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AT&T Inc. (T)

  • Mon, Aug. 17, 4:53 PM
    • Another brick falls from the contract-wireless wall, as Sprint (S +10.1%) CEO Marcelo Claure tells The Wall Street Journal that the carrier will do away with contracts and shift to a leased-smartphone model by year's end.
    • Sprint introduced a lease option last year, and ending its subsidies means that leasing or upfront purchase will be the only ways to get a smartphone from the carrier.
    • The move leaves AT&T (T +0.5%) as the only carrier of the U.S. big four that is still offering to subsidize a smartphone buy. Verizon (VZ +0.1%) made its major move earlier this month, and all are following in T-Mobile's (TMUS +1.9%) footsteps on dropping contracts.
    • Earlier, Sprint rolled out its "iPhone Forever" plan that served as a precursor to the model: For $22/month over and above the usual monthly fees, customers can upgrade to the latest iPhone as soon as it becomes available, rather than once every two years. Claure says parent SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY -1%) will help it monetize traded-in phones.
    | Mon, Aug. 17, 4:53 PM | 20 Comments
  • Mon, Aug. 17, 4:57 AM
    • America Movil (NYSE:AMX) is removing Mexico-U.S. roaming charges for 40M Mexican prepay clients, after AT&T (NYSE:T) bought two domestic wireless operators looking to steal market share on its rivals' home turf.
    • Carlos Slim is also under additional pressure. America Movil, which is facing a regulatory crackdown in Mexico, must lower its 70% mobile market share under new antitrust rules.
    | Mon, Aug. 17, 4:57 AM | Comment!
  • Mon, Aug. 17, 3:49 AM
    • While it has been long known that American telecommunications companies worked closely with the NSA, newly disclosed documents show that a relationship with AT&T (NYSE:T) has been especially productive, NYT reports.
    • The company has given the NSA access to billions of emails that have flowed across its networks and permitted the wiretapping of all Internet communications at United Nations headquarters, among other activities.
    | Mon, Aug. 17, 3:49 AM | 46 Comments
  • Wed, Aug. 12, 9:25 AM
    • AT&T (NYSE:T) is off 2.2% premarket as it kicks off an analyst day with three-year projections for the new-look company after its combination with DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV).
    • The company sees EPS this year of $2.62-$2.68, vs. a consensus of $2.60, on revenues growing in the double-digit range due to the acquisition, and free cash flow of $13B range or better.
    • For 2016-2018, the company is guiding to revenue growth in line with GDP growth or better, EPS growth in the mid single digits, and a free cash flow dividend payout ratio in the 70s.
    • "We're a different company than when we began the year and it shows in what well be able to offer customers and in our financial outlook," says CEO Randall Stephenson. "We've diversified our capabilities, added significant scale in video and mobility, and can now deliver integrated services that set us apart from the competition."
    • Sticking with its most recent optimism on synergies, the company says it can see run-rate cost synergies at $2.5B or more each year through 2018. Capex this year is expected in the $21B range.
    • Webcast of AT&T Analyst Conference 2015 starts at 10 a.m. ET.
    • Previously: AT&T call: Seeing $2.5B synergies as DirecTV deal nears OK (Jul. 23 2015)
    | Wed, Aug. 12, 9:25 AM | 47 Comments
  • Tue, Aug. 11, 5:06 PM
    • Ahead of an analyst day tomorrow, AT&T (NYSE:T) finished slightly lower today (-0.4%) after marking a three-year, $150M deal to become Marriott's preferred network provider.
    • The deal means better services for guests as well as facilitating the move of Marriott applications to the cloud over a three- to five-year time frame. Marriott will bring voice and data services onto one network, and get a dedicated maintenance center from AT&T to handle support.
    • In an unsurprising move with its DirecTV deal closed, AT&T broke off NFL Sunday Ticket as an online streaming option for multi-unit dwellings (apartments, condos, townhouses) starting at $49.99/month for four months -- but is offering that deal at half off for college students.
    • With DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) in hand, tomorrow should bring more information about the company's capex and marketing plans, both for the TV products (and associated bundles and offerings) and for Mexico expansion.
    • Previously: AT&T call: Seeing $2.5B synergies as DirecTV deal nears OK (Jul. 23 2015)
    | Tue, Aug. 11, 5:06 PM | 12 Comments
  • Tue, Aug. 11, 3:39 PM
    • Verizon (VZ +0.9%) has "reasons for optimism," says analyst Craig Moffett as he upgrades the stock to Buy on valuation amid a possible calming of the price war.
