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AT&T Inc. (T)

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  • Wed, Mar. 11, 12:37 PM
    • AT&T's (T -0.5%) Tuesday filing reiterating its guidance for 2015 demonstrates that competition continues to press the wireless industry, Citigroup's Michael Rollins notes in reiterating a Hold rating on AT&T stock.
    • He pointed to Verizon CFO Fran Shammo's commentary about churn increasing into the new year to boost the argument that cost of capacity and competition will limit AT&T's upside in the coming year, though AT&T's churn isn't looking bad lately.
    • Among the negatives: The continued migration of customers to no-subsidy Mobile Share Value plans will push wireless service revenue down around 4% Y/Y, and wireless margins will be affected.
    • He likes T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) for those looking to get into the space, though.
    | 7 Comments
  • Tue, Mar. 10, 6:47 PM
    • AT&T (NYSE:T) filed an 8-K with updates on first-quarter trends and reiterated its 2015 guidance, and announced it expects a Q1 charge of $130M to cover 3,000 employees taking retirement by March 31.
    • In wireless trends, the company noted it expects postpaid net adds "in the 400,000 range driven by tablets." The smartphone base should grow and it expects solid gross adds and upgrades, and "postpaid churn is running lower" both sequentially and Y/Y.
    • The success of Mobile Share Value (no-subsidy) plans will impact service revenues and pressure margins, though. AT&T expects the impact to diminish through 2015.
    • In wireline, AT&T expects strategic business services revenue growth in the mid-teens and continued U-verse consumer revenue growth, though margins should decrease from the prior year due in part to selling Connecticut assets and "TV content cost pressure."
    • In an earlier 14-A filing, AT&T valued CEO (and President and Chairman) Randall Stephenson's 2014 compensation at $24M (up 3%); CFO John Stephens' total comp at $10.1M (up 36%); mobile chief Rafael de la Vega's at $10.1M (up 14%); and Chief Strategy Officer John Stankey's at $10.2M (up 33%).
    | 16 Comments
  • Mon, Mar. 9, 6:41 PM
    • Making the rounds after Apple's Watch event, HBO (TWX +1.3%) CEO Richard Plepler says he talked to Apple's (AAPL +0.4%) senior VP Eddy Cue last spring about a "shared vision" for the TV service -- though HBO's programming partners are scrambling a bit to sort out a response this month.
    • On the thorny issue of HBO's cable/satellite partners who may object: "We are talking to all of our partners," Plepler says, adding HBO thought "it would be a great vehicle for them."
    • While Apple has a three-month exclusive for its devices, program providers could get into that window via their existing relationship with HBO. Cablevision (NYSE:CVC) and Cox Communications were known to be in discussions with HBO already about providing the service. Cox is mum so far on how/if it will make HBO Now available to broadband-only customers.
    • Apple makes a pretty good partner for a content company that has no experience with direct customer service; meanwhile, Apple has a massive payments infrastructure and 400M credit cards already set up. NPD analyst John Buffone tells Tom's Guide that Apple TV is No. 1 in their last streaming device report, ahead of Roku, Chromecast and Fire TV. It's used by 25M.
    • No exclusive window comes without money changing hands; while financial terms are undisclosed, it's possible there's a middle ground between the 30% cut that Apple takes in apps and the 50-50 split HBO has with some existing program partners. HBO thinks the addressable market is 10M broadband-only subscribers, meaning a landscape of $150M/month to split more or less evenly.
    • Related programmers: CMCSA, TWC, T
    | 34 Comments
  • Sat, Mar. 7, 7:50 AM
    • AT&T's (NYSE:T) gotten booted from the Dow Jones Industrial Average to make room for Apple, and declined 1.5% Friday, as most do -- but maybe that removal is cause for rejoicing for its shareholders.
    • Most exiles have been doing very well since their exit, with few exceptions, CNBC notes: Altria is up 142% since its 2008 boot. Honeywell is up 82% since its removal that same day. Citigroup up 58% since it left in 2009. Hewlett-Packard up 60% since its 2013 departure.
