Vodafone Group plc (VOD) - NASDAQ
  • Sep. 18, 2015, 1:25 PM
    • Antitrust regulators in Europe are set to launch a wide probe into Hutchison Whampoa's (OTCPK:HUWHY) £10.3B bid for O2, the UK mobile unit of Telefonica (TEF -4.1%) -- which likely means key concessions are coming, Reuters reports.
    • The plan to merge Hutchison's Three with O2 was a long time coming, and now it's facing what looks like a sterner regulatory regime whose stance helped kill a plan to merge the Danish operations of TeliaSonera and Telenor.
    • The EU's competition authority has an Oct. 16 deadline for preliminary review but is expected to follow with a full-blown investigation that should last five months.
    • Proper concessions are likely to be challenging, however: Three UK shares a 3G network with market leader EE (ORAN, OTCQX:DTEGY), while Telefonica shares some towers with Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) -- which has been vocal about ensuring competition as the UK market consolidates.
    | Sep. 18, 2015, 1:25 PM
  • Sep. 15, 2015, 9:32 AM
    • Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) is off 2.3% amid the newly tougher regulatory scheme that likely has put a kibosh on a merger with Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA).
    • A shift in approach to the hard line by European Commission competition chief Margrethe Vestager recently got TeliaSonera and Telenor to call off a merger of their Danish operators. And Liberty is offering up fresh concessions in an effort to seal its effort to buy KPN's Belgian operator Base.
    • John Malone is still looking for common ground with Vodafone over some kind of tie-up, he tells Bloomberg, as those talks seem to stall. Discussions about a full merger that initially moved stocks turned to talks over an asset swap in Europe, as Vodafone insists it's not talking about the full deal.
    • "Obviously there’s a price at which Liberty Global could be bought," Malone said. "I don’t believe that that’s likely for the other side to get there -- an outright purchase of the whole company. Other than that, it’s a question of could you figure out some way to live together."
    • Vodafone chief Vittorio Colao should "retire" now that the merger talks have fallen apart, says telecom analyst Neil Campling of Aviate Global. Asset swaps seem unlikely in key markets the UK and Germany, he says. “While we can find reasons to invest in Liberty Global on a standalone basis, the same cannot be said for Vodafone," he says. "What's next? Vittorio, surely, will retire and head for the sunshine/ski slope. He should.”
    • Meanwhile, Vodafone India has begun talks with IBM to renew a 660B-rupee ($1B) outsourcing contract that expires in June. Other vendors, including Wipro, Tata Consultancy, Infosys and Tech Mahindra, could push for the deal.
    | Sep. 15, 2015, 9:32 AM | 1 Comment
  • Sep. 14, 2015, 8:06 PM
    • In a market recently hot with network improvement talk, Three UK (OTCPK:HUWHY) has announced its commercial launch of voice-over-LTE and the debut of its 800 MHz spectrum.
    • The company's calling it "4G Super-Voice" to communicate the move to consumers, who should benefit from better indoor coverage with the user of the lower frequencies. Three's beating EE (ORAN, OTCQX:DTEGY) and Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) to the VoLTE punch.
    • Three says a million of its customers will have access by the end of the year, and that the technology already covers 50% of the UK's population for indoor coverage and more than 75% of London, Edinburgh, Exeter and Birmingham.
    | Sep. 14, 2015, 8:06 PM
  • Sep. 14, 2015, 9:18 AM
    • Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) is off 1.8% premarket in U.S. trading after early-a.m. analyst action.
    • Shares are down 1.1% in London as Nomura cut its price target to 275 pence from its previous 290 pence, while maintaining a Buy rating. Shares are trading currently at 221.46p, implying more than 30% upside.
    • Meanwhile, Credit Suisse has reiterated its Outperform rating, with a target of 250 pence (12.9% upside from current trading).
    • Both those targets are slightly higher than consensus, which sits just over 239 pence.
    • Vodafone ADRs are down 7% over the past month.
    | Sep. 14, 2015, 9:18 AM | 1 Comment
  • Sep. 4, 2015, 1:44 PM
    | Sep. 4, 2015, 1:44 PM | 4 Comments
  • Sep. 1, 2015, 12:01 PM
    • Ahead of the vaunted launch of Netflix (NFLX -6.3%) service in Spain next month, Vodafone Spain (VOD -1.7%) has signed a deal to become the first pay TV provider to offer Netflix in the country.
    • Vodafone says it can deliver Netflix's app to subscribers without a set-top box update. Perhaps more important for subscribers, they'll have an integrated search engine for programming on Vodafone's service, and Netflix offerings will be part of the recommendations section.
    • Netflix has been stacking up deals with (smaller) pay TV providers, including Cogeco's Atlantic Broadband earlier this summer, Cable One, Mediacom, Suddenlink and Grande Communications.
