Sep. 5, 2013, 8:58 AM
- Telefonica (TEF) and other shareholders who collectively own 22.4% of Telecom Italia (TI) and are mulling a sale have been approached informally by AT&T (T), America Movil (AMX), and Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris, Reuters reports. Speculation has abounded that the $130B Verizon-Vodafone deal will lead to a shake-up in the sector.
- Telco, a consortium made up of Mediobanca Intesa Sanpaolo, Generali and Telefonica, owns 22.4% of TI. The shareholders have an option until Sept. 28 to exit their stakes early. Brokerage ICBPI: "The likely exit of Mediobanca and Generali from the Telco pact ... boost speculation on [Telecom Italia]."
- Shares of Telecom Italia are up 7.8% in Milan.
Sep. 3, 2013, 1:09 PM
- Cable operators, satellite firms, and telcos lost a total of 366K video subscribers during Q2, according to SNL Kagan.
- The tally from the firm is consistent with the drop other researchers tabulated and shows an increase in losses from Q1.
- The trend looks even worse on a penetration basis if the pickup in housing units is factored in.
- Related stocks: DISH, DTV, CHTR, CVC, TWC, VZ, T, CMCSA.
Sep. 3, 2013, 9:55 AM
- Nokia (NOK +38.5%) has been upgraded to neutral ratings by Credit Suisse, Bernstein, and Oppenheimer following the Microsoft deal.
- Vodafone (VOD -3%) has been upgraded to Market Perform by Bernstein, and cut to Neutral by Macquarie, in the wake of the Verizon deal.
- Canadian carriers BCE (BCE +4.4%) and Telus (TU +6.8%) have been upgraded to Outperform in response to Verizon/Vodafone, and Verizon's subsequent assertion it has no plans to enter Canada.
- AT&T (T +0.6%) has been upgraded to Neutral by Macquarie.
- Palo Alto Networks (PANW -1.5%) has been downgraded to Market Perform by JMP.
- Cvent (CVT +1.4%) has received three bullish ratings and one neutral one, and YuMe (YUME +1.5%) has received four bullish ratings, as underwriters launch post-IPO coverage.
Aug. 30, 2013, 8:26 AM
- AT&T (T) is taking aim at the no-contract mobile market. The company plans to roll out its Aio Wireless brand nationwide starting next month.
- The move puts T-Mobile (TMUS) in the cross-hairs. The magenta carrier's "Uncarrier" strategy has been credited with cauterizing customer losses. T-Mobile added 688K customers in Q2, the first postpaid gain in 16 quarters.
- Providing some color: T-Mobile sued AT&T last week, claiming that the color of Aio's branding is an attempt at a "free ride from T-Mobile’s success as America’s Un-carrier by using magenta in its marketing."
- AT&T has floated the Aio Wireless brand in 11 southern U.S. cities to date.
Aug. 30, 2013, 2:05 AM
- AT&T (T) would reportedly be interested in buying assets that remain as part of Vodafone (VOD) should the U.K. carrier sell its 45% percent stake in Verizon Wireless to Verizon Communications.
- However, AT&T is only interested in Vodafone's cellular business and would be put off should the latter continue to expand in the wire-line sector. It recently agreed to acquire Kabel Deutschland for $10B.
- AT&T is attracted to Europe, where it's been considering acquiring assets for a while, due to the relatively recent introduction of 4G. Vodafone would be particularly enticing given the large amount of cash it would receive for its Verizon Wireless holding.
Aug. 29, 2013, 11:15 AM
- With the company still only sporting a market cap of $155B, analysts think Vodafone (VOD +8.1%) could go higher still if it sells its Verizon Wireless stake to Verizon for $130B (net proceeds will likely be lower due to taxes), as it's reportedly close to doing.
- Merrill sees 20% upside from current levels, and hedge fund analysts talking to Notable Calls think Vodafone is worth $40/share even if it only receives $120B. David Einhorn won't be complaining if that happens.
- Meanwhile, Bernstein is echoing a March BofA/Merrill report by arguing AT&T (T +1.2%), hungry to expand internationally, could buy what's left of Vodafone following a Verizon Wireless deal. Bloomberg reported in June AT&T "remains interested" in Vodafone's assets, among various other international properties.
- More on Vodafone/Verizon
Aug. 28, 2013, 9:27 AM
- AT&T (T) will pay $556M to redeem 6.625% notes due Oct. 2034 - $550M for the principal, and $6M for the call premium. (8-K)
- AT&T had $76.2B in debt on its balance sheet as of June 30, and $8.4B in cash/investments. The telco has recently slowed down its buyback activity, but still managed to spend $3.3B to repurchase shares in Q2. That spending consumed much of AT&T's quarterly free cash flow of $4B.
