Fri, Jul. 10, 4:08 PM
- If AT&T (NYSE:T) is allowed to raise rates for last-mile services -- wholesale, special access rates -- then small and midsized business could be hurt, Windstream (NASDAQ:WIN) is telling the FCC.
- Windstream has built its own big fiber network, but is dependent on renting "last mile" copper services from carriers like AT&T in many cases.
- "Business consumers -- including the small- and medium-sized businesses that drive economic growth and job creation, state and local governments, schools and non-profit health care providers -- will be hurt significantly if the IP transition deprives them of their choice of integrated communications solutions because the large incumbent LECs can raise prices for critical last-mile transmission," Windstream said in its filing.
- Windstream's arguing for continued access to certain loops after an incumbent local exchange carrier makes such a transition.
- Windstream stock is up 3.3% today, rebounding from a 52-week low hit in the closing minutes yesterday.
Thu, Jul. 9, 9:40 AM
- T-Mobile (TMUS +2.6%) says it gained 2.1M customers last quarter as it pushes to overtake Sprint (NYSE:S) as the country's third-largest wireless carrier.
- The adds brought T-Mobile to 58.9M users. Early figures suggest that branded new monthly phone users were 760K.
- The carrier also said it was adding Canada and Mexico to its roaming plan, calling its Simple Choice the "first and only wireless plan to span an entire continent" -- a tweak at AT&T (T +0.5%) and its ambitions for a U.S.-Mexico zone.
- Previously: Sprint's Claure to T-Mobile's Legere: Tired of 'Uncarrier bullshit' (Jul. 02 2015)
Tue, Jun. 30, 9:48 AM
- U.S. wireless firms are all trading higher out of the open as RBC Capital raises price targets on AT&T (T +0.2%), T-Mobile (TMUS +1.3%) and Sprint (S +1.1%).
- Verizon (VZ +0.2%) is also up comparably with AT&T.
- The firm's best rating of the three goes to T-Mobile, with an Outperform. RBC raised its price target to $41; it's currently trading at $39.17.
- AT&T gets a Sector Perform rating and a raised price target of $37 (currently trading at $35.83), and Sprint gets a Sector Perform and a higher target of $6 (currently at $4.56).
Thu, Jun. 25, 3:26 PM
- AT&T (NYSE:T) is up 1.7% as Bank of America has upgraded shares to Buy, from Neutral, and raised the price target to $40 from $35.
- Shares are trading currently at $36.40.
- The company also plans to invest about $3B into Mexico by the end of 2018, to stretch mobile Internet coverage to 100M people, CEO Randall Stephenson said while meeting with Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto.
- AT&T plans to cover 40M subscribers (about a third of the population) within six months, and 75M by the end of 2016.
- Earlier this year, AT&T made its major move into the market with $4.4B in investments to acquire the country's No. 3 and No. 4 wireless carriers, Iusacell and Nextel Mexico.
- Stephenson credited reforms introduced by Peña Nieto for allowing AT&T to invest in Mexico.
- New plans are coming next month to allow Mexican customers to use its North American Mobile Service Area.
Tue, Jun. 23, 3:43 PM
- T-Mobile (TMUS +0.9%) is keeping up the (spectrum) pressure, asking the FCC to block a low-band spectrum purchase by AT&T (T +2.9%) from East Kentucky Network, using the agency's "public-interest" mandate.
- AT&T, it said, had failed to meet "applicable heightened standards for demonstrating that the proposed transaction is in the public interest when balanced with the serious anticompetitive risks posed by the increased concentration of below-1-GHz spectrum."
- Keeping up a multi-front attack, T-Mobile's also teasing a new set of Un-carrier updates -- "Un-carrier Amped" -- starting this Thursday.
- Meanwhile, it's also made a literally comical new video in its fight over spectrum set-asides, portraying the company and the "FCC Five" as superheroes trying to defeat a villainous duopoly.
- Previously: Bloomberg: FCC Chairman urging rejection of T-Mobile spectrum appeal (Jun. 17 2015)
Tue, Jun. 23, 9:30 AM
- AT&T (NYSE:T) is up 1.6% premarket following a Barclays upgrade to Overweight where they note "multiple levers" driving profitability.
- Amir Rozwadowski lifted the firm's price target on the telecom to $39, from $34. Premarket, the stock is trading at $35.60.
- "The number of levers (i.e. revenue and cost synergies) that could positively impact AT&T's bottom line post the imminent close of the DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) transaction are too material to ignore," he says, noting declining concerns both externally and internally.
- AT&T may be among the companies best positioned for a cycle of favorable earnings revisions, and he notes management has already raised expectations for deal cost synergies ($2.5B vs. previous $1.6B) but "further opportunities exist specifically around reduced investment in legacy access infrastructure."
- UBS also upgraded AT&T shares to Buy this morning.
