Fri, Jun. 26, 5:46 PM
- Sprint (S -1.3%) chief Marcelo Claure has become the highest-paid CEO among U.S. telecoms, the Financial Times notes, having earned $22M for just under eight months of work.
- Randall Stephenson of AT&T (NYSE:T) earned $24M last year -- but for a full year's work. Lowell McAdam of Verizon (NYSE:VZ) earned $18M last year, and T-Mobile's (NYSE:TMUS) John Legere $19M.
- For the period between his Aug. 11 start date and March 31, Claure earned a base of $923K, a bonus of $2.4M (including a $500K "golden hello"), and $18M in stock and options. During that time, Sprint's stock price has fallen 16.4%.
- A Sprint spokesman pointed to the difficulty of making apples-to-apples comparisons with other CEOs, considering one-time payments like the signing bonus.
- Sprint's 14A filing
Fri, Jun. 26, 1:54 PM
Fri, Jun. 26, 12:56 PM
Fri, Jun. 26, 9:38 AM
- AT&T (NYSE:T) has appointed ex-Dallas Fed chief Richard Fisher to its board, where he'll serve on the Corporate Development and Finance Committee.
- Fisher left his post at the Dallas Fed after 10 years in the position. He had come to the Federal Reserve from Kissinger McLarty Associates.
- In March, PepsiCo added Fisher to its board of directors.
Thu, Jun. 25, 7:04 PM
- While FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler signaled today that the agency wouldn't bow to demands for greater spectrum set-asides for competitors to AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ), the Justice Dept. sent a letter urging the FCC to think about moves to spread the spectrum, including a greater set-aside.
- William Baer with the DOJ's antitrust division asked the FCC to consider “the well-established competition principle that those with market power may be willing to pay the most to reinforce a leading position.”
- In a low-band "broadcast incentive" auction coming next year, the FCC has proposed setting aside 30 MHz per market for competitors other than the two telecom leaders, like Sprint (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS). T-Mobile has been vocal about pushing for a 40 MHz reserve and is hopeful that Baer's letter means it still may happen: “There would be no point in writing the letter if they didn’t want the FCC to take another look," says T-Mobile's Andy Levin.
- More FCC auction coverage
Thu, Jun. 25, 3:26 PM
- AT&T (NYSE:T) is up 1.7% as Bank of America has upgraded shares to Buy, from Neutral, and raised the price target to $40 from $35.
- Shares are trading currently at $36.40.
- The company also plans to invest about $3B into Mexico by the end of 2018, to stretch mobile Internet coverage to 100M people, CEO Randall Stephenson said while meeting with Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto.
- AT&T plans to cover 40M subscribers (about a third of the population) within six months, and 75M by the end of 2016.
- Earlier this year, AT&T made its major move into the market with $4.4B in investments to acquire the country's No. 3 and No. 4 wireless carriers, Iusacell and Nextel Mexico.
- Stephenson credited reforms introduced by Peña Nieto for allowing AT&T to invest in Mexico.
- New plans are coming next month to allow Mexican customers to use its North American Mobile Service Area.
Thu, Jun. 25, 2:35 PM
- FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says that he is circulating a draft with changes to the spectrum bidding procedures ahead of an open meeting designed to "revamp our outdated spectrum auction bidding policies" and help small businesses in the mobile marketplace.
- Notably, he proposes a first-ever cap on total bidding credits, reducing an incentive for large corporations to game the system: "We will not allow small businesses to serve as a stalking horse for another party." (Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) was loudly criticized by rivals after using designated entities to bid for $13.3B in spectrum with a $10B payment; AT&T (NYSE:T) had proposed a much smaller cap of $10M.)
- And he's sticking to the previous 30 MHz set-aside for smaller firms, though key "smaller firms" like Sprint (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) had pressed for a larger set-aside of as much as 40 MHz (in T-Mobile's case, with an aggressive media campaign).
- He also recommends dropping a requirement for small businesses to offer facilities-based wireless in order to qualify for bidding credits, and to create a new rural business bidding credit.