    • Previously: Netflix sets October for delayed launch in Spain (Jun. 03 2015)
    • Previously: Netflix eyes tough market in Spain (Mar. 08 2015)
    | Sep. 1, 2015, 12:01 PM | 2 Comments
  • Aug. 28, 2015, 10:07 AM
    • Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) has confirmed its plan to launch 4G service in India by year's end, joining a hot space after Bharti Airtel and Reliance Industries pressed their own 4G rollouts.
    • Vodafone has successfully begun tests, it says, and that Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Kochi -- "important data markets" -- would be part of the first wave.
    • With Airtel as the first mover, launching 4G service in about 300 cities and towns, and Reliance Jio to launch in December with a 1T-rupee investment ($16B), analysts warned of a round of price wars.
    • JPMorgan noted that along with the effect of price cuts, Reliance's re-entry of the market is affecting capex at rivals.
    | Aug. 28, 2015, 10:07 AM | 1 Comment
  • Aug. 26, 2015, 3:36 PM
    • Turkey's once-postponed auction of 4G airwaves did better than expected, drawing €3.96B (about $4.5B) in bids from Turkey's three operators: Vodafone (VOD +2.5%), Turkcell (TKC +4.6%) and Avea (OTC:TRKNY).
    • The original tender had been postponed in May as president Recep Tayyip Erdogan pressed for a cancellation, and for the country to skip a generation and try to upgrade infrastructure to 5G. But that technology isn't fully defined yet, and any commercial rollouts aren't likely before 2020.
    • The auction performed well in a market that features a young, data-hungry population, says analyst Jonathan Friedman: "Beyond recent political instability, Turkey is a large market with nearly 80 million consumers, and investors want to be a part of that."
    • The bids received today are subject to a final approval process before frequencies are allocated.
    | Aug. 26, 2015, 3:36 PM | 2 Comments
  • Aug. 21, 2015, 12:54 PM
    • Vodafone (VOD -2.8%) has pulled out of a six-company competition to take over Lebanon's two mobile operators.
    • The government's two mobile firms, Touch and Alfa, were being run by Zain and Orascom Telecom Media and Technology, though the two companies' management contracts expired two years ago.
    • Vodafone's pulling out leaves five others competing: Zain, Orange (ORAN -0.2%), Maxis, Turkcell (TKC -1.9%) and a unit of Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY), as OTMT didn't submit a bid application on time.
    | Aug. 21, 2015, 12:54 PM | 1 Comment
  • Aug. 17, 2015, 2:04 PM
    • Amid discussion and plenty of speculation about how or when Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) and Liberty Global (LBTYA +1.2%) are going to get together, some analysts are looking to the coming month for clarity.
    • The timetable might move based on Vodafone's actions for emerging-market assets, and how they are split from European assets.
    • While the two companies confirmed discussions earlier this summer, they squelched talk of an outright purchase/merger, saying instead that they were talking about swapping assets.
    • Nomura's James Britton sees an update coming soon on the negotiations. "The upside for both entities is clear to see and we remain confident that an offer for Vodafone Europe, which leaves Vodafone shareholders with a considerable interest in the premier convergence provider (Liberty) in Europe, will be an enticing prospect for Vodafone's board," he writes. Nomura has been on record saying an outright merger would look more attractive than an asset swap.
    • Though Vodafone has stated the companies are not considering a merger, we do not believe this is necessarily a permanent state of affairs," Citigroup's Simon Weeden wrote last month, saying the "cleanest and lowest risk" path to synergy was via "a full acquisition of Liberty by Vodafone.
    • Previously: Liberty Global, Vodafone see better rules environment for swaps (Jun. 12 2015)
    • Previously: Liberty Global CEO: Need mobile services to complete quad-play (Jun. 09 2015)
    | Aug. 17, 2015, 2:04 PM | 3 Comments
  • Aug. 14, 2015, 11:58 AM
    • Qualcomm (QCOM +0.1%) has sold its L-Band (1452MHz.-1492MHz.) U.K. spectrum to Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) and Three's U.K. subsidiaries. The Times reports total proceeds are expected to be above £100M ($156M).
    • Qualcomm announced in June it would sell the spectrum, following an EU decision allowing the L-Band to be used for mobile downlink capacity. The company paid just £8.3M ($12.9M) in 2008 to buy the spectrum.
    | Aug. 14, 2015, 11:58 AM | 3 Comments
  • Aug. 12, 2015, 6:09 PM
    • Vodafone India's (NASDAQ:VOD) chief information officer is leaving the company, to take on a broader role at another firm, he said.
    • Anthony Thomas has led the Mumbai-based IT team since April 2012, after holding senior positions at companies including Citigroup and Ernst & Young. His tenure included the company's rollout of the M-pesa mobile money transfer system.