Tue, Jun. 2, 6:46 PM
- Mogul John Malone floated an interesting idea today: Forget Sprint and T-Mobile -- the wireless industry could get its third major alternative to Verizon and AT&T (NYSE:T) with the merger of Charter Communications (CHTR -1.6%) and Time Warner Cable (TWC -0.9%).
- Malone was speaking at his various Liberty companies' annual meetings and noted that in 2012, the cable consortium SpectrumCo got an option to participate in a wireless MVNO service with Verizon (NYSE:VZ) after the wireless firm bought $3.9B in frequencies.
- Charter wasn't in SpectrumCo then, but merger partners TWC and Bright House are. “The concept that Comcast, a greatly enlarged Charter and Cox could together offer a WiFi-optimized connectivity service with a default to a Verizon MVNO is an interesting concept," Malone said.
- He thinks "there's very little dirty underwear" left to be found in a regulatory review of Charter-TWC after the past year's scrutiny.
- Also of interest regarding Charter capex and the dividend: “Everybody's going to say, ‘Oh he’s spending too much capital,’ but I think the end result with be worth it ... To a large degree we’re betting on Tom Rutledge and his team to wake up a sleepy cable company that was treading water in all honesty for a while and trying to satisfy shareholder pressures with buybacks and dividends as opposed to putting the money into having a competitive service offering.”
- Malone company shares today: LMCA -0.1%; LMCB flat; LMCK flat; LTRPA -0.9%; LTRPB +2.2%; QVCA +0.8%; LBRDA +0.1%; OTCQB:LBRDB flat; LBRDK -0.1%.
Mon, May 18, 2:55 PM
- AT&T (T +1.8%) is planning exclusive mobile content for connected cars and has eight automaker partners to work with on the initiative.
- The company is trying to offer free or paid games and videos exclusively to the cars in an effort to sell more data, now that the market is growing more saturated with mobile phone users.
- Partners include General Motors, Audi, and Ford. AT&T's looking at different business models to make the plan happen, including different revenue shares and an advertising infrastructure.
- "A lot of (content and offers) can be targeted to the make and models of the vehicles," says AT&T's emerging-devices chief Chris Penrose.
Tue, May 5, 11:04 AM
- Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) is pressing the FCC to reject the $48B merger of AT&T (NYSE:T) and DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV), according to regulatory filings revealed today, on complaints about market power -- as the merger could "lead to its becoming the largest (Internet service provider) in the country as well" as becoming the biggest MVPD.
- The remarks came as Netflix officials met with more than 20 FCC staff last week.
- "Such market power creates new incentives and abilities to harm entities that AT&T perceives as competitive threats," Netflix reps said, "and will exacerbate the anticompetitive behavior in which AT&T has already engaged."
- Netflix shares are up 3.8% today in the wake of BofA/Merrill Lynch's heavy upgrade; AT&T is down 1.2% and DirecTV is down 0.5%.
Thu, Apr. 23, 6:24 PM
- AT&T (T +4.2%) peddled $17.5B in bonds in the third-biggest debt offering on record, as it draws funds to help pay for its acquisition of DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) -- a media deal that looks to be a survivor as other mergers fall apart.
- The sale's part of a record year in debt sales; it's the third-biggest ever but only the second-largest this year, as Actavis sold $21B in March.
- Yield-hungry investors put in $68B in orders, nearly four times the offer. A 10-year bond was priced to yield 3.435%; a 31-year bond at 4.772%.
- The company may be getting ahead of the rush. More debt deals are likely to come ahead of any move by the Fed to raise rates, and they're likely to find investors so long as there are negative yields still in the market.
- AT&T will redeem some bonds at a premium if the DTV deal's not done by Nov. 30, though it still exepcts a Q2 closing.
- Previously: AT&T call: On reducing churn, and post-acquisition deleveraging (Apr. 22 2015)
Wed, Apr. 22, 4:31 PM
- AT&T (NYSE:T) is up 1.9% in postmarket trade, after beating EPS expectations but missing on revenue that it says was impacted by foreign exchange issues.
- The company reports 1.2M total net adds in wireless, which includes 441K postpaid and 684K connected cars.
- Churn drops to a best-ever 1.02% (from previous year's 1.07%) as the transition to no-subsidy device plans continues. (Yesterday, Verizon reported its churn fell back to 1.03%.)
- Revenue breakdown: Service, $29.96B (down 2.7%); Equipment, $3.61B (up 33.9%). Total wireless revenues were up 1.8% to $18.2B, and wireless equipment revenues were up 36% to $3.4B. Wireline revenues were $14.1B, down 3.1% (adjust for sale of Connecticut operations, down 1.2%).
- Wireless operating income was $4.4B (-12% as Mobile Share Value plans took off). Wireline operating income was $1.4B, down 3.5%.
