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Feb. 23, 2014, 4:25 AM
- Discovery Communications (DISCA) is in discussions with BSkyB (BSYBF) about a joint bid for the U.K.'s Channel 5, the FT reports.
- Channel 5 is being sold by British media businessman Richard Desmond, who bought the company for £104M in 2010 but hopes to receive £700M. Bids are due in on Thursday.
- BT (BT) and Comcast's (CMCSA) NBCUniversal are also considering making an offer.
Jan. 31, 2014, 3:21 AM
- BT Group's (BT) FQ3 net profit £493M ($812M) vs £484M a year earlier.
- Pretax profit £617M vs £583M.
- Revenue +2% to £4.6B vs consensus of £4.52B.
- Adjusted EPS 7.3 pence vs 6.5 pence.
- BT Sport customers pass 2.5M.
- Expects adjusted fiscal-year EBITDA to come in at the upper end of a range of £6-6.1B.
- Shares +3.5% in London. (PR)
Jan. 20, 2014, 5:34 AM
- The enemy of my enemy is my friend : Vodafone (VOD) and BSkyB (BSYBF) have reportedly held talks about how to compete with BT's (BT) increasing reach in the British broadband market, the U.K.'s Sunday Times reports.
- Vodafone (VOD) and Sky are considering deals involving the latter's sports and film channels and on co-operating on a high-speed broadband service.
- However, the two are unlikely to construct a nationwide fiber network, as such a project would cost several billion pounds.
- The talks come after a resurgent BT gained on its rivals by investing over £3B in a high-speed fiber-optic network and another £2B in sports broadcast rights.
Dec. 6, 2013, 9:39 AM
- H-P (HPQ +2.7%) has been upgraded to Hold by Edward Jones.
- Nokia (NOK +1.4%) has been started at Overweight by JPMorgan.
- Vodafone (VOD +2%) has been upgraded to Neutral by Berenberg.
- Infosys (INFY +1.6%) has been upgraded to Outperform by Cowen.
- BT (BT +2.4%) has been upgraded to Strong Buy by Raymond James.
- FairPoint Communications (FRP +5.1%) has been upgraded to Buy by Stifel.
- VOXX International (VOXX +4.6%) has been started at Strong Buy by Needham.
- Vocera (VCRA +3.7%) has been started at Overweight by Stephens.
Nov. 22, 2013, 3:47 PM
- The European Commission is close to launching a widespread probe into the sale of rights to exclusive TV content including films and sporting events.
- The commission is weighing the impact of the current system on poorer countries in the EU.
- What to watch: Technology is outpacing the ability of the Pay-TV industry in Europe to charge on a country-by-country basis, indicating the entire model could be ripe for disruption.
- Related stocks: ITVPF, BSYBF, BT, MANU.
Nov. 20, 2013, 1:56 PM
- Fresh off securing the rights to the European Champions League and Europa soccer tournaments, BT's (BT -1%) CEO Gavin Patterson said the company will be in strong financial shape when the next round of bidding for rights comes in 2015. He observed, "Because we've got this strong base in European football, on an exclusive basis it gives us that little bit more flexibility."
- BT's resurgence and expansion into sports programming is troubling for BSkyB (BSYBF), which has long held the dominant position in soccer programming in the U.K. CEO Jeremy Darroch downplayed the effect, observing that Champions League programming accounted for less than 3% of viewing on Sky Sports. "We have factual programmes that will do those kinds of audiences at a fraction of the cost ... We would have liked to have it, but not at any price."
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.
Nov. 10, 2013, 2:12 AM
- BT Group (BT) has won the U.K. rights to screen matches from the European Champions League and the Europa League soccer tournaments after pipping BSkyB (BSYBF) - in which Fox (FOX, FOXA) owns a 39% stake - and fellow British broadcaster ITV (ITVPF) with a bid of £897M ($1.44B).
- The victory is the latest coup for BT, which last year broke Sky's stranglehold on English Premier League (EPL) matches by agreeing to pay £738M for exclusive rights to screen 38 games a season over the next three years.
- However, the price paid for the European deal has sparked concerns that BT is overpaying and about how the company will foot the the bill for its growing sports portfolio. Still, the EPL rights have already attracted new broadband customers, who can watch the games for free.
Oct. 16, 2013, 9:56 AM
- Intel (INTC +0.3%) has been upgraded to Buy by B. Riley following its Q3 beat and light Q4 revenue guidance.
- Yahoo (YHOO +1.7%) has received a two-notch upgrade to Outperform from CLSA after it posted mixed Q3 results and soft Q4 guidance, but also strong Q2 numbers for Alibaba.
