Fri, May 22, 10:18 AM
- Vodafone ADRs (NASDAQ:VOD) are up 1.7% (and shares up 4.4% in London) as Goldman Sachs reports after meeting with company management that Vodafone may sell some assets.
- With Vodafone moving up this week (ADRs +7.4% since Tuesday) on John Malone's comments that his Liberty Global (LBTYA +2.4%) and Vodafone could be a "great fit," Goldman's Tim Boddy says Vodafone "is willing to consider both acquisitions and disposals where the financial rationale makes sense" and "may be more likely a seller than a buyer of assets."
- He attributed that to Liberty's preference for tax efficiency vs. Vodafone's preference for dividends -- part of stylistic differences that Malone himself alluded to: "Their philosophy is low leverage, low risk and high cash payout to their shareholders. I prefer to grow equity value."
Thu, May 21, 9:17 AM
- New additions to Goldman's hedge fund hotels - 50 stocks which most frequently appear among the largest ten holdings of hedge funds: AerCap (NYSE:AER), Assured Guaranty (NYSE:AGO), Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI), Citizens Financial (NYSE:CFG), Colony Capital (NYSE:CLNY), Dresser-Rand (NYSE:DRC), Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO), Hospira (NYSE:HSP), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), NXP Semi (NASDAQ:NXPI), Pharmacyclics (NASDAQ:PCYC), Visa (NYSE:V), and Walgreens (NASDAQ:WBA).
- Since 2001, the basket has outperformed the S&P 500 in 66% of quarters by an average of 73 basis points. YTD, however, it has underperformed by nine bps. Goldman notes the current basket overweights Consumer Discretionary (22%) and underweights Consumer Staples (2%).
- Looking at the full list, Actavis (NYSE:ACT) leads the way, with 77 funds naming the stock as a top 10 holding. Next up is Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) with 69, then Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) at 42. For the entire list of 50, the average is 26 funds making a stock a top 10 holding.
- The rest in order: Valeant (NYSE:VRX), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV), Citigroup (NYSE:C), Time Warner (NYSE:TWC), Delta (NYSE:DAL), Cheneire (NYSEMKT:LNG), Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYK), AIG, SunEdison (NYSE:SUNE), Air Products (NYSE:APD), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), GM, BofA (NYSE:BAC), JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), Macquarie Infrastructure (NYSE:MIC), American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL), Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR), Google (GOOG, GOOGL), Ally Financial (NYSE:ALLY), NorthStar Realty (NYSE:NRF), Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN), eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY), MasterCard (NYSE:MA), Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), Micron (NASDAQ:MU), Williams (NYSE:WMB), Gilead (NASDAQ:GILD), Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B), Dolar General (NYSE:DG), NorthStar Asset (NYSE:NSAM), Brookdale Senior (NYSE:BKD), DISH Network (NASDAQ:DISH).
- See also: Goldman updates list of hedge funds most-shorted stocks (May 21)
Wed, May 20, 8:17 PM
- Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA) says it will implement the tracking stock for its Latin America/Caribbean operations (LiLAC) on July 1.
- After the close of trading, the company will distribute (generally via dividend) to of-record shareholders one share of LiLAC ordinary shares for every 20 Liberty Global ordinary shares.
- It expects LiLAC class A (LILA) and LiLAC class C (LILAK) to trade on Nasdaq, and class B (LILAB) to trade OTC.
- It'll attribute $100M in cash to LiLAC to fund ongoing costs.
Wed, May 20, 6:23 AM
- Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) shares jumped over 4% in London today after John Malone, chairman of cable group Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA), opened the door to a long mooted merger of the two groups.
- Malone called the combination a "great fit" and cited "very substantial synergies if we could find a way to work together or combine the companies with respect to western Europe."
- A tie-up would create a telecom behemoth, between Liberty's $45B in market value and Vodafone's $93B.
- Previously: Liberty's Malone: Combo with Vodafone would be 'great fit' (May. 19 2015)
Tue, May 19, 6:08 PM
- Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA) rose into today's close, +2.3%, as telecom titan John Malone says a combination of his firm and Vodafone (VOD -0.9%) would be a "great fit" with "very substantial synergies if we could find a way to work together or combine the companies with respect to Western Europe."