    • He's set a price target of $54; Verizon shares closed yesterday at $47.23 and are trading now at $47.64, implying more than a 13% upside.
    • Verizon has dropped its strategy of subsidizing phones -- for which it was a holdout -- with a revised set of contract-free price plans.
    • The company's Q2 results hinted at stabilizing wireless ARPU, Moffett says, and "Recent market activity — which includes Sprint's and T-Mobile's effective price increase by reducing the amount of data offered at the $100 price point, and AT&T's decision to add an activation fee to (installment plans) — further our conviction that we are reaching at least a pause in aggressive discounting in U.S. wireless."
    • Despite the fact that investor sentiment has shifted to AT&T (NYSE:T) from Verizon ("AT&T has DirecTV merger synergies to talk about, Verizon doesn't"), he says Verizon has more to gain from pricing firming up.
    • Meanwhile, Verizon says it has successfully field-tested a new fiber-to-the-premises optical technology that could someday promise 10 Gbps speeds by using different wavelengths of light.
    | Tue, Aug. 11, 3:39 PM | 11 Comments
  • Mon, Aug. 10, 8:08 PM
    • With an expired contract, 28,000 Southeast union employees for AT&T (T +1.6%) are still on the job and continuing to work toward an agreement.
    • As with thousands of counterparts working at Verizon (VZ +1.9%), the CWA has authorized a strike against AT&T if necessary, with 96% approving the measure. “We’re going to keep our fight for a fair contract going while we stay on the job,” says a union rep.
    • The negotiations cover AT&T Southeast workers as well as employees of AT&T Utility Operations and BellSouth Billing.
    • Verizon says it's trained thousands of nonunion workers in case of a strike by 38,000 of its employees who are still on the job following the Aug. 1 expiration of their own contract.
    | Mon, Aug. 10, 8:08 PM | 8 Comments
  • Mon, Aug. 10, 11:05 AM
    • AT&T (NYSE:T) is up 1.3% in the wake of its newest synergy-related promo for DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV): a $500 credit/line for DirecTV customers (and U-verse customers) who switch to AT&T's wireless offering.
    • The credit breaks out into a $300 bill credit for line ports where the customer buys a smartphone via AT&T Next, and an additional $200 credit for trading an eligible smartphone.
    • The deal also comes with 10,000 of American Express Plenti points if they combine services on one bill.
    • The discounts are per line rather than per household, meaning a family of four could get $2,000 in credits for bringing four lines in with four smartphone trades as described.
    • Previously: Let the AT&T-DirecTV bundling begin (Aug. 03 2015)
    | Mon, Aug. 10, 11:05 AM | 18 Comments
  • Thu, Aug. 6, 12:07 PM
    • In a unanimous vote, the FCC denied T-Mobile's (NYSE:TMUS) request for a larger spectrum set-aside during the government's wireless airwaves auction next year.
    • The carrier -- now the third-largest by customers in the U.S. -- had lobbied for a larger chunk of spectrum to be set aside for smaller carriers (i.e., not AT&T and Verizon) in the low-band auction, an area of the spectrum that the two giants dominate.
    • There will be a set-aside, just not the 40 MHz that T-Mobile was seeking, in what is seen as a compromise by the FCC's Democrats after last year's vote to establish reserve spectrum.
    • The FCC is working to keep the auction on track for the first quarter, and it's currently expected March 29. The agency is finalizing bidding procedures.
    • Wireless Carriers today: T -1.3%; VZ -0.5%; TMUS -0.5%; S +2.4%.
    | Thu, Aug. 6, 12:07 PM | 9 Comments
  • Tue, Aug. 4, 7:26 PM
    • Major U.S. telecoms are reporting widespread phone outages in the Midwest and Southeast, for both wireless and wireline service.
    • The outages seem centered in Kentucky, Indiana, Alabama and Tennessee, but they affect customers of AT&T (NYSE:T), Verizon (NYSE:VZ), Sprint (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS). All four of those carriers acknowledged the outages on Twitter accounts.
    • AT&T suggested that the problem has been pinpointed to a hardware issue and that engineers are working with vendors to restore service.
    | Tue, Aug. 4, 7:26 PM | 15 Comments
  • Mon, Aug. 3, 6:25 PM
    • ProShares is shuttering its UltraShort Telecommunications ETF (TLL -5.7%), the fund that bets against big telecoms like AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ), due to lack of interest.
