Verizon Communications (VZ) - NYSE
  • Jul. 21, 2014, 2:35 AM
    • Due to slowing growth for its FiOS TV and broadband service, Verizon (NYSE:VZ) is now looking to regain market share with a new offering - faster upload speed.
    • In Q1, Verizon's broadband customer additions slowed to 98k from 188k the year earlier, after facing strong competition from the cable industry.
    • FiOS says it will make available the same upload speeds as download speeds that its customers already subscribe to, for no additional charge.
    • The full roll-out should be completed by the fall.
    | Jul. 21, 2014, 2:35 AM
  • Jul. 11, 2014, 1:19 PM
    • The 2014 World Cup has delivered smashing ratings reports for ESPN, Univision, and ABC - but has also exposed a weakness in the TV Everywhere platform for coverage of live events, reports GigaOm.
    • The complicated process to transcode video feeds into a content delivery network can create a delay of up to 20 seconds - plenty of time for spoilers to crop up for viewers through their online feeds, mobile devices, or nearby friends.
    • Though the delay isn't considered a big enough complication to derail TV Everywhere, it's another annoyance for viewers already frustrated with the authentication process.
    • Related stocks: DISH, DTV, CHTR, CVC, TWC, CMCSA, DISCA, CBS, VZ.
    | Jul. 11, 2014, 1:19 PM | 3 Comments
  • Jul. 10, 2014, 2:12 PM
    • The remarks from Verizon (VZ +1.3%) CEO Lowell McAdam (made during a CNBC talk) indicate Verizon's postpaid adds rose dramatically in Q2 from a disappointing Q1 level of 539K, and were also up from the 941K delivered in Q2 2013.
    • Shares have caught a bid on the comments, which come ahead of Big Red's July 22 Q2 report. The postpaid figure vindicates (for now) Verizon's decision to stick to a premium pricing strategy (unlike AT&T/Sprint) in response to T-Mobile's aggressive promotions. The carrier has been counting on its network/coverage edge to keep high-ARPU postpaid subs loyal.
    | Jul. 10, 2014, 2:12 PM | 1 Comment
  • Jul. 9, 2014, 8:42 AM
    • Select media stocks could see some volatility this week with the Allen & Co. Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho expected to get some M&A rumors kickstarted.
    • This year's affair arrives with two mega-mergers (AT&T-DirecTV and Comcast-Time Warner Cable) looming large in the industry, and in a development which bodes well for content owners, will be attended by tech heavyweights such as Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, Netflix's (NFLX) Reed Hastings, and Twitter's Dick Costolo.
    • The eclectic mix also includes Warren Buffett and NBA commissioner Adam Silver who will chat up media execs with the NBA TV contract up for bid soon.
    • Analysts expect the Allen conference to be high on stock-moving rumors, but light on binding deals.
    • Rumored deals: A Discovery Communications (DISCA)-Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI) merger; Verizon (VZ) taking a run at Hulu (DIS, CMCSA, FOXA); 21st Century Fox (FOXA) offering a hefty premium for Time Warner (TWX).
    • Related ETF: PBS
    | Jul. 9, 2014, 8:42 AM
  • Jul. 3, 2014, 5:09 PM
    • 7 months after striking a deal to buy Akamai (AKAM +0.3%) rival EdgeCast, Verizon (VZ +0.1%) has rolled out a new CDN service aimed specifically at e-commerce merchants.
    • The service builds upon an EdgeCast e-commerce offering (called Transact) launched  before the Verizon deal. Its feature set includes value-added content protection, replication, and analytics services.
    • To date, Verizon/EdgeCast has had a relatively small e-commerce customer base compared with Akamai. The CDN leader has aggressively targeted online retailers, who tend to pay a premium for CDN services guaranteeing high security and low latency, as part of its efforts to cut its dependence on low-margin media delivery services.
    | Jul. 3, 2014, 5:09 PM | 1 Comment
  • Jul. 3, 2014, 1:35 PM
    • Droid Life reports Verizon's (VZ +0.1%) AllSet prepaid plans (saw price cuts in March) will gain 4G support on July 17, thus eliminating a major shortcoming relative to rival offerings. No word on whether full or throttled 4G speeds will be delivered - Verizon has held off on offering 4G with AllSet thus far out of fear of cannibalizing costlier postpaid plans.
    • AllSet's smartphone plans currently start at $45/month (unlimited talk/text + 500MB of data), with an extra 1GB of data costing $10 and 3GB $20. Feature phone plans start at $35/month.
    • AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint already offer 4G prepaid services. AT&T recently acquired Leap Wireless, and has since begun offering nationwide 4G prepaid under Leap's Cricket brand. T-Mobile has significantly expanded the reach of MetroPCS-branded 4G prepaid services since acquiring the carrier last year.
    • Tough competition led Verizon to post only 10K retail prepaid net adds in Q1. Its retail prepaid base totaled 6.06M at quarter's end.
