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AT&T Inc. (T)

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  • Dec. 4, 2012, 6:19 PM
    A U.S. appeals court has upheld a 2011 FCC ruling that requires major carriers such as Verizon Wireless (VZ) and AT&T (T) to strike mobile data roaming deals with smaller rivals on "commercially reasonable terms." In theory at least, this should make it easier for smaller carriers such as U.S. Cellular (USM), Leap Wireless (LEAP), and NTELOS (NTLS) to offer nationwide data services. However, the fact 4G phones rely on a smorgasbord of frequency bands could cause some problems.
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  • Dec. 4, 2012, 9:21 AM
    MetroPCS (PCS) -7.2% after 3 sources tell Reuters Sprint (S) is unlikely to make an offer for the discount carrier in the near-term, out of concern it would complicate the regulatory review of the SoftBank (SFTBF.PK) deal. Sprint could revisit a MetroPCS bid after the SoftBank deal closes, but with the T-Mobile/MetroPCS deal expected to close somewhere in 1H13, and Sprint and SoftBank shooting for a mid-2013 close, Sprint might not have much time. LEAP -1.6%. (previous)
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  • Nov. 30, 2012, 1:00 PM
    MetroPCS (PCS +3%), Leap Wireless (LEAP +4.3%), and Clearwire (CLWR +8.1%) are higher after a Guggenheim Securities analyst writes Sprint (S -0.6%) could make a $12-$13/share bid for MetroPCS in the next 4 weeks. Speculation debt-laden Sprint will try to grab MetroPCS from T-Mobile has been around for a while, aided by the fact SoftBank's (SFTBF.PK) CEO has said he won't rule out an offer. Also: Chat on the Street has passed on a (somewhat questionable) rumor Carlos Slim is talking with Clearwire.
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  • Nov. 29, 2012, 2:36 PM
    For yet another year, a Consumer Reports survey of U.S. mobile users has rated AT&T (T) the worst major U.S. carrier. Verizon Wireless (VZ) was again given top marks, and was followed by Sprint (S) and T-Mobile. An August J.D. Power study yielded similar rankings. Consumer Reports did, however, give AT&T the highest satisfaction score among 4G users, even though its LTE network coverage trails Verizon's. (last year)
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  • Nov. 19, 2012, 11:48 AM
    Leap Wireless (LEAP +3.7%) outperforms following news Dish Network (DISH -2.1%) offered $11/share for MetroPCS (PCS +1.2%) before the latter decided to merge with T-Mobile USA. With MetroPCS off the table in the absence of a higher bid, Dish could conceivably turn to Leap to further its 4G ambitions. Dish is underperforming: aside from the MetroPCS disclosure, investors may be bothered by the WSJ's claim that FCC officials are "leaning" toward limiting the use of Dish's 4G spectrum out of interference concerns. (Dish/Google)
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  • Nov. 16, 2012, 2:23 PM
    The U.S. mobile industry might not be done consolidating: T-Mobile USA (DTEGY.PK) is open to making new deals one it finishes merging with MetroPCS (PCS), says CTO Neville Ray. SoftBank (SFTBF.PK), on the verge of taking a controlling interest in Sprint (S), has also suggested it's willing to make additional moves. Leap Wireless (LEAP) is a name that inevitably comes up whenever U.S. mobile consolidation is a subject.
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  • Nov. 16, 2012, 9:30 AM
    AT&T's (T) 4G LTE network is now available in 23 additional markets, including Denver, Columbus, and Portland - as is its custom, the carrier made sure to provide a PR for each one. AT&T, which has said it wants to provide LTE coverage to 150M Americans by year's end, is still well behind Verizon in terms of 4G network size.
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  • Nov. 15, 2012, 11:11 PM
    Google (GOOG) has held talks with Dish Network (DISH) about building a massive 4G network using Dish's spectrum, the WSJ reports, while cautioning the talks "aren't advanced and could amount to nothing." Such a tie-up would be costly for Google and risk hurting carrier support for Android, but there would also be benefits. Google "wants people to watch 10 hours of YouTube a day ... what hurts them is [wireless carriers] restricting capacity," observes BTIG's Walter Piecyk. Sprint (S) and Clearwire (CLWR) have been named in the past as potential Dish partners (I, II).
