Fri, Nov. 18, 1:38 PM
- Telecom companies are Europe's "sick man," marking the worst performance among the continent's sectors, and there's little encouraging news ahead, says Leila Abboud.
- An index of telecoms has showed up dead last in 2016, with 20% declines (accounting for dividend effects).
- Despite serviceable results from the likes of Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD), Telefonica (NYSE:TEF), Telecom Italia (NYSE:TI), Orange (NYSE:ORAN) and Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY), investors are unimpressed and have driven the sector's overall value near a two-year low.
- Blocked acquisitions play a role, as EC chief Margrethe Vestager began blocking national mobile mergers.
- Even if the companies come through on sustained growth of market share and revenues, there may not be much to be gained: Enterprise values are around 6.2-6.4 times forward EBITDA -- not far below carriers in the U.S., around 6.5 times (but with quicker growing earnings).
Thu, Nov. 17, 1:00 PM
- After a few years of delay, Mexico has elected to award the contract for a huge wholesale mobile network to the Altan group, a consortium that will need to create a multibillion-dollar operation to cover 85% of the population (and the only remaining bidder).
- The network was originally planned as part of telecom reforms firmly targeting the dominance in-country of Carlos Slim's America Movil (NYSE:AMX).
- It's set up to build a 20-year public-private partnership (Mexico is helping out with costs) to develop a nationwide 4G LTE network that others would rent, though mobile operators (AMX -1%, TEF +0.9%, T +1%) are reticent.
- The Altan group is backed by Morgan Stanley Infrastructure and the World Bank's International Finance Corp., and includes Alfa unit Axtel and Mexico's Megacable.
- The group is planning to surpass requirements by covering 92.2% of the Mexican population within seven years.
- Previously: Mexico launching wholesale mobile network tender (Jan. 29 2016)
Tue, Nov. 15, 12:25 PM
- Viacom (VIA -0.9%, VIAB -0.9%) has a deal to acquire Argentina's Television Federal from Telefonica (TEF -3.7%), for $345M.
- The deal's all cash. Reports from two weeks ago had the two talking about a deal in the range of $385M.
- Viacom gets an "outstanding broadcast and production business" in the deal, says acting CEO Bob Bakish, who came up through the company's international ranks.
- Telefe hits 95% of households in Argentina, which has a population of 43M, and has a 33% viewership share. It also makes more than 3,000 hours of Spanish-language content each year.
Thu, Nov. 3, 10:42 AM
- Viacom (VIA +2.5%, VIAB +2.8%) is in discussions to buy Argentina's Television Federal from Telefonica (NYSE:TEF), for as much as $385M, Reuters reports.
- A deal, which would need an OK from regulators, could come this week (or fall apart).
- International moves have provided the high points for struggling Viacom of late. The company just finished naming its international business chief Bob Bakish as acting CEO.
- Previously: Incoming Viacom chief Bakish to get $12M target pay (Nov. 01 2016)
- Previously: Viacom taps international chief Bakish as acting CEO/president (Oct. 31 2016)
Fri, Oct. 28, 6:35 PM
- A dividend cut at Telefonica (TEF +1.2%) is supportive of the company's credit profile and will help build headroom in its rating, Fitch says.
- Along with earnings yesterday, the company cut its dividend to €0.55/share from €0.75/share, as it tried to fight a potential downgrade.
- The company had €50B in net debt, above Telefonica's market cap. And the cut looks to have had the desired effect, at least at Fitch: The move shows "management's commitment to reduce leverage and will increase Telefonica's free cash flow and organic deleveraging capacity."
- It will also reduce reliance on asset sales, the firm said. All told, Telefonica should retain its BBB rating at Fitch.
Thu, Oct. 27, 9:23 AM
Thu, Oct. 27, 2:58 AM
- Nokia's (NYSE:NOK) quarterly profit fell less than expected, boosted by resilient broadband demand and a patent licensing payment from Samsung.
- Telefonica (NYSE:TEF) grew out its customer base during Q3, but decided to cut its dividend to speed up debt reduction.
- Reflecting Brexit worries and investment delays, ABB's orders slipped while the firm appointed a new CFO.
- Statoil (NYSE:STO) reported a net loss and cut its 2016 capital expenditure again due to persistently low oil prices.
- Barclays (NYSE:BCS) posted big pre-tax profits on a bond-trading boom, but also revealed a £600M fine for mis-selling PPI.
- Also see: VW back to profit after Dieselgate blow (Oct. 27 2016)
Wed, Oct. 26, 7:42 PM
- European telecoms have a stable outlook into the new year, Moody's says, thanks to flexibility in raising prices driven by customers' need for high-speed data -- and their willingness to spend.
- "Customers are willing to pay more for better value, and telcos" -- including some of the largest, like Telefonica (NYSE:TEF), Orange (NYSE:ORAN) Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY), Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD), Telia (OTCPK:TLSNY), and Telecom Italia (NYSE:TI) -- "will continue to offer higher speeds, more capacity, content and additional services, such as roaming, greater network security and cloud storage capacity, to support price increases," the firm says.
- The demand should support industrywide revenue growth of 1-2% over the next 12-18 months, Moody's says, and margins will rise from around 35% now to 36% by 2017.
- Another tailwind is regulators focused less on reducing consumer prices and more on pushing investments in high-speed networking, the report says. But big cross-border M&A isn't likely to occur with fewer synergies to be grabbed as well as less financial flexibility, and governments protecting incumbent firms.