    • Previous: BTIG thinks Verizon is seeing less ARPU pressure than AT&T.
    | Jul. 3, 2014, 1:35 PM
  • Jul. 1, 2014, 7:18 PM
    • Even if AT&T's (T) ARPU drops by a modest $1.50 in 2H14, it could still be down 10% Y/Y and set to fall below $60 in 2015, notes BTIG's Walter Piecyk. AT&T is a month removed from warning it doesn't expect any wireless service revenue growth in Q2 due to ARPU pressure caused by its participation in a T-Mobile-driven price war.
    • AT&T has responded to T-Mobile in part by cutting prices and removing phone-leasing requirements for Mobile Share plans. The response has been positive - AT&T expects ~2/3 all postpaid subs to be on no-subsidy Mobile Share plans by year's end - but has come at the cost of lower ARPU and (due to phone leases) higher equipment spend.
    • Moreover, with Piecyk expecting 75% of Mobile Share subs to be on 10GB or higher plans by the end of 2015, he thinks AT&T will be pressured to "find something to drive incremental growth that will move those customers to higher usage plans."
    • The story is different for Verizon (VZ), which has stuck to a premium pricing strategy and placed tougher leasing hurdles. The strategy has hurt Verizon's subscriber adds, but also led to less ARPU pressure.
    • Piecyk thinks Verizon can still see low- to mid-single digit service revenue growth, whereas AT&T is likely to see a 5%+ Y/Y decline later this year.
    • AT&T, of course, is about to lower its mobile dependence with a huge acquisition.
    | Jul. 1, 2014, 7:18 PM | 8 Comments
  • Jun. 26, 2014, 2:48 PM
    • Following allegations the NSA had tapped the phones of German chancellor Angela Merkel and ex-chancellor Gerhard Schröder, the German government has decided to end a telecom services contract with Verizon (VZ -0.5%) in 2015.
    • An Interior Ministry spokesman says the government now requires carriers to sign contracts confirming they're not legally obliged to share info with foreign governments, and that Verizon can't comply.
    • The size of the deal is unknown. With Verizon expected to post 2014 revenue of $125.1B, the impact of the German contract loss might not be huge by itself. But it could also be a sign of things to come.
    • Last year: Court order instructs Verizon to provide NSA with call data
    | Jun. 26, 2014, 2:48 PM | 4 Comments
  • Jun. 20, 2014, 12:16 PM
    • The NY Post reports Verizon (VZ -0.3%) is eying Dish's (DISH +3.3%) high-frequency spectrum, estimated by analysts to be worth as much as $17B. One source states early, informal talks have been held.
    • Dish has been looking for a partner for its spectrum, which is particularly useful for handling 4G traffic in high-density urban areas. After Dish's Sprint bid was thwarted last year, Charlie Ergen has said he's open to a T-Mobile deal. But Sprint and T-Mobile are now eying a merger of their own (regulators permitting).
    • Verizon has been dealing with a 4G capacity crunch in many big metro areas; the carrier is responding by rolling out 4G in the high-frequency AWS band. Buying Dish's spectrum would give Verizon more long-term headroom.
    • Regulators probably wouldn't object to a deal, given Sprint and T-Mobile each have considerable high-frequency spectrum. But with Verizon having $110B in debt following the Vodafone deal, balance sheet concerns could get in the way.
    • The AT&T/DirecTV deal fueled speculation Verizon will make a bid to fully acquire Dish. But Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam quickly shot down the idea.
    | Jun. 20, 2014, 12:16 PM | 5 Comments
  • Jun. 9, 2014, 11:20 AM
    • Netflix (NFLX -0.7%) is out with its ISP Speed Index for May and takes a swipe at "some" large ISP providers (VZ, TWC, CHTR, CVC) along the way.
    • ISP Speed Index (Mbps): Cablevision-Optimum 3.03, Cox 2.94, Charter 2.87, Suddenlink 2.83, Comcast 2.72, Time Warner Cable 2.45, Bright House 2.23, Windstream 1.90, Verizon FIOS 1.90.
    • The company says some ISPs are harming consumers by double-dipping to get fees from subscribers and content providers for the same access.
    • In an interesting twist, Netflix says it will continue testing using an error message when a broadband provider has persistent network congestion. A broad roll-out of the policy is being considered.
    • Previous: Netflix vs. Verizon over error message
    | Jun. 9, 2014, 11:20 AM | 5 Comments
  • Jun. 5, 2014, 3:07 PM
    • Verizon (VZ +0.4%) has sent a cease and desist letter to Netflix (NFLX +1%) over error messages the company is reported to be displaying placing blame at the feet of Verizon for a crowded network.
    • The company says there is no basis to make the claim that it's solely responsible for the issue.
    • A Verizon spokesperson calls the error message a "publicity stunt."
    | Jun. 5, 2014, 3:07 PM | 14 Comments
  • Jun. 5, 2014, 12:18 PM
    • Verizon Communications (VZ) declares $0.53/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.