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  • Nov. 15, 2012, 8:16 AM
    Leap Wireless (LEAP) announces a bit of a management reshuffle, with CFO Jerry Elliott becoming COO and Perley McBride taking the finance job. Elliott only joined Leap in May, while McBride was most recently EVP of finance at the Weather Co. (PR)
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  • Nov. 14, 2012, 9:35 AM
    After insisting for much of last year that it needed the aborted T-Mobile deal to go through to address a spectrum shortage, AT&T (T) now claims a series of smaller spectrum purchases, highlighted by its deals with Qualcomm and Nextwave, leave it "well-positioned" to address its 4G needs. DSLReports: "AT&T has a long history of over-emphasizing capacity and spectrum constraints in order to get what they want from regulators and politicians." (capex plans)
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  • Nov. 13, 2012, 1:18 PM
    AT&T (T) is doing its best to poach Sprint (S) subscribers still using its legacy Nextel network, ahead of the network's planned June '13 shutdown. Ma Bell introduced new "rugged" phones today, aimed at the kind of professional workers that make up much of Nextel's subscriber base, and is offering a $5/month push-to-talk to go with them. Sprint's recapture rate for departing Nextel subs stood at 59% in Q3.
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  • Nov. 9, 2012, 1:02 PM
    Leap Wireless (LEAP +6%) is rallying for the second day in a row thanks to new speculation a spectrum deal or full-blown sale will happen. Sprint's (S) cancellation of a conference presentation, together with Leap's Wednesday earnings call remarks regarding its willingness to sell excess spectrum, are the triggers this time around. Nomura suggests investors stay cautious, noting the $2.8B value assigned by Leap to its spectrum is barely above its $2.6B net debt position. Leap filed its Q3 10-Q this morning.
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  • Nov. 9, 2012, 9:20 AM
    In another piece of good news for Apple (AAPL), AT&T (T) says its iPhone 5 supply situation is improving ahead of the holiday season. The online Apple Store still shows 3-4 week shipping times for all models. Separately, AT&T is now offering a $100 discount on 3G/4G tablets in exchange for a 2-year data contract. If other carriers follow suit, that could provide a a lift to sales of 3G/4G tablets, which have proven much less popular than Wi-Fi-only models. Qualcomm (QCOM) made cautious remarks about 3G/4G tablet demand on Wednesday's earnings call. (Piper's checks)
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  • Nov. 8, 2012, 11:41 AM
    Verizon Wireless (VZ, VOD) plans to finish its 4G LTE rollout by the middle of 2013, says CFO Fran Shammo. That's 6 months ahead of Verizon's original plan, and 18 months ahead of AT&T (T), which wants to offer LTE to 300M Americans by the end of 2014. Verizon plans to cover 260M people by year's end, well above AT&T's 150M. Shammo adds 13% of Verizon's customers now use its expensive shared data plans, and that he'd "love to see [Windows Phone 8] be a successful platform. (AT&T capex)
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  • Nov. 7, 2012, 6:53 PM
    Cord-cutting isn't doing tremendous damage to the pay-TV industry, but it is leading penetration rates to fall a bit. U.S. pay-TV providers collectively shed 127K subs in Q3, per Bernstein's data, as a net loss of 499K cable subs offset a net gain of 372K telco/satellite subs. But that figure is below Q2's 410K decline, and still leaves the industry with a small net increase over the last 4 quarters. (Nielsen)
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  • Nov. 7, 2012, 6:20 PM
    AT&T (T -3.3%) plans to tap debt markets to help finance its investment plans: its net debt-to-EBITDA ratio is expected to rise to 1.8 from 1.42 over the next 2 years. With corporate debt yields remaining extremely low, it wouldn't be surprising if AT&T also used the proceeds to buy back stock, something it has been very fond of doing lately. Some think AT&T's buildout partly stems from its failure (unlike Verizon) to sell off rural assets. "They're doing it because they really have to do it," says analyst Jonathan Chaplin.
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Company Description
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.