- Cisco (CSCO +0.4%) has been cut to Neutral, and Juniper (JNPR +3.6%) upgraded to Buy, by MKM. Juniper reports on Oct. 22.
- Netflix (NFLX -0.2%) has been cut to Hold by Hudson Square ahead of its Oct. 21 Q3 report.
- Vimpelcom (VIP +3.9%) has been upgraded to Overweight by Morgan Stanley.
- BT (BT +1.7%) has been upgraded to Conviction Buy by Goldman.
- CyrusOne (CONE +2.7%) has been upgraded to Buy by BofA/Merrill. However, the firm is maintaining its $23 PT.
- Ultimate Software (ULTI +1.6%) has been upgraded to Overweight by Evercore.
- Ellie Mae (ELLI -6.5%) has been cut to Market Perform by JMP.
- Super Micro (SMCI -2.7%) has been cut to Hold by Stifel.
Oct. 14, 2013, 8:16 AM
- BT Group (BT) strikes a deal with Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB to offer Sky Movies through its television and broadband services.
- The handshake comes in the midst of a scrap for users by the 2 content providers, with BT having invested £1B to secure rights to sports content and challenge BSkyB's dominance in that arena.
Oct. 10, 2013, 12:20 PM
- Orange (ORAN +3.8%) and Deutsche Telekom's (DTEGY.PK) Everything Everywhere U.K. mobile JV has struck an MVNO deal with wireline giant BT (BT +1.6%). (PR)
- The deal, which ends a 9-year partnership BT had with Vodafone (VOD +0.7%), allows BT to sell mobile services to its customers using EE's 3G/4G infrastructure.
- EE launched 4G services in the U.K. ahead of rivals, and now has more than 1M subs on its 4G network. Vodafone's U.K. 4G sub base just passed 100K.
Aug. 15, 2013, 11:25 AM
- BT (BT -0.3%) signs a 3-year wholesale deal with Virgin Media to provide its sports channels to Virgin's subscribers. Customers with Virgin's top television package will receive the channels for free, while those with lower-tier packages will have to pay £15/month.
- The agreement improves the competitive position of both companies in a marketplace dominated by Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB. BT will triple its BT Sport audience in a single stroke by adding Virgin's 2M highest-paying subscribers. Virgin Media will hold the unique position of being the only pay TV provider that offers both BT and BSkyB's sports channels under one subscription.
- BT has refused to strike a similar deal with BSkyB. In Aug., British regulator Ofcom rejected BT's request to force BSkyB into wholesaling its own sports channels. Ofcom will conclude a full investigation by late 2013.
- Previous: BT bolsters broadband unit, challenges BSkyB with sports channels
Aug. 12, 2013, 7:13 PM
- BT now claims over 1M subscribers for its sports channels, in large part due to its £246M purchase of the live rights to a quarter of the Premier League matches to be played in the coming season.
- The soccer rights purchase is part of a broader strategy to bolster BT's broadband business. The carrier offers its sport channels for free to new subscribers and previous customers who renew, rather than on a per-channel subscription basis.
- BT's £1B bet on turning the subscription sports market on its head seems to be paying off, as subscription rates accelerate with the soccer season fast approaching.
- In July, BT's Consumer Division boss John Petter fired a missive at Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB and Virgin Media, declaring the days of subscription sports channels "are numbered."
- However, BT still faces an uphill battle: BSkyB has 10.4M subscribers (if one includes basic TV subscribers) and the rights to the other 3/4 of the upcoming season's live matches.
Jun. 19, 2013, 8:10 AM
May. 31, 2013, 11:07 AMCiting a jump in complaints about hacked accounts, BT is abandoning Yahoo Mail (YHOO) as the e-mail platform for its broadband services in favor of home-grown BT Mail. 6M Yahoo Mail accounts will be migrated. Meanwhile, Tumblr continues to roll out fresh ad formats. A month after adding sponsored posts (similar to Facebook's Sponsored Stories) to its mobile apps, Tumblr has brought them to its Web dashboard; initial partners include Ford, AT&T, and Viacom. Marissa Mayer has stated Tumblr could see premium and retargeted ads, and Tumblr CEO David Karp has touted his service's potential to enable "creative brand advertising" that breaks traditional display ad molds. | 2 Comments
May. 27, 2013, 5:27 AMEU telecom chief Neelie Kroes hopes to put together a package of reforms that will be approved before European Parliament elections in May next year. The plan is to foster a single market for the industry across the bloc, although Kroes is giving up on the idea of a single regulator following opposition from member states. | Comment!
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BT Group PLC is a provider of telecommunications networks and services. It provides local and long-distance telephone call products and services, broadband network solutions, web hosting and related services.
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