- The company still expects its acquisition of DirecTV to close in Q2 and unsurprisingly expects higher cost synergies, to reach at least $2.5B on annual run rate by the third year after closing -- up from the previously expected $1.6B.
- Conference call at 4:30 ET (now).
- Press release
Thu, Apr. 2, 4:26 PM
- Over-the-top video services seems to have accelerating momentum as more unbundling happens every week, but high-yield pay-TV companies have little to worry about just yet, Moody's says in a new report.
- Customer inertia along with the limited competition they now face should buy providers time to adjust.
- "Evolutionary, not revolutionary" is how the firm describes the pay-TV shift, saying that OTT providers, including Sony and Apple, will take a small number of subscribers for now -- even though consumer perception seems to favor OTT options.
- The firm notes rising bills could force defections, but "the average customer may not realize how much content traditional pay TV service provides, from video on demand and across multiple devices."
- Pay TV stocks today: (CMCSA +1.5%), (TWC +1.9%), (CVC +0.9%), (CHTR -0.6%), (T +0.7%), (VZ +1.1%)
Thu, Feb. 19, 9:02 PM
- T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) gained 2.7% today (and another 0.5% in late trading) following its strong Q4 report this morning.
- In the company's call today, CEO John Legere stretched like Armstrong to make a technical point that TMUS is actually the third-biggest U.S. carrier: He says most carriers stop counting "dead" MVNO accounts after 60-90 days, while Sprint (NYSE:S) waits six months. So Legere says Sprint is overcounting by 1.7M customers and is actually behind T-Mobile.
- CFO Braxton Carter tells the Financial Times that the company's guidance (on the low side of expectations) is "conservative" and expectations are high: "We are still taking major flow from the duopoly (T, VZ) ... We are very pleased with our first-quarter momentum."
- T-Mobile should take a Q1 hit in front-loading customer acquisition, but it expects free cash flow to turn positive at some point this year.
- Aside from record customer growth (fueled in part by aggressive promotion), the company pointed to highly watched synergies with its MetroPCS brand -- projecting to reach full run-rate synergies of at least $1.5B by 2016. Net present value there is expected to be $9B-10B, up from original $6B-7B projection.
- That's finally "kicking in," says Craig Moffett: "Synergies from the PCS deal, a key driver of our bull case, are coming in sooner and higher than expected" and that the firm "has at last turned the profitability corner."
- Related: T-Mobile US (TMUS) Q4 2014 Results - Earnings Call Transcript (Feb. 19 2015)
Wed, Feb. 4, 11:42 AM
- Breakdown of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's op-ed on net neutrality: "Enforceable, bright-line rules" that ban paid prioritization ("fast lanes") and blocking/throttling of services, including for mobile broadband.
- The investment key for related stocks: "All of this can be accomplished while encouraging investment in broadband networks. ... My proposal will modernize Title II, tailoring it for the 21st century, in order to provide returns necessary to construct competitive networks. For example, there will be no rate regulation, no tariffs, no last-mile unbundling."
- FCC voting is scheduled for Feb. 26.
- Related stocks: (CMCSA +2.8%); (CVC +2%); (TWC +3.1%); (T +0.6%); (VZ +0.7%); (CHTR +4.3%); (DISH +2.6%); (DTV +1%); (CCOI +3.9%)
Wed, Feb. 4, 11:31 AM
- FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has released an op-ed hinting at the commission's new stance on net neutrality rule -- and it suggests utility-like regulation for fixed and wireless broadband.
- "This week, I will circulate ... proposed new rules to preserve the Internet as an open platform for innovation and free expression. This proposal is rooted in long-standing regulatory principles, marketplace experience, and public input received over the last several months."
- Wheeler calls directly for Title II authority in "the strongest open Internet protections ever proposed by the FCC."
- Stocks on the move: (CMCSA +3.3%); (CVC +2.9%); (TWC +4%); (T +0.8%); (VZ +0.7%); (CHTR +4.3%); (DISH +3.3%); (DTV +1.2%); (CCOI +4.3%)
Sat, Jan. 31, 1:47 PM
- After learning which way AT&T (NYSE:T) went (high) and which way Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) went (low) in the 11-week FCC wireless spectrum auction, most attention focused on Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH): What are they up to?
- The satellite firm took just short of half of the available licenses (and saved over $3B by cannily working through small-business partners) but doesn't offer mobile service -- yet.
- Dish's fortunes in this auction were linked to those of Verizon, which is widely considered a potential buyer or lessee of Dish's spectrum assets. But Dish's Charlie Ergen has pursued wireless firms before (MetroPCS and Sprint (NYSE:S)) and may see wireless mobile as the next path forward from a slower-growing business.
- “I think [Ergen's] strategy is built around a confidence that spectrum will only become more valuable going forward,” says former FCC commissioner Robert McDowell.
- DISH closed the day out down 4.3%, slightly below where it was sitting before the auction results were released.
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.
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