- Malone was making his first public comments on a combination in an interview with Bloomberg, though he wouldn't comment on whether the companies were talking. A tie-up would create a telecom behemoth, between Liberty's $45B in market value and Vodafone's $93B.
- Citigroup has said a stock-based combination could generate synergies of £1.4B/year in free cash flow. But Malone is aware of philosophical differences in approach: “Their philosophy is low leverage, low risk and high cash payout to their shareholders. I prefer to grow equity value.”
- Liberty has been acquisitive in Europe and is also seeking targets in faster-growing South America, and Mexico -- a market Malone considers most attractive.
- Previously: Vodafone -3.8% following signs of life in FQ4 earnings (May. 19 2015)
Mon, May 18, 4:31 AM
- Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA) CEO David Zaslav received total compensation of $156M in 2014, making him the highest-paid boss of a U.S.-listed company, excluding the top private-equity firms, an NYT-commissioned survey finds.
- Next on the list is Liberty Global's (NASDAQ:LBTYA) Michael Fries with $112M, while Gregory Maffei earned $74M for heading Liberty Media (NASDAQ:LMCA) and Liberty Interactive (NASDAQ:LVNTA). With Charter Communications' (NASDAQ:CHTR) Thomas Rutledge raking in $16M, four CEOs of companies controlled by or heavily associated with media mogul John Malone took home over $350M.
- Still, the Malone boys have nothing on Kenneth Griffin, the founder and CEO of P-E firm Citadel, who earned a mere $1.3B.
Mon, Apr. 27, 11:18 AM
- Halfway through a massive investment in its network infrastructure, Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) may have found the European market shifting around it, leaving it to play catch-up to rivals, Thao Hua notes.
- The company's £19B ($29B) "Project Spring" plan -- in part funded by selling its stake in Verizon Wireless -- aims to shore up fiber infrastructure in Europe and developing countries. But while it's spent years building Europe's largest mobile network, rivals like Orange (NYSE:ORAN) and Telefonica (NYSE:TEF) have outpaced it in bundling mobile with fixed-line telecom, Internet and TV.
- Raymond James notes a combination with Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA) would scale up fixed-line assets in Europe -- including the U.K., where Vodafone faces two competitors getting bigger through merger (BT-EE; O2-Hutchison Whampoa) -- but Vodafone is scrambling to digest the acquisitions it's already made.
- Revenues have been slipping and competitive pressure means the payoff for investors may be getting further away.
Mon, Apr. 20, 3:32 AM
- Liberty Global's (NASDAQ:LBTYA) Belgian unit has agreed to buy Royal KPN's (OTCPK:KKPNY) local mobile-phone business Base for €1.33B ($1.43B) as billionaire John Malone enlarges his European cable and telecommunications empire.
- Telenet (OTCPK:TLGHY) has about 900K mobile subscribers; Base has 3.3M.
- With Malone expanding through purchases across Europe, Liberty Global now owns cable and phone operations stretching from Hungary to the U.K.
Thu, Apr. 9, 9:08 PM
- Don't let recent merger challenges and failures fool you, Michael Wolff argues: "M&A mania" is coming to a media conglomerate near you amid pressure for a new wave of consolidation.
- "Perhaps never before has consolidation been so much the flavor of the month, nor has it seemed so difficult to get a taste," he writes. "The table is set, but nobody's sitting down to eat."
- If Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) fails in its bid for Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), he notes, it just means other cablers will step up to match Comcast's ambition, and Comcast will still look for a way to stay dominant.
- He points to a number of mergers he thinks are easily imaginable: Viacom (NASDAQ:VIA) and FOX? Disney (NYSE:DIS) and Time Warner (NYSE:TWX)? TWC and Charter (NASDAQ:CHTR)? Discovery (NASDAQ:DISCA) and, well, most anyone (Disney, Fox, CBS)?
- Factors encouraging the wave: Media's all about video now, and the pure-play aspect makes merger logic cleaner; distribution and content are separate and now even antagonistic businesses; the growth of over-the-top means not unbundling but re-bundling; and everyone needs scale for negotiation strength in content and ad deals.