    • One rationale: The first-day move "is very technical and negative" due to index player selling, Armored Wolf's Bradd Kern notes, "which you would expect to be resolved over the course of a year as fundamentally driven, nonindex players do their work and pick up the pieces."
    • The exiles also tend to be "generally out-of-favor, value-oriented companies" that certainly have their own fan club among investors.
    • Getting included is also no small benefit, they say -- but it's not beating getting ousted.
    | 31 Comments
  • Fri, Mar. 6, 9:14 AM
    • Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will take AT&T's (NYSE:T) spot in the Dow Jones Industrial Average following the March 18 close.
    • Since the Dow is price-weighted rather than market cap-weighted, the change was made possible by Apple's 2014 7:1 split. As of right now, Apple will account for 4.7% of the Dow's weight.
    • AAPL +1.4% premarket to $128.13. T -1.3% to $33.56.
    • ETFs: DIA, DOG, DXD, UDOW, SDOW, DDM
    | 62 Comments
  • Thu, Mar. 5, 8:36 PM
    • One of the key goals in AT&T's (NYSE:T) Project VIP network expansion is no more -- the company says it no longer plans to deploy 40,000 small cells by 2015's end.
    • The company says acquiring Leap Wireless last year gave it more macro sites and it therefore doesn't need as many small cells as planned -- though a source tells FierceWireless that the carrier didn't account for the time and regulatory effort in a deployment that size, and that it has set up only about 20,000.
    • AT&T hasn't commented on its deployment size but says small cells are still a key part of its network.
    • The FCC moved in the fall to speed environmental review for setting up small cells and co-located equipment.
    • Small cells are increasingly important for network flexibility as demand shifts quickly, and setting up a conventional macro cell site at this point is time-consuming and usually cost-prohibitive, especially considering the ones in existence.
    | Comment!
  • Mon, Mar. 2, 3:12 PM
    • At Mobile World Congress, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) confirms its plans to offer wireless phone service "in the coming months" -- a small MVNO, or mobile virtual network operator, where it would offer branded services by piggybacking on a partner's network.
    • The company says its entry will be modest and designed to showcase technological innovation, similar to what it does with its Nexus branded hardware, made by partners. But in a hotly competitive market, it could take share and have an impact on whichever competitors it doesn't align with (T, VZ, TMUS, S).
    • Google hasn't named whose network it would ride on, but it has service-reseller deals with Sprint and T-Mobile.
    • Besides its direct impact on the fortunes of competitors, which might be small, Google's move might spur innovation from them if it moves on a vision of better wireless connectivity.
    • This afternoon: GOOG +2%.
    | 41 Comments
  • Fri, Feb. 27, 6:37 PM
    • Fresh off their vote for re-regulation of Internet transmissions, the five FCC commissioners will be spending mid-March on Capitol Hill answering to the GOP Congress.
    • The House Energy and Commerce Committee is holding its hearing March 19, a day after the members are scheduled with the Senate Commerce Committee.
    • The chairmen of the two committees, Greg Walden and John Thune, are backing a bill that would reverse the FCC's Title II reclassification (treating Internet providers more like utilities) and substantively narrow its approach to ensuring net neutrality.
    • Following the 3-2 vote, major carriers indicated their strategy would be twofold: Lawsuits (CMCSA, T, VZ, CHTR worried about "years" of litigation); and legislative action to undo the move, with a cooperative congress apparently ready to act.
    • Other related stocks: CVC, TWC, CTL, FTR, ELNK, DISH, DTV, CCOI
    | 66 Comments
  • Fri, Feb. 27, 4:45 PM
    • Verizon (NYSE:VZ) has joined peers, including AT&T (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS), in complaining to the FCC that Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) distorted the results of the FCC's AWS-3 wireless spectrum auction with its bidding tactics.
    • Verizon ran its own analysis of the data and concluded close coordination between Dish and its designated entities ((DEs)) that Verizon says created a false sense of demand and drove the price above market value.