Tue, Oct. 25, 8:09 PM
- Telefonica Brasil (NYSE:VIV) posted Q3 earnings that rose by 9.6% but missed expectations slightly with hints of an economic recovery in the beleaguered country.
- Brazil's top telecom earned 953M real (about $306M) for the quarter and has boosted free cash flow by 43% over the nine months.
- Average revenue per user rose 15%.
- Meanwhile, in an economic bellwether, sales of prepaid wireless rose for the first time in two years.
- CEO Amos Genish said Vivo's success in grabbing synergies from an acquisition of broadband firm GVT would make it the highlight of earnings for the global Telefonica (NYSE:TEF), reporting Thursday.
- After hours: VIV +0.3%; TEF +0.2%.
Mon, Oct. 10, 10:55 AM
- Eduardo Navarro de Carvalho is taking over as chief executive officer at Telefonica Brasil (VIV -6.2%), replacing Amos Genish, in the first major executive move since Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete took over as Telefonica chairman (TEF +1.4%).
- The move was apparently in the works for months, but announced earlier due to leaks from a journalist prodding about the transition.
- Navarro is already chairman and chief commercial digital officer at Telefonica Brasil. He'll work with Genish on a transition set to complete Jan. 1.
- Genish is leaving for personal reasons and says he won't work for another telecom "at least for a few good years."
- Analysts at Bradesco BBI downgraded shares of the stock to Neutral: “One of the main pillars of Telefonica Brasil’s investment thesis, top-notch management, has weakened with Amos’ resignation, increasing execution risk for synergy gains and ongoing market share gain."
Thu, Sep. 29, 3:54 PM
- Telefonica (TEF -2.2%) has canceled its initial public offering for infrastructure unit Telxius, originally set to price today, amid weak demand.
- The earlier price range set for the offering had disappointed the debt-heavy carrier and a postponement seemed likely earlier today.
- The company says it will continue to "analyze strategic alternatives" for the division.
- Telxius originally looked to take advantage of a wave of cell-tower spin-offs over the past year, including Cellnex and Inwit, but it drew criticism for including undersea cables in the unit, considered a drag on its overall value.
Thu, Sep. 29, 10:13 AM
- Telefonica (TEF +0.2%) is close to postponing the initial public offering of Telxius, its infrastructure unit, after it's running into weak demand for the offering, Bloomberg reports.
- There's no decision yet to postpone but one could come as early as today.
- Telefonica already ran into disappointment with a lower valuation for the offering than it hoped -- €3.38B at the midpoint, vs. a hoped-for €3.5B. Just 40% of the unit was planned for sale, which would bring Telefonica just €1.2B.
- The pricing for the offering was set to be fixed today.
Wed, Sep. 28, 7:30 PM
- Time Warner (TWX +0.9%) and Viacom (VIA +2.7%, VIAB +3.1%) could get a bigger foothold in Latin America as each considers bidding for Telefonica's (TEF +1.5%) Argentine broadcaster Telefe, The Wall Street Journal reports.
- A deal process that's been ongoing for months could culminate in a $400M transaction. Offers are expected within days, with Telefonica making a decision on the deal in October, sources told the WSJ.
- Time Warner already operates a number of channels in Latin America and HBO has a division in the region; its Turner unit has been called the front-runner for the deal.
- Meanwhile, while Viacom is under a heavy debt load, the company thinks a deal could make sense because of Telefe's cash flows.
- Previously: Viacom jumps to gain on report Redstone's firm to urge CBS re-merger (Sep. 28 2016)
Tue, Sep. 27, 1:52 PM
- With Brexit fallout calming, Telefonica (TEF -0.4%) will look to list about 30% of UK wireless firm O2 this year, in what would be one of the London market's biggest IPOs of 2016, Reuters reports.
- The deal could value O2 at £10B and Telefonica chief Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete is pressing banks to speed up work so that the offering could happen in December (still this year, but clear of the U.S. presidential election and its possible roiling of markets).
- The company's been considering what to do strategically with O2 since a sale to Hutchison was blocked on regulatory grounds.
- Telefonica had previously hired bankers Barclays, UBS and Morgan Stanley to go over the issue, sources said.
Mon, Sep. 26, 5:12 AM
- O2 is nearing a flotation on the London Stock Exchange under the name Telefonica U.K. as Spanish parent company Telefonica (NYSE:TEF) hires advisers to oversee a potential £10bn flotation.
- Barclays, UBS and Morgan Stanley are thought to be the main banks involved in the handling of the listing, which will be the largest London IPO since Glencore in 2011. It's expected to be completed in early 2017.
Fri, Sep. 23, 12:36 PM
- Argentina's government expects upcoming telecom reforms to draw $20B in investment over four years, with a number of multinational players making preparations for the shifting market.
- A strategy of openness pledged by recently elected president Mauricio Macri is causing investment rethinking across industries. AT&T (NYSE:T) and Motorola Mobility have expressed interest in investing there, Communications Minister Oscar Aguad told Reuters.
- "As long as we are able to dictate a norm with clear rules, I think the figure of $5 billion a year is possible," Aguad says of the regulations set to take effect in 2018.
- In local firms, Telecom Argentina (TEO -0.5%) has said it plans to invest $2.6B through 2018, and Telefonica Argentina (TEF -0.5%) has invested $330M in the first six months of this year. Those firms run at a disadvantage in the TV market to Groupo Clarin's Cablevisión, which offers Internet and TV via fiber, and its cable peers (and also compete with satellite distributors like DirecTV and Supercanal).