- Other key players: John Malone (LMCA, LBTYA, STRZA); Verizon (NYSE:VZ); Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF); Scripps Networks (NYSE:SNI); Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX); DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) and AT&T (NYSE:T); Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH).
Fri, Mar. 27, 10:15 AM
- Sony Pictures Television (NYSE:SNE) has agreed to acquire Dutch premium TV group Film1 from Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA), John Malone's European cable operator.
- The deal means Sony will own and operate five premium movie channels as well as its over-the-top "Film1 Go" digital distribution service.
- Liberty had acquired Film1 in buying Dutch cable operator Ziggo, and Ziggo will continue to carry the five Film1 channels, which feature films from Hollywood studios as well as independent productions.
- The move is another in a series of recent Sony transactions to acquire European channels, including deals in the UK and Hungary.
Fri, Feb. 20, 9:23 AM
- Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) -- in a tussle over German customers with Unitymedia KabelBW (NASDAQ:LBTYA) and Kabel Deutschland (NASDAQ:VOD) -- is planning to offer fast Internet to another 5.9M homes.
- The move to expand its VDSL network there means raising the bar on Deutsche Telekom's 2018 plans -- to have 80% of homes connected to fast Internet, up from 65%.
- Kabel Deutschland owner Vodafone has been focusing on broadband as it plays catch-up on bundling, and it's a frequent subject of chatter as a Liberty Global buyout partner.
Tue, Feb. 17, 7:34 PM
- Along with the release of form 13Fs comes news of purchases and sales of stakes in European mega-cableco Liberty Global (LBTYA).
- Coatue bought 1.4M shares to raise its stake in Liberty 34%, to 5.6M shares.
- Tiger Consumer sold 25% of its stake, leaving it with 1.5M shares.
- Today: LBTYA +0.7%, LBTYK +1.1%.
Fri, Feb. 13, 10:12 AM
- European cable giant Liberty Global (LBTYA) will pay €183.5M (about $209M) to a pair of companies who had raised issues with Liberty's €3B purchase of KabelBW.
- Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) and NetCologne will withdraw litigation that might have led to the unwinding of the 2012 deal. German competition regulators have OK'd the arrangement after forcing another look at the purchase in 2013.
- Liberty class A shares are up 2.3% on the news on heavy volume so far.
Thu, Feb. 12, 6:07 PM
- In its Q4 report, international cable giant Liberty Global (LBTYA, LBTYB, LBTYK) noted operating cash flow of $2.1B (up 4% Y/Y) driven by top-line contributions. Consolidated operating cash flow margin was 46.4%. Operating income slipped 47% to $273M in Q4.
- Net loss of $523M ($402M worse than the prior year) was driven by FX transaction losses, lower operating income and lower gains due to fair-value changes of investments.
- Free cash flow was $2.2B for the full year, up from $1.1B in 2013.
- At year's end, a total of 55.9M RGUs (subscription services) provided to 27.3M unique customers in a cable footprint of 51.9M homes. RGU base increased by 16% due largely to acquisition of Ziggo (6.3M RGUs) and 1.3M organic additions (351K in Q4).
- The 1.3M organic 2014 additions were 918K in Western Europe, 232K in Central/Eastern Europe and 130K in Latin America.
- RGUs breakout for the full year: 24.3M video subs, 17.3M broadband Internet subs, and 14.3M telephony subs.
- Mobile business finished the year with 4.5M mobile subscribers, up 11% Y/Y with gains spread across Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK.
- Press release
Fri, Jan. 30, 5:23 PM
Dec. 13, 2014, 8:45 AM
- American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL), Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA), and Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX) will be added to the Nasdaq 100 (NASDAQ:QQQ) ahead of the open on December 22.
- Removed will be Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE), F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV), and Maxim Integrated (NASDAQ:MXIM).
- A revision to the index methodology allows multiple share classes of index participants to be included, so Comcast Class A Special (NASDAQ:CMCSK), Twenty-First Century Fox Class B (NASDAQ:FOX), and Liberty Global Class C (NASDAQ:LBTYK) will also become part of the index.
- Source: Press Release
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