- More FCC auction coverage
Tue, Jun. 23, 3:43 PM
- T-Mobile (TMUS +0.9%) is keeping up the (spectrum) pressure, asking the FCC to block a low-band spectrum purchase by AT&T (T +2.9%) from East Kentucky Network, using the agency's "public-interest" mandate.
- AT&T, it said, had failed to meet "applicable heightened standards for demonstrating that the proposed transaction is in the public interest when balanced with the serious anticompetitive risks posed by the increased concentration of below-1-GHz spectrum."
- Keeping up a multi-front attack, T-Mobile's also teasing a new set of Un-carrier updates -- "Un-carrier Amped" -- starting this Thursday.
- Meanwhile, it's also made a literally comical new video in its fight over spectrum set-asides, portraying the company and the "FCC Five" as superheroes trying to defeat a villainous duopoly.
- Previously: Bloomberg: FCC Chairman urging rejection of T-Mobile spectrum appeal (Jun. 17 2015)
Tue, Jun. 23, 9:30 AM
- AT&T (NYSE:T) is up 1.6% premarket following a Barclays upgrade to Overweight where they note "multiple levers" driving profitability.
- Amir Rozwadowski lifted the firm's price target on the telecom to $39, from $34. Premarket, the stock is trading at $35.60.
- "The number of levers (i.e. revenue and cost synergies) that could positively impact AT&T's bottom line post the imminent close of the DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) transaction are too material to ignore," he says, noting declining concerns both externally and internally.
- AT&T may be among the companies best positioned for a cycle of favorable earnings revisions, and he notes management has already raised expectations for deal cost synergies ($2.5B vs. previous $1.6B) but "further opportunities exist specifically around reduced investment in legacy access infrastructure."
- UBS also upgraded AT&T shares to Buy this morning.
Fri, Jun. 19, 12:01 PM
- Sprint (S +0.3%) is taking its "cut your bill in half" strategy to prepaid, with a new promotion at its Boost Mobile unit targeting customers of Cricket (NYSE:T) and MetroPCS (TMUS -0.5%).
- The plan is targeting halving customers' bills, for an initial 12 months, across a variety of prepaid plans. Comparing with Cricket's $40/2.5 Gb of high-speed data and MetroPCS's $40/2 Gb, Boost is offering 2.5 Gb for $20/month.
- After 12 months, customers would then migrate to the comparable regular Boost plan (In the case of 2 Gb, for $30/month if signing up for automatic payment).
Thu, Jun. 18, 6:33 PM
- AT&T's (NYSE:T) long game in Latin America is getting a long, mostly loving look from analysts.
- Following buys of Nextel Mexico and Iusacell, the company's taken on a rivalry with América Móvil in Mexico's wireless industry. And a sealed deal for DirecTV would give the company 12.6M video subscribers in Latin America, which could mean an even greater competitive interface with AMX.
- "While AT&T recently raised its guidance for synergies from the DTV deal, we see further potential for upside," said Credit Suisse's Joseph Mastrogiovanni after meeting with management. "Mexico is an attractive opportunity for AT&T, given regulatory pressure on the incumbent operator (América Móvil), the current three-player dynamic, AT&T's spectrum position and the economic outlook for the country."
- Macquarie's Kevin Smithen met with the carrier's Mexico CEO Thaddeus Arroyo: "We came away feeling more positive about the long-term opportunity for AT&T in the market and believe that AT&T can get to $1B in 2018 EBITDA ... When all is said and done, AT&T should be able to pull $500M to $700M per year in unlevered free cash flow out of the market in three to four years."
- Meanwhile, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler elaborated on his plans for fining AT&T $100M: The fine isn't final and depends on AT&T's response, but consumer refunds could evolve too.
Wed, Jun. 17, 12:11 PM
- The FCC plans to fine AT&T (NYSE:T) $100M, charging it with misleading its customers about unlimited mobile data.