    • For its part, Dish has been on the record about disclosing and gaining approval for its actions ahead of the auction, though the resulting total bids came in over even the high estimates.
    • Major players have been jockeying for position with the FCC ahead of a likely even more important low-band auction next year.
    • More on the FCC auction
    • Previously: AT&T: Dish's auction approach skewed results, needs restriction (Feb. 20 2015)
    • Previously: T-Mobile's Legere calls for spectrum-auction rule changes (Feb. 18 2015)
    | 5 Comments
  • Thu, Feb. 26, 9:09 PM
    • Reactions to the FCC's landmark net neutrality vote from the telecom industry were unsurprisingly negative -- though perhaps surprisingly vintage in a few cases.
    • Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) says the move is "certain to lead to years of litigation" and that it doesn't believe provisions "adopted when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president should be stretched to govern the 21st century Internet."
    • AT&T (NYSE:T) -- who had already threatened certain litigation -- is no stranger to weighing in on its policy blog, where today it feared "revisiting the decision, over and over and over": "Instead of a clear set of rules moving forward, with a broad set of agreement behind them, we once again face the uncertainty of litigation, and the very real potential of having to start over – again – in the future."
    • Verizon (NYSE:VZ) -- which hastily issued a manually "typewritten" release dated 1934 -- doubled down on their blog with a statement in Morse code.
    • Charter (NASDAQ:CHTR) expects the action will "add fees to customer bills, create regulatory uncertainty and lead to years of litigation."
    • Several parties are noting the same key issue: We haven't read the order yet. The details of the document, when they come, are likely only to set off a new round of pointed reactions.
    • More reactions, including the positive side
    • Previously: Facing new broadband era after FCC vote, related stocks stable for now (Feb. 26 2015)
    | 88 Comments
  • Thu, Feb. 26, 1:39 PM
    • In the wake of the FCC's new regulations, key telecom and Internet stocks are tracking mostly where they were prior to the vote -- in part due to the fact that the vote's likely outcome was baked in, but also because details (including any late changes) are yet to be published.
    • The FCC majority must review and respond to the dissenters before publishing the result, which they will provide on the Web when it's ready.
    • Key stocks largely unchanged from the morning: Comcast (CMCSA -1.2%), Time Warner Cable (TWC -1.9%), Cablevision (CVC +1.3%), Charter (CHTR -1%), Centurylink (CTL +0.4%), Frontier (FTR +0.9%), Cogent (CCOI -1%).
    • AT&T (T +0.9%); Verizon (VZ +0.4%); Dish Network (DISH -0.6%); DirecTV (DTV +0.1%).
    • Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) -- whose traffic is such that the regulatory difference in its delivery costs may mean as much as $100M/year -- is up 1.6%. Interconnection fees may yet need some clarification.
    • For its part, Verizon (NYSE:VZ) uses its old-fashioned typewriter to put out a press release for "Feb. 26, 1934" warning that rules "written in the era of the steam locomotive and the telegraph" won't work today.
    • Speaking of Verizon: Next up will be lawsuits. Courts invalidated the FCC's last two attempts at net neutrality, most recently in January 2014.
    • Wheeler statement on vote
    • Previously: Report: AT&T, Verizon will sue FCC immediately after reclassification (Feb. 04 2015)
    | 42 Comments
  • Thu, Feb. 26, 1:01 PM
    • The FCC approves tough net neutrality restrictions on the Internet -- reclassifying broadband services under Title II of the Telecommunications Act -- on a party-line vote of 3-2.
    • Republican commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O'Rielly opposed the measure.
    • To open applause, Chairman Tom Wheeler said the action is an "irrefutable reflection of the principle that no one -- whether government or corporate -- should control free and open access to the Internet."
    • Pai thinks the result of reclassification will be even less competition, and calls the rules a "Kingsbury Commitment for the digital age ... If you loved Ma Bell in the 20th century, you will love Pa Broadband in the 21st."