    • He says his last day will be Sept. 15.
    | Aug. 12, 2015, 6:09 PM | 2 Comments
  • Aug. 4, 2015, 7:41 PM
    • Telecom Italia (TI -1.3%) is looking to avoid up to €4B (about $4.4B) in antitrust charges via a reorganization of the unit that leases its wireline network to competitors -- including Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD), which is seeking more than €1B in damages, Bloomberg reports.
    • The plan would be modeled after what BT Group has done in the UK with Openreach: folding its OpenAccess unit into its wholesale business.
    • The board is reportedly set to review the plan at a meeting on Thursday. TI has reportedly made provisions, including one-time items of €309M in Q2, to address antitrust concerns.
    • Telecom competitor Fastweb SpA --owned by Swisscom (OTCPK:SCMWY) -- is also pursuing remedies against TI, to the tune of €1.7B.
    • The proposal would have TI buying wholesale capacity from OpenAccess just as its rivals do, and the wholesale group would have total oversight over OpenAccess.
    | Aug. 4, 2015, 7:41 PM | 1 Comment
  • Jul. 24, 2015, 9:20 PM
    • Following Vodafone's (VOD +2%) Q1 results, in its earnings call today (transcript), CEO Vittorio Colao elaborated on the company's discomfort with the power of a consolidated BT Group/EE combo in the UK as regulatory questions piled up.
    • Vodafone and industry peers have called for a breakup of BT Group -- UK regulator Ofcom is considering a split of Openreach -- and Colao said the right rules could prompt investment.
    • "So I think the regulators should have a serious look at the possibility of creating a true modern infrastructure company to serve the country. And Openreach could be that one. And, ideally, Vodafone could even be an investor in fiber like we are in other places, if it was a genuine thing."
    • Colao also complained about broadcasters like Sky paying heavy fees to get exclusive programming rights that are enforced with some close-together geographic borders in Europe, a subject that touches on the EU's antitrust action against major Hollywood studios.
    • "Minimum guarantees are my enemy and we need to convince regulators they are anticompetitive," Colao said. "But I think the behavior of content owners will be under a lot of scrutiny in coming years."
    • Previously: BT CEO threatens decade of litigation if forced to divest wholesale unit (Jul. 20 2015)
    | Jul. 24, 2015, 9:20 PM
  • Jul. 24, 2015, 9:27 AM
    • Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) is up 2.7% premarket after a quarterly report where growth sped up slightly on revenues held down by currency changes.
    • Revenues were down 0.9%, but increased 3.3% excluding forex and M&A. Organic service revenues (excluding M&A, forex and handset sales) was up 0.8%, boosted by 6.1% gains in its Africa/Middle East/Asia Pacific geo. India provided a regional boost with 6.9% gains.
    • European organic service revenue fell 1.5% but comparative recovery was apparent across markets: Germany -1.2%; Italy -2%; Spain -5.5%; UK +0.2%.
    • The company reported 24.1M 4G customers across 18 markets.
    • CEO Vittorio Colao called it "a good start to the year. Our emerging markets have maintained their strong momentum and more of our European businesses are returning to growth, as customer demand for 4G and data takes off."
    | Jul. 24, 2015, 9:27 AM | 1 Comment
  • Jul. 21, 2015, 9:07 AM
    • Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) is down 1.1% premarket in U.S. trading following news of a shakeup of its European management even as it talks with Liberty Global about swapping assets on the continent.
    • European chief Philipp Humm will step down and leave Vodafone, and the chiefs of Vodafone's most crucial markets -- Germany, Italy, the UK and Spain -- will report directly to CEO Vittorio Colao as part of a group executive committee.
    • Colao says this will "simplify and streamline the management of our largest European markets and accelerate our strategic plans in those countries" as convergence quickens and the company proceeds with organic investment.
    • Meanwhile, Grupo Santander reiterated its Underweight rating on Vodafone. Santander has a price target on London shares of 215 pence; shares are down 0.9% in London, to 236.9 pence.
    • Nomura has reiterated its Buy rating today.
    • Previously: Vodafone up as firms counter Goldman, reiterate Buy ratings (Jul. 16 2015)
    • Previously: Vodafone, Liberty merger "far more attractive" than asset swap: Nomura (Jun. 23 2015)
    | Jul. 21, 2015, 9:07 AM | 1 Comment
Company Description
Vodafone Group Plc is a telecommunications company. It provides a range of services including voice, messaging, data, and fixed communications; unified communication solutions; Vodafone One Net, a converged service, which combines fixed and mobile services for various businesses; carrier voice... More
Sector: Technology
Industry: Wireless Communications
Country: United Kingdom