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AT&T Inc. (T)

- NYSE
  • Yesterday, 3:11 PM
    • Sprint (NYSE:S) is giving up some of today's gains, now +3.3%, after news of its latest promotion: "Celebrating" the merger of AT&T (NYSE:T) and DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) by offering a year of free phone service to DTV customers who switch.
    • The deal will be offered starting tomorrow through September's end. DirecTV customers who switch to Sprint -- or some existing customers adding lines or phones -- will get 12 months unlimited talk/text and 2 GB of data per line, up to five lines.
    • The existing customers would need to add a new line through Sprint Lease, iPhone Forever, Sprint Easy Pay or pay full retail price for a new smartphone.
    • Customers would be migrated to the comparable paid plan after the year was up.
    • Updated: "This ranks right up there with a desperate Hail Mary pass to a petite defensive lineman," said an AT&T spokesperson (in a Super Bowl allusion?). "With Sprint's network and the many asterisks on this deal, we're feeling good about our offers."
    | 89 Comments
  • Tue, Aug. 25, 12:49 PM
    • AT&T (T +0.9%) is beginning the long process of rebranding services from the two Mexican wireless firms it bought.
    • The company's Mexico CEO Thaddeus Arroyo says the refiguring -- of brands previously belonging to Grupo Iusacell and Nextel Mexico -- will begin by the end of this year and take all of 2016 to complete.
    • The moves are part of AT&T's longer-term strategy to end up with a North American service area -- which has rivals moving to offer their own "borderless" promotions and plans.
    • AT&T's moves into Mexico were spurred by the country's government, which acted to favor challenges to dominant America Movil (AMX +2.7%), and Arroyo stuck up for the regulations that the lead carrier was facing: “Things haven’t changed a lot. We are here to change it. We have less than 9% of the market, 68% of the market is still totally in one company. So the asymmetric rules are necessary.”
    | 5 Comments
  • Mon, Aug. 24, 4:01 PM
    • Cricket Wireless (T -2.9%) has the latest move in international roaming one-upsmanship, offering calling from the U.S. to nine new countries in the Americas.
    • Primary usage of the phone must be in the U.S., but customers can add $10-$15/month to add minutes to the country of their choice among the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Jamaica, Haiti, or Nicaragua.
    • The move follows Cricket's earlier step offering unlimited talk and text between the U.S., Mexico and Canada.
    | 7 Comments
  • Mon, Aug. 24, 11:38 AM
    • BT Group's (BT -4%) Americas president has charged Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T (NYSE:T) with hurting competitors by abusing landline monopolies, and called for tough regulations to force access to the networks.
    • The UK telecom serves hundreds of customers in the U.S. but pays to reach the "special access network" -- the portion that goes the last mile into homes and offices -- of which Verizon and AT&T control about 80%.
    • The FCC requested data from telecoms on the special access networks last year. BT's Bas Burger points to research suggesting the top two U.S. telecoms are overcharging for that access by about $9B/year.
    • Burger is calling for regulated prices there. “For a western world country it is the worst I’ve seen."
    • “There is not sufficient regulation to create competition," he says; "almost all access is being provided by two companies and they have divided the country among themselves.”
    | 13 Comments
  • 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.
    | 19 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)
    | 53 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)
    | 22 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%.
    | 9 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.
    | 11 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.
    | 33 Comments
  • Fri, Jul. 24, 2:34 PM
    | 10 Comments
  • Thu, Jul. 23, 9:13 PM
    | 18 Comments
  • Thu, Jul. 23, 5:33 PM
    • On AT&T's (NYSE:T) Q2 earnings call, CFO John Stephens steadfastly refused to take questions about the company's deal to acquire DirecTV -- an order is circulating at the FCC to finally approve the $49B deal -- but he did weigh in with a brief statement regarding the reported conditions it's taking on.
    • "We feel very confident that we can make adequate return on any investment we make as part of this deal," Stephens said. "We also expect $2.5B of cost synergies from this transaction -- that also has not changed."
    • FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly says he voted in favor of the deal this afternoon -- meaning that with Chairman Tom Wheeler's declared support, the deal's one vote away from approval.
    • When it comes to the FCC's broadcast incentive auction set for early 2016, "We'll be interested and prudent in investigating the opportunities," but Stephens says the company is putting spectrum to use rather than building out towers.
    • After hours, AT&T is now up 2%.
    • Previously: AT&T up 1.8% after solid earnings beat (Jul. 23 2015)
    • Previously: FCC chairman lays out conditions for AT&T/DirecTV approval order (Jul. 21 2015)
    | 12 Comments
  • Thu, Jul. 23, 4:25 PM
    • AT&T (NYSE:T) is up 1.8% after hours, following a solid Q2 beat on profit and expanding margins as well as healthy cash flow. Revenues that rose 1.4% Y/Y were up 2.2% if adjusting for the sale of its Connecticut wireline properties.
    • Revenue breakout: Service, $29.5B (down 0.1%); Equipment, $3.47B (up 15.1%). By segment: Wireless, $18.3B (up 2.1%); Wireline, $14.2B (down 2.9%).
    • Wireless had 2.1M net adds (410K postpaid, 331K prepaid and 1M connected cars). Total churn was 1.31% and postpaid churn just 1.01%. Phone-only postpaid ARPU increased 6.1% Y/Y. The wireless operating margin was 25.6%.
    • Wireline voice connections dropped by 652K (a 14% Y/Y improvement); total wireline broadband connections dropped by 136K and U-verse video connections fell by 22K.
    • Cash from operations of $9.2B resulted in free cash flow of $4.5B.
    • Conference call at 4:30 p.m. ET.
    • Press release
    | 21 Comments
  • Tue, Jul. 21, 6:50 PM
    • FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler confirms that an order has been circulated to agency commissioners recommending approval of AT&T's $49B purchase of DirecTV, with conditions.
    • If approved by the FCC, "2.5 million customer locations will have access to a competitive high-speed fiber connection," Wheeler writes. "This additional build-out is about 10 times the size of AT&T’s current fiber-to-the-premise deployment, increases the entire nation’s residential fiber build by more than 40 percent, and more than triples the number of metropolitan areas AT&T has announced plans to serve."
    • Two other key points: AT&T won't be able to exclude its affiliate video services from broadband data caps (which would give its own products a toll-free leg up), and will have to submit all completed interconnection agreements to the FCC, along with network performance reports.
    • Updated 7:05 p.m.: "We are pleased the Department of Justice has completed its review of our acquisition of DirecTV," says AT&T in its statement. "We look forward to gaining the approval of the Federal Communications Commission so we can quickly begin providing consumers with the benefits of this combination."
    • After hours: DTV +1.1%; T +0.1%.
    • Previously: WSJ: FCC ready to OK $49B AT&T/DirecTV deal (Jul. 21 2015)
    | 17 Comments
  • Fri, