Nov. 27, 2013, 1:27 PM
- Bloomberg reports Telecom Italia's (TI +0.2%) Brazilian unit (TSU -0.5%) is partnering with Morgan Stanley to find potential buyers for its 7K mobile towers, and that TI proper is "analyzing internally" how to unload its 12K Italian towers.
- American Tower (AMT -0.2%) is named as a potential bidder for the Brazilian assets, which one source thinks could fetch €700M ($951M).
- The report comes as expectations grow TI will eventually sell TSU, in which it owns a 67% stake, altogether. Major TI shareholder Telefonica wants to see a Brazilian sale, but TI has said there's currently no sales process underway.
- AMT is only two months removed from announcing a $4.8B deal to acquire major U.S. tower owner Global Tower Partners. Before that, the company struck an $811M tower purchase/lease-back agreement with NII Holdings for over 4,400 Brazilian and Mexican towers.
- Muddy Waters has been quite critical of an older Brazilian tower purchase deal carried out by AMT.
Nov. 11, 2013, 8:41 AM
- Twitter (TWTR) has been started at Neutral by Sterne Agee. Shares -1.4% premarket after dropping 7% on Friday in the wake of neutral/bearish coverage launches. Shares still +58% from their $26 IPO price.
- Veeva Systems (VEEV) has received four bullish ratings and two neutral ones on underwriter coverage day. Shares +0.6%.
- American Tower (AMT) has been upgraded to Buy by Citi.
- Youku (YOKU) has been upgraded to Buy by Brean ahead of Thursday's Q3 report. Shares +3.1%.
- BT has been upgraded to Overweight by JPMorgan after outbidding Sky for the U.K. TV rights to Champions League games.
- Netgear (NTGR) has been upgraded to Sector Perform by RBC.
- Deutsche Telekom (DTEGY, DTEGF) has been cut to Sell by Goldman after striking a $729M deal to buy wireline carrier GTS Central Europe.
- Lam Research (LRCX) has been cut to Neutral by Susquehanna.
- Diodes (DIOD) has been cut to Outperform from Strong Buy by Raymond James ahead of tomorrow's Q3 report.
Oct. 30, 2013, 7:08 AM
Oct. 30, 2013, 12:05 AM| Comment!
Oct. 29, 2013, 5:30 PM| 1 Comment
Sep. 17, 2013, 12:55 PM
- Bloomberg reports AT&T (T +0.6%) is looking for a buyer for its massive cell tower portfolio in a deal that could be worth $5B.
- American Tower (AMT -0.3%), Crown Castle (CCI +0.1%), and SBA (SBAC) are natural potential suitors for part or all of the portfolio. AMT is fresh off announcing a $4.8B deal to acquire private tower owner Global Tower, whose assets are mostly U.S.-based.
- AT&T has spiked slightly higher on the report. A tower sale would help Ma Bell pay down some of the $75.2B in debt it held at the end of Q2, and thus strengthen its balance sheet as it turns its eyes toward Europe.
- Back in March, RBC speculated AT&T could sell its tower assets for a "mid-$5 billion" or higher price tag.
Sep. 16, 2013, 9:45 AM
- American Tower (AMT +1.6%) has been upgraded to Buy by Nomura 10 days after the company announced its $4.8B purchase of Global Tower Partners. Nomura apparently has a different view of the cell tower owner than Muddy Waters.
- EZchip (EZCH -1.1%) has been cut to Market Perform by Oppenheimer four days after Cisco unveiled its nPower X1 network processor.
- Gigamon (GIMO -3.3%) has been cut to Market Perform by Raymond James.
Sep. 8, 2013, 11:10 PM
- "We're more skeptical than ever," writes Muddy Waters, surprising no one by maintaining its Strong Sell on American Tower (AMT) following the purchase of Global Tower Partners.
- The $4.8B price tag is "astoundingly expensive" at about 19x 2014 EBITDA, says the research firm, questioning how management will be able to keep its promise to rapidly de-lever after paying so much.
- "We always think about possible ulterior motivations ... Might AMT management, which certainly has a record of being less than transparent about its overseas business, be desperate to augment its tower base by 25% in order to obscure [slowing] organic growth going forward, and to maintain the optics of 20% dividend growth at any cost?"
- Previous: In mid-July, Muddy Waters issues its initial Strong Sell and $44 PT on American Tower - AMT was at about $74 per share then; it closed at $71.91 on Friday after a post-deal 4.6% gain.