- The agency says AT&T didn't adequately inform customers that it would slow down data for customers on unlimited plans, which the company says it did to keep the service running smoothly. The company responded that it had adequately informed customers of the move and that it would "vigorously dispute" the fine.
- Previously: AT&T paying $25M to settle FCC data-breach probe (Apr. 08 2015)
- Previously: AT&T paying $105M to settle unauthorized charge allegations (Oct. 08 2014)
Mon, Jun. 15, 1:55 PM
- AT&T (NYSE:T) has launched its "GigaPower" gigabit-Internet offering in Charlotte, N.C., its 12th market and another one that is targeted by Google for a Fiber expansion.
- The company is pitching a standalone service at its $70/month price (for those submitting to the company's targeted Web ads). It's a Google Fiber-pitched price, compared to $120/month in other markets, but has a data cap of 1 TB before hitting overage charges of $10/50 Gb with a $30/month max.
- Just more data points showing it's good for consumers to be in a competitive city; Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) is working its own "Maxx" digital upgrade in Charlotte, which will bring many of its subscribers there up to 200 Mbps or 300 Mpbs at no additional charge.
Fri, Jun. 12, 4:21 PM
- AT&T (T -0.7%) is pursuing a deal to rent wireless towers from Telesites, the tower-holding spinoff from América Móvil (AMX +0.3%), Bloomberg reports.
- An agreement could advance AT&T's expansion plans in Mexico, as Telesites' 11,000 towers make the country's most pervasive network.
- AT&T only provided a statement: “As we assess our options, we expect fair pricing, an expedited process, and efficient access similar to other tower companies.”
- The Telesites spinoff was prompted by tough new regulations in Mexico, and they dictate that the towers firm must allow access to any operator for a fee; and the IFT will step in and determine the rate if an agreement can't be reached.
- América Móvil had said the spinoff would give competitors access to 90% of its towers, up from 45%.
- Previously: America Movil floats spinoff of towers business into listed company (Apr. 01 2015)
Fri, Jun. 12, 12:06 PM
- While a federal court sided with the FCC yesterday -- and thus against AT&T (NYSE:T), in its litigation against net neutrality regulations -- is it really a silver lining for the big telecom?
- Analysts say with tough new rules taking effect today, the FCC has less reason to set tougher conditions on AT&T's proposed deal to acquire DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV).
- "Now that the net neutrality rules are set to go into effect today for all carriers, there probably isn't as much pressure for the FCC to attempt to single AT&T out or get AT&T to proactively agree to abide by stricter net neutrality rules," says Elevation's Stephen Sweeney, "so this may simplify the ongoing remedy/concessions negotiations that are ongoing with the regulators at the moment."
- Earlier this month, sources pointed to an AT&T ready to make concessions, including agreement to strict guidelines on net neutrality, in order to get the deal done.
- "The ruling (may be) a positive for AT&T-DirecTV because the FCC probably will face less pressure from public interest groups to apply the full net neutrality rules to AT&T as a merger condition (which might have been the case if the court had blocked the FCC's Title II ruling)," says Guggenheim's Paul Gallant.
- Previously: AT&T, Cogent enter new interconnection pact (Jun. 10 2015)
- Previously: Report: AT&T to agree to concessions for DirecTV deal (Jun. 02 2015)
- Previously: AT&T/DirecTV deal review still paused at FCC (May. 28 2015)
Wed, Jun. 10, 5:39 PM
- Virasb Vahidi, who joined Chernin Group/AT&T (NYSE:T) joint venture Otter Media as its CEO in September, is leaving the post with no immediate replacement.
- In a staff memo he said "It has become clear to [Chernin Group CEO Peter Chernin] and me that the role of the CEO is different than we had originally envisioned.”
- Vahidi is a former executive at AT&T, which has put $500M into the streaming-video venture it formed with News Corp. ex Peter Chernin in April 2014.
- Otter Media has a majority stake in Fullscreen (YouTube network still run by founder George Strompolos), and stakes in subscription-video service Crunchyroll and craft-oriented Creativebug.
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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