Oct. 29, 2014, 1:22 PM
- A bid by Aereo to be defined as a cable provider gained support from the FCC with a new proposal out this week which was described in a blog post written by Chairman Tom Wheeler.
- The agency supports "open access" for consumers to high-speed broadband delivery and the right of over-the-top firms to offer programming owned by pay-TV providers and broadcasters.
- In essence, the FCC thinks the bundled pay-TV model should be broken so that consumers will not be forced to pay for channels they never watch.
- What to watch: Though Aero isn't likely to be the ultimate pay-TV disrupter without the deep pockets to license content, the position of the FCC opens the door for other Internet video players to emerge and chips away at the bundled channels model.
- Related stocks: DISH, DTV, CMCSA, CHTR, CVC, TWC, VZ, T, NFLX.
Oct. 29, 2014, 1:59 AM
- The Federal Trade Commission sued AT&T (NYSE:T) yesterday, alleging that the company sold millions of customers "unlimited" data plans while cutting data speeds to near-impractical levels after the user crossed a usage threshold.
- The FTC warned Verizon over similar practices, called data throttling, earlier this month.
- The lawsuit seeks to bar AT&T from misleading consumers and asks for monetary relief for the alleged harm to the company’s customers.
Oct. 24, 2014, 1:16 PM
- The FCC's Incentive Auction, which will auction off a giant chunk of low-frequency (600 MHz.) spectrum historically used for TV broadcasts, is now set for early 2016 instead of mid-2015.
- The agency cites legal challenges from broadcasters, as well as the auction's complexity and "the need for all auction participants to have certainty well in advance."
- A recent FCC study (.pdf) meant to appease broadcasters estimated the auction could raise $45B. Sprint (S -0.1%) and T-Mobile (TMUS +0.1%), whose rural and in-building coverage has suffered from a dearth of low-frequency spectrum, are expected to spend aggressively.
- AT&T (T +0.1%) and Verizon (VZ +1%) are also expected to bid heavily, though the FCC plans to limit their purchases on account of their already-massive low-frequency assets. AT&T has said it plans to spend at least $9B.
- Dish (DISH +1.4%), which has a large chunk of high-frequency spectrum it's still trying to find a use for, plans to participate as well.
Oct. 24, 2014, 11:30 AM
- The number of global pay-TV subscribers will rise 19.6% to 1.1B in five years, according to a forecast from ABI Research.
- The research firm thinks global pay-TV revenue could top $323B by the end of the period.
- Related stocks: DISH, DTV, LBTYA, CHA, T, TWC, OTCPK:BSYBF, OTC:SKDTF, OTCPK:KBDHY, OTCQX:DTEGY, AMX,
Oct. 22, 2014, 4:32 PM
- AT&T (NYSE:T) now expects full-year revenue to grow 3%-4% Y/Y, down from prior guidance of 5% but in-line with a 3.4% consensus.
- Wireless service revenue was down 0.2% Y/Y in Q3, an improvement from Q2's 1.4% drop but below Verizon's 4.8% growth. With equipment sales rising 44.3% thanks to strong Next smartphone upgrade plan adoption, wireless op. margin fell 180 bps to 24.6%.
- Wireless postpaid net adds totaled 785K, up from 363K a year ago (aided by tablet adds) but down from Q2's 1.03M; the postpaid base is at 75.1M.
- 140K prepaid subs were lost; 405K were lost in Q2, and 192K added a year ago. The prepaid base is at 11.2M. "Connected device" net adds totaled 1.275M, with 500K coming from cars; the connected device base is at 18.5M.
- Thanks to strong uptake for Mobile Share Value plans, phone-only postpaid ARPU fell 8% Y/Y. Postpaid churn fell 8 bps to 0.99%; total churn rose 5 bps to 1.36%.
- Wireline revenue (44% of total revenue) fell 0.4% Y/Y, and segment op. margin fell 180 bps to 8.8%. A 10.5% Y/Y drop in voice connections to 26.2M caused the decline.
- U-verse revenue rose 23.8% Y/Y, driving a 3% increase in residential wireline revenue. U-verse broadband and TV net adds respectively totaled 601K and 216K.
- $221M was spent on buybacks, up from Q2's $159M but well below some recent quarters. Free cash flow was $3.5B, above net income of $3B.
- T -1.8% AH. Q3 results, PR.
- Update: BTIG's Walter Piecyk estimates wireless service revenue growth was -4.2%, if one backs out the impact of the Leap Wireless acquisition.
Oct. 22, 2014, 4:03 PM
Oct. 22, 2014, 12:43 PM
- The FCC announces it will pause its review of the proposed Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) - Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) and DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) - AT&T (NYSE:T) mergers.
- The delay is due in part to bickering over who has the right to see confidential carriage fee agreements involving the companies.
- The agency says the informal 180-day time clock for the review has been halted.
Oct. 21, 2014, 5:35 PM
- ACTG, ALB, ALGT, AWH, BCR, BDN, CA, CAKE, CLB, CLGX, CLW, CTXS, CVA, EEFT, EFX, EGHT, FTK, FTNT, GGG, IBKC, INFN, LEG, LHO, LOGI, LRCX, MKSI, MKTO, MLNX, MSA, NOW, NXPI, ORLY, OTEX, PLCM, PLXS, RE, RJF, SCSS, SFG, SGMO, SHLM, SKX, SLG, SLM, SUSQ, T, TAL, TCBI, TER, TILE, TMK, TSCO, TYL, USTR, VAR, WFT, YELP
Oct. 14, 2014, 3:31 PM
- Global growth, foreign-exchange, oil, and small caps are the subject of every client inquiry, says David Kostin. His team's recommendation: Buy "American exceptionalism."