    • Forward yield 4.29%
    • Payable Aug. 1; for shareholders of record July 10; ex-div July 8.
    | Jun. 5, 2014, 12:18 PM | 4 Comments
  • Jun. 3, 2014, 4:07 PM
    • Verizon (VZ -1.5%), Sprint (S -2.2%), and T-Mobile (TMUS -1%) have each closed lower after AT&T guided for no Q2 wireless service revenue growth, and a weak wireless service EBITDA margin.
    • Investors have already been nervous about the impact a T-Mobile-driven price war stands to have on the top and bottom lines of rivals. AT&T mentioned adoption of its Mobile Share Value plans, which saw price cuts after T-Mobile announced a series of aggressive moves, are pressuring its ARPU.
    • Verizon, though offering some modest promotions, has generally stuck to a premium pricing strategy; its disappointing Q1 postpaid subscriber adds - 539K net adds with an estimated 95K decline for phones - fueled questions about whether a strategy change is needed. The fact AT&T expects to add 800K+ postpaid subs in Q2 might heighten those concerns.
    • Sprint has been more aggressive than Verizon, launching its low-cost Framily plans in January and heavily promoting them. But it lost 231K postpaid subs in Q1 as it scrambles to neutralize Verizon/AT&T's 4G coverage leads.
    • One encouraging AT&T datapoint: The carrier expects ~2/3 of postpaid smartphone subs to be on subsidy-free Mobile Share Value plans by year's end. Both AT&T and peers have made slashing subsidy spend a priority.
    | Jun. 3, 2014, 4:07 PM | 4 Comments
  • May 29, 2014, 4:15 AM
    • Sprint (S) Chairman Masayoshi Son reasons that the rise in telecom and cable mergers should allow his company to buy rival T-Mobile (TMUS). Three big mergers have taken place in recent months with Verizon (VZ) acquiring Vodafone (VOD) for $130B, Comcast (CMCSA) buying Time Warner Cable (TWC) for $45B, and the AT&T (T) purchase of DirecTV (DTV) for $49B.
    • "Access to the Internet is currently dominated by three giants with no sizable competitor," says Son.
    • Although the company has not yet made a formal bid on T-Mobile, it looks to lay the framework for a future purchase.
    • Antitrust authorities have previously frowned on such a deal, as it would cut the number of national competitors in the wireless industry to three from four.
    | May 29, 2014, 4:15 AM | 9 Comments
  • May 20, 2014, 9:55 AM
    • "I know there are reports out there that we are talking to Dish (DISH -2.3%). I can tell you now, that is someone's fantasy ... I don't think owning a satellite company is something I'm interested in at this point," says Verizon (VZ +0.1%) CEO Lowell McAdam in response to reports his company has held talks with Dish.
    • As it is, there was plenty of skepticism Verizon, which just took on more than $60B in debt to help pay for Vodafone's Verizon Wireless stake, would turn its sights on Dish in response to AT&T's (T -0.8%) deal to acquire DirecTV.
    • McAdam states Verizon's current focus is on rolling out OTT (Web-based) programming. The company bought out Intel's would-be Web TV unit in January, and has since said it's in talks with content providers to offer a Web/mobile TV service.
    • If/when Verizon's service launches, it'll likely face competition from Dish, which plans to launch a Web TV service aimed at cord-cutters by year's end. It might also compete against AT&T,  which hopes to launch a Web TV offering within 12-18 months of the DirecTV deal's closing.
    • For each company, signing up content providers terrified of upsetting traditional pay-TV clients (and thus putting affiliate fees at risk) remains a challenge. Dish, for its part, has managed to get Disney/ESPN on board.
    | May 20, 2014, 9:55 AM | 2 Comments
  • May 19, 2014, 2:35 PM
    • Sources tell dealReporter Verizon (VZ +0.1%) has held talks with Dish (DISH -0.3%). Dish shares are near breakeven after trading lower much of the day in response to the AT&T/DirecTV deal.
    • AT&T/DirecTV has fueled speculation Verizon could counter with an offer for Dish, which owns a large chunk of high-frequency spectrum that could be used to offer 4G services. But there has also been a fair amount of skepticism, particularly given Verizon just spent $130B to buy Vodafone's Verizon Wireless stake.
    • Analyst Craig Moffett: "Dish Network has just been left standing ... That Verizon might be a buyer is more wishful thinking than it is analysis." Wells Fargo thinks Verizon might bid for Dish's spectrum, but not the whole company.
    • The deal has also renewed speculation Dish will try to merge with T-Mobile (TMUS +2.1%), which could face tough regulatory opposition to a merger with Sprint.
    • Reuters reported in December Dish is weighing an offer for the #4 U.S. carrier, and Charlie Ergen has said a deal is a possibility.
    | May 19, 2014, 2:35 PM | 1 Comment
Company Description
Verizon Communications Inc. operates as a holding company, which provides broadband, wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. It operates through Wireless and Wireline segments. The Wireless segment provides communications products... More
Sector: Technology
Industry: Telecom Services - Domestic
Country: United States