Sep. 6, 2013, 10:15 AM
- SBA (SBAC +2.1%) and Crown Castle (CCI +3.2%) have joined American Tower (AMT +4.4%) in rallying following news AMT is acquiring giant private cell tower owner Global Tower Partners for $4.8B ($3.3B in cash + the assumption of $1.5B in debt).
- The WSJ reported a month ago Global Tower, controlled by a REIT managed by Macquarie, was being shopped. The company owns 5.4K U.S. towers and 500 Costa Rican sites, and also has management rights to 9K+ U.S. sites (mostly rooftop assets) and property interests in another 800.
- The deal is expected to close in Q4, and will increase the size of AMT's debt load to $10.3B (offset by just $1B in cash/investments). The announcement comes a month after AMT announced an $811M Mexican/Brazilian tower purchase/lease-back deal with NII Holdings (NIHD +1.4%), and 10 months after it reached a deal to buy 2K German cell sites from KPN for $502M. NII has additional tower assets that could be on the block.
- In July, Muddy Waters criticized the accounting behind an earlier Brazilian tower purchase by AMT. The company strongly refuted Muddy Waters' claims.
Sep. 6, 2013, 8:23 AM
- American Tower (AMT) announces it struck a deal to acquire Global Tower Partners through its parent company for $4.8B - consisting of cash and the assumption of debt.
- The company says it sees the deal adding $345M in 2014 revenue and $270M in gross margin to its portfolio and being immediately accretive to the firm's results.
- AMT +3.3% premarket.
Aug. 9, 2013, 1:54 PM
- NII Holdings (NIHD +1.1%) enters into a sale/leaseback agreement with American Tower (AMT +2%). The former will sell 2,790 towers in Brazil and 1,666 towers in Mexico to the latter for $811M and sign a minimum 12-year lease agreement with the option to renew.
- The sale of 4,000 of the towers will close in Q4.
- The transaction will boost NII's liquidity. The Latin American carrier had $5.7B+ in debt on its balance sheet as of June 30, and nearly $1.8B in cash/investments.
- NII will account for the newly-leased towers as capital leases, and expects the transactions to have a positive impact on OIBDA.
- The company has now executed on its two liquidity initiatives (outlined in the Q4 CC). The other initiative, a $700M debt refinancing deal, took place in May.
Aug. 8, 2013, 7:45 PM
- Goldman strategist David Kostin has identified what he thinks are the top 40 most undervalued stocks; at the time he issued the note yesterday, each stock had at least 20% upside to his price target.
- The list: MPC, ADSK, VTR, CRM, AMT, SPG, HAL, DVN, EXPE, SWN, R, ESV, BRCM, CAM, NBL, WYNN, WYN, NE, VMC, PSX, NBR, CCI, APC, EL, NFX, FSLR, GM, YHOO, CERN, EOG, CTSH, GT, QCOM, MON, VLO, SLB, PCP, AMAT, BMY, NOV.
Aug. 6, 2013, 10:36 PM
- The WSJ reports private cell tower owner Global Tower Partners "is being shopped to larger rivals." Analysts think the company could fetch $4B.
- Global Tower, owned by funds managed by Australian i-bank Macquarie, owns/operates/leases 16K cell sites, 6.4K of which are in the U.S., Mexico, and Costa Rica.
- Publicly-traded tower owners American Tower (AMT - $27.8B market cap), Crown Castle (CCI - $20.5B), and SBA (SBAC - $9.5B) have all shown a willingness to grow their footprints via M&A (I, II, III).
- The recent performance of their shares could make a deal easier to come by. Likewise, the higher valuations being assigned to tower owners (fueled by expectations 4G investments/mobile traffic growth will keep demand strong) could be motivating Macquarie to put Global Tower on sale.
Jul. 31, 2013, 12:05 AM| Comment!
Jul. 30, 2013, 5:30 PM| Comment!
Jul. 17, 2013, 6:34 PMAmerican Tower (AMT) says it "disputes a number of statements" in Muddy Waters' report, and provides some details about its 2011 purchase of 666 Brazilian towers. AMT, accused by Muddy Waters of paying $250M less for the towers than claimed, says it paid a full $585M for them via $335M in intercompany loans, $184M in equity contributions, and cash from operations. The company adds it "retained an internationally-recognized accounting firm to assist in the purchase price allocation of the acquisition" (8-K) | 2 Comments
AMT vs. ETF Alternatives
American Tower Corp is an owner, operator and developer of wireless and broadcast communications real estate. The Company's main business is leasing antenna space on multi-tenant communications sites to different providers.
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