- In Kostin's view, U.S. economy and corporate fundamentals are still strong, with economic growth expected by Goldman economists to be 3.2% next year, the fastest expansion since 2005. Europe is expected to grow just 1%.
- What his team likes are those stocks of companies which have a high proportion of domestic sales, plus sectors like Consumer Staples (XLP -0.1%) and Discretionary (XLY +0.7%) which stand to benefit from lower oil prices (plunging again today).
- As for small caps (IWM +0.9%), Kostin is wary, noting downward earnings revisions have boosted small cap P/E ratios even as prices have declined.
- The list of S&P 500 names capturing two or more of Kostin's themes: GT, GM, PCLN, AMZN, CMCSA, LOW, DG, TSN, ADM, CVS, AVP, WAG, PXD, HAL, JPM, BAC, SCHW, PNC, MS, C, GNW, LNC, MET, THC, AET, UNH, ESRX, HUM, WLP, BIIB, GILD, DAL, CMI, FLR, CRM, JBL, MA, FB, MU, FSLR, VMC, MON, T.
Oct. 8, 2014, 1:57 PM
- The FTC and FCC had accused AT&T (T -1.4%) of collecting "hundreds of millions of dollars" worth of unauthorized charges on behalf of third parties selling ringtones, horoscopes, trivia, and other content/services that consumers never gave their consent to.
- AT&T is paying $80M in refunds to affected customers, as well as $20M to state authorities and $5M to federal authorities.
- The settlement amounts to a modest hit for a company expected to post 2014 revenue of $133.6B.
Oct. 7, 2014, 2:15 PM
- America Movil's (AMX -0.1%) planned Mexican telecom asset sale could extend beyond Mexico's eastern coast, Carlos Slim tells Bloomberg. AMX has already announced plans to sell Eastern Mexican assets to appease regulators who want the carrier's local telecom share to fall below 50%.
- AT&T (NYSE:T), which recently sold its AMX stake to Slim for $5.6B, has suggested it's interested in the assets. For now, Slim only says AMX is "working with the potential buyers to have an agreement."
Oct. 7, 2014, 4:35 AM
- AT&T (NYSE:T) is apologizing for an incident in which an employee gained unauthorized access to about 1,600 customers' personal data.
- In a letter posted to the Vermont Attorney General's website, the company says the information accessed may have contained Social Security and driver's license numbers.
- AT&T is directly contacting affected customers and has notified law enforcement regarding the incident.
Oct. 6, 2014, 3:32 PM
- Cable industry analyst Craig Moffett thinks the cable/broadband industry is well-positioned to benefit from the gradual consumer shift to WiFi-first services.
- The pieces are falling together for the group as smartphone users increasingly use WiFi connections for data and voice - instead of relying on cellular networks.
- In another two to three years after technology hurdles are cleared, cable WiFi could be the standard, says Moffett.
- Related stocks: TWC, CMCSA, CHTR, CVC, VZ, T
Oct. 6, 2014, 10:45 AM
- ESPN's new deal with the NBA will let it experiment with selling online access to "out of market" games outside of the traditional pay-TV bundle.
- Though the initiative could take several years to take form, it will mark another small step toward a la carte programming for consumers.
- Media analysts note the length of the contract between the NBA with Disney (DIS +0.7%) and Time Warner (TWX) effectively boxes out Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) and NBC (NASDAQ:CMCSA) until past the 2024-2025 season.
- On the pay-TV side, operators such as Comcast, Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH), AT&T (NYSE:T), Cablevision (NYSE:CVC), Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) and DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) have to fret over an online product competing with their sports packages which include NBA games.
Oct. 2, 2014, 2:42 AM
- The FCC is prepping its upcoming auction of frequencies known as AWS-3, scheduled to begin on Nov. 13. The auction is expected to raise at least $10B and will include airwaves previously occupied by multiple federal users.
- A total of 80 entities submitted initial applications, including Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) and three of the four largest U.S. wireless carriers - Verizon (NYSE:VZ), AT&T (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS).
- Sprint (NYSE:S) is planning sit out on the auction to save firepower for a major sale of low-frequency airwaves scheduled for next year.
Oct. 1, 2014, 5:12 PM
- The multi-year deal with the NFL is said to expand DirecTV's (NASDAQ:DTV) "exclusive rights to carry NFL Sunday Ticket and its package of every Sunday afternoon out-of-market game."
- It also expands DirecTV's rights to stream Sunday Ticket games on the Web and mobile devices, and gives DirecTV subs online access to NFL Network streams.
- Deal terms are undisclosed. Sports Business Daily previously reported DirecTV would be paying $1.3B-$1.4B/year, up from the $1B/year it currently pays.
- DirecTV is up 1.9% AH. Acquirer AT&T (NYSE:T) is up 0.4%. AT&T had the right to walk away from the DirecTV deal if Sunday Ticket wasn't renewed.
- Update: Re/code reports the new deal is good for 8 years.
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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