Aug. 27, 2013, 6:53 PM
- The FCC, which hasn't seen eye-to-eye with AT&T (T) on a few different occasions in recent years, is delaying signing off on Ma Bell's $780M purchase of Atlantic Tele-Network's (ATNI) Allied Wireless unit (provides mobile services in 6 states under the Alltel brand) until it receives more details about how AT&T plans to transition Allied's prepaid subs.
- AT&T is largely interested in acquiring Allied for its spectrum licenses, rather than its 182K prepaid or 409K postpaid subs.
- The delay comes as the FCC reviews AT&T's deal to acquire Leap Wireless. Analysts largely expect AT&T to receive a green light, albeit while granting regulators may seek spectrum concessions.
Aug. 20, 2013, 12:52 PM
- Federal Trade Commission member Joshua Wright wants the FTC to be the agency to oversee net neutrality rules instead of the FCC.
- If the regulatory switcheroo takes place, the FTC could step in and out of battles with Internet providers in a more nimbe fashion than the FCC.
- Consumer advocacy group prefer the firm hand of the FCC, while many large tech/media concerns (TWC, CMCSA, VZ, T) feel more comfortable with the FTC.
Aug. 16, 2013, 3:26 AM
- Fox's (FOXA) national sports channel is due to launch tomorrow morning "with every major distributor on board," including DirecTV (DTV), Dish Network (DISH) and Time Warner Cable (TWC), as well as Comcast (CMCSA) and AT&T (T).
- Fox reportedly persuaded the TV companies to sign up after agreeing not to raise the price of $0.23 per subscriber they were paying for Speed, the auto-racing network that Fox Sports 1 is replacing. Fox had initially asked for $0.80.
- The new channel will reach 90M households and its line-up will include college football and Major League Baseball.
- However, Fox Sports 1 faces major competition from Disney's (DIS) money making machine, ESPN, which, as Fox Sports executive Randy Freer admits, "has a 30-year head start and an astronomical revenue stream."
Aug. 15, 2013, 6:55 AM
Aug. 8, 2013, 1:10 PM
- Still in the process of digesting MetroPCS, T-Mobile USA (TMUS +4.4%) says it isn't interested in outbidding AT&T (T -0.7%) for Leap Wireless (LEAP -1.2%).
- Leap has slipped a little on the news, but is still at $16.53. AT&T agreed to buy Leap for $15/share in cash and the net proceeds from the sale of spectrum previously bought for $204M.
- T-Mobile continues to trade higher thanks to its Q2 results, replete with strong (iPhone-driven) postpaid net adds, and solid 2H subscriber guidance.
- Citi (Neutral) isn't crazy about T-Mobile's numbers. The firm notes service revenue still fell 7.5% Y/Y to $5.1B (below Citi's $5.22B estimate) and estimates OIBDA (hurt by iPhone sales) fell 58% Y/Y to $739M (below Citi's $1.1B estimate) after adjusting for Value Plan accounting changes.
- The firm remains concerned about T-Mobile revenue/OIBDA growth prospects in light of " the rapid maturation of the prepaid category & competitive pressures in its postpaid segment."
- CEO John Legere asserts T-Mobile is "taking customers from AT&T at a ratio of two to one." If true, that represents a big reversal from recent trends.
Aug. 6, 2013, 12:29 PM
- Pay TV providers as a group reported a loss of 360K subscribers in Q2 compared to a year ago, according to Moffett Research. Though the drop isn't earth-shattering, it does show that cord-cutting isn't a myth.
- Q2 Pay-TV subscriber growth: Cable (CMCSA, TWC, CVC, CHTR) -3.1%; Satellite (DISH, DTV) +0.2%; TelCo (T, VZ) +16.4%.
Aug. 4, 2013, 1:34 AM
- U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman has quashed a decision by the International Trade Commission (ITC) to ban the U.S. sale of some older Apple products for violating a Samsung (SSNHY.OB) patent that enables devices to transmit multiple services at the same time via 3G.
- The ITC had wanted to bar the iPhone 4, the iPhone 3GS, the iPad 3G and the iPad 2 3G that were designed for use on networks operated by AT&T (T), T-Mobile (TMUS) and two regional operators. The prohibition was due to come into effect this week.
- In a letter, Froman said he overturned the ban because it gave Samsung "undue leverage" to delay rivals' use of a standard-setting technology, although he noted that the South Korean company can appeal in the courts.
Aug. 1, 2013, 4:31 PM
Aug. 1, 2013, 12:10 AM
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T vs. ETF Alternatives
AT&T Inc, through its subsidiaries and affiliates, provides wireless and wireline telecommunications services in the United States and internationally. The Company has three reportable segments: Wireless, Wireline, and Other.
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