    • Prior to the key net neutrality vote, the commission voted along the same party lines to pre-empt laws in North Carolina and Tennessee that put restrictions on municipal broadband initiatives.
    • Related stocks: CMCSA, CVC, TWC, CTL, CHTR, FTR, T, VZ, NFLX, ELNK, DISH, DTV, CCOI
    • Previously: FCC begins convening for historic net neutrality vote (Feb. 26 2015)
    | 62 Comments
  • Thu, Feb. 26, 10:29 AM
    • The FCC is ready to begin a meeting at which it plans a historic vote on re-regulating Internet providers, though a bit of the drama has gone out of the vote as Congressional Republicans yesterday conceded approval is likely.
    • That's not to say some things aren't still in flux this morning: Democratic commissioner Mignon Clyburn is pressing Chairman Tom Wheeler for some more clarity on one part of the proposal, and Google lobbying on the "sender pays" issue has apparently moved Wheeler to last-minute revisions.
    • The vote is expected to end 3-2 in favor of Title II regulation, along party lines.
    • Republican commissioner Ajit Pai continues his full-court press against the rules and will hold his own response press conference after the meeting.
    • Meanwhile, Wheeler's proposal may not go far enough to achieve its goals, if key loopholes remain available to service providers.
    • The FCC will start meeting at 10:30 a.m. ET, and will first vote on whether to pre-empt laws in North Carolina and Tennessee restricting municipal broadband.
    • Related stocks: CMCSA, CVC, T, VZ, TWC, NFLX, CTL, CHTR, FTR, ELNK, DISH, DTV, CCOI
    | 25 Comments
  • Thu, Feb. 26, 2:50 AM
    • The FCC is expected to approve Chairman Tom Wheeler's proposed "net neutrality" rules today, which will regulate broadband providers more heavily than in the past and restrict their power to control download speeds on the web.
    • The vote comes after a year of jostling between net neutrality advocates and cable and telecom companies, which are expected to launch a volley of lawsuits should the new rules be passed.
    • Related stocks: CMCSA, CVC, T, VZ, TWC, NFLX, CTL, CHTR, FTR, ELNK, DISH, DTV, CCOI
    | 66 Comments
  • Tue, Feb. 24, 3:59 AM
    • Republicans are increasing pressure on the FCC to delay Thursday's net neutrality vote, saying the public needs time to see and review the plan.
    • The proposal has been subject to heated battle since Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed reclassifying broadband from a lightly regulated information service to a more strictly overseen telecommunications service.
    • Supporters of the approach say that without such rules, broadband companies could charge tolls to websites for their fastest speeds, while critics say the plan would give the agency the authority to regulate pricing.
    • Related stocks: CMCSA, CVC, T, VZ, TWC, NFLX, CTL, CHTR, FTR, ELNK, DISH, DTV, CCOI
    | 32 Comments
  • Mon, Feb. 23, 2:33 PM
    • Google (GOOG -1.4%) has struck deals with Verizon (NYSE:VZ), AT&T (NYSE:T), and T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) to have the Google Wallet payments app pre-installed on Android phones sold by the carriers, starting later this year. The Web giant is also "acquiring some exciting technology and intellectual property" from the carriers' Softcard payments JV, which never fully got off the ground.
    • TechCrunch reported of Google's interest in Softcard last month. Thus far, Wallet's adoption has been hurt by limited support from carriers - Sprint was the only major U.S. backer - and retailers, as well as consumer reluctance to embrace NFC-based payments. However, the launch of (NFC-based) Apple Pay, along with the broader rollout of NFC-capable terminals and chip-and-PIN payment systems (they make card swipes a little less convenient) is altering the landscape.
    • The deal comes a few days after top Android OEM Samsung announced it's buying LoopPay, creator of a mobile payments solution that works with standard card-swipe terminals.
    • Mobile payments plays include NFC reader maker On Track Innovations (OTIV -5.7%) and payment-processing/telemetry services provider USA Technologies (USAT -2.7%).
    | 15 Comments
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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.