation, and has engaged three banks.
    • Now read Yahoo Should Be At Least $48 A Share »
    | Thu, Apr. 7, 2:58 PM | 30 Comments
  • Tue, Mar. 1, 1:46 PM
    • AT&T (T +1.1%) looks to be getting into the Web TV business as soon as this year, according to a release.
    • Selling its DirecTV video content over the Web would put it into competition with Sling TV (DISH +2.4%), which has offered a basic skinny bundle of live television programming over the Internet.
    • Later this year, AT&T says, it will launch three "bring your own connection" offers that won't be limited to its existing mobile or DirecTV subscribers.
    • "DirecTV Now" will offer "a range of content packages" (some skinny?) featuring on-demand and live programming along with premium add-ons, much like Sling TV. It will be available on Internet-enabled devices. Meanwhile, "DirecTV Mobile" will offer a mobile-first experience in what could be a solid answer to Verizon's (VZ +1.4%) Go90.
    • "DirecTV Preview" is a free offer (supported by ads) with a sampling of DirecTV content and looks to be a bit of a window display for the paid Web services.
    • More than 60% of the company's network traffic is now video, it says, and it serves more than 60M streams and downloads to TV customers each month.
    | Tue, Mar. 1, 1:46 PM | 23 Comments
  • Tue, Feb. 23, 7:24 PM
    • Deutsche Bank launched coverage of U.S. telecom companies late today, picking "select pockets of opportunity" in a challenging sector.
    • Specifically, the firm's Matthew Niknam has three top growth picks: T-Mobile (TMUS +1%), Crown Castle International (CCI -0.5%), and American Tower (AMT -1.4%), all rated Buy.
    • He assigned a $46 price target to T-Mobile, implying 27% upside from today's close of $36.20, noting "best-in-class growth, margin/FCF expansion, and strategic appeal to potential industry partners." A price target of $98 implies 13.5% upside for Crown Castle, while a target of $104 implies 18.2% upside for AMT.
    • Of the group, AT&T (T -0.4%) and Frontier (FTR +12.6%) also received Buys, with respective price targets of $40 (8.9% upside) and $5.50 (8.3% upside from today's significantly higher close).
    | Tue, Feb. 23, 7:24 PM | 2 Comments
  • Fri, Feb. 5, 4:26 PM
    • Mexico is giving clearance to AT&T (T +1%) and Carlos Slim's America Movil (AMX -2.4%) to take part in a wireless spectrum auction there.
    • The sale process will begin Feb. 15. IFT, the country's telecom regulator, says the two companies can put in bids for 80 MHz of spectrum in a pair of bands: 1710-1780 MHz, and 2110-2180 MHz.
    • The two companies are also competing with Telefonica (TEF +1.1%) in Mexico's tender for a large wholesale mobile network.
    | Fri, Feb. 5, 4:26 PM
  • 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 | 21 Comments
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
    • Previously: AT&T -0.8% after in-line EPS, miss on revenue (Jan. 26 2016)
    | Tue, Jan. 26, 4:32 PM | 3 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
Company Description
AT&T, Inc. provides telecommunication services and products, including wireless communications, local exchange services, long-distance services, data/broadband and Internet services, video services, telecommunications equipment, managed networking and wholesale services. It operates business... More
Sector: Technology
Industry: Telecom Services - Domestic
Country: United States