    • The fund -- a double-short fund working on the inverse of the Dow Jones U.S. Select Telecommunications Index -- will close after the market on Sept. 14. Trading had slowed to about 100 shares on average.
    • Top components of Dow Jones' telecom index that the fund bet against are AT&T, Verizon, SBA Communications (NASDAQ:SBAC), Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT), CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL), T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS), Frontier (NASDAQ:FTR) and Sprint (NYSE:S).
    • TLL was down 7.6% over the past six months. The iShares U.S. Telecommunications ETF (NYSEARCA:IYZ) -- tracking the same index from the other direction -- is down 0.5% YTD.
    | Mon, Aug. 3, 6:25 PM | 11 Comments
  • Mon, Aug. 3, 3:33 AM
    • Just two weeks after getting its merger with DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) approved, AT&T (NYSE:T) will introduce its first package of TV and wireless services on Aug. 10.
    • The new deal will allow subscribers to get high-definition video programming on up to four TVs, unlimited talk and text on four smartphones, and 10 gigabytes of shared wireless data for $200 a month - saving consumers $600 in the first year.
    • The carrier describes the new bundle as the "first-ever nationwide package of TV and wireless services."
    | Mon, Aug. 3, 3:33 AM | 25 Comments
  • Mon, Jul. 27, 6:23 PM
    • An aggressive AT&T (NYSE:T) is fighting back hard against a proposed FCC fine of $100M, saying it's "unprecedented and indefensible," and has asked for a total withdrawal of the fine.
    • Last month, the agency charged Ma Bell with misleading customers about slowing mobile data for customers on unlimited data plans.
    • At the time, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said the ultimate fine would depend on AT&T's response, and might include customer refunds.
    • AT&T says the FCC is "abandoning any pretext" of being impartial and suggests the fine is beyond agency authority, expecting it to be thrown out in court.
    • Meanwhile today in analyst action, after AT&T's quarterly results and the closure of its DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) acquisition, Goldman Sachs reinstated coverage of the company at Neutral with a price target of $37; and Canaccord Genuity has raised its price target to $35 (from $34).
    • Shares closed today up 0.2% to $34.35.
    • Previously: AT&T details closure of DirecTV deal (Jul. 24 2015)
    | Mon, Jul. 27, 6:23 PM | 34 Comments
  • Mon, Jul. 27, 11:36 AM
    • Following AT&T's (T +0.6%) closure on its acquisition of DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV), the company reached a new multiyear carriage deal with Starz (STRZA -0.7%).
    • Talks had broken down a week ago -- and now AT&T speaks for DirecTV subscribers as well.
    • Terms were undisclosed but the two companies renewed their deal with hours to go before a blackout. The talks had been ongoing for several months.
    | Mon, Jul. 27, 11:36 AM | 2 Comments
  • Fri, Jul. 24, 4:00 PM
    • With official FCC approval in hand, AT&T (T +1.1%) has closed its deal for DirecTV (DTV +1.3%), making it the country's largest pay TV provider with more than 26M total subscribers.
    • Comcast has nearly 23M subscribers in the U.S. AT&T also now boasts more than 19M TV customers in Latin America.
    • DirecTV shareholders received 1.892 shares of AT&T common stock and $28.50 in cash per DirecTV share owned.
    • Current DirecTV customers won't see any difference, AT&T says, as integration happens over the coming months. It plans to roll out new promotions for bundled services in the coming weeks.
    • The company's named John Stankey its CEO of AT&T Entertainment & Internet Services, leading the combined Home Solutions operations, as DirecTV Chairman and CEO Mike White will retire.
    • FCC-mandated conditions include offering fiber-to-the-premises to 12.5M locations within four years; offering gigabit service to any school or library in the all-fiber footprint; offering low-income discounts in the wireline footprint; no favorable treatment for video under data caps; submitting interconnection deals to the FCC.
    • AT&T now expects by year's end its revenue streams will be (from highest to lowest): Business Solutions (both wireless and wireline); Entertainment & Internet; Consumer Mobility; and International Mobility and Video.
    | Fri, Jul. 24, 4:00 PM | 30 Comments
  • Fri, Jul. 24, 2:34 PM
    | Fri, Jul. 24, 2:34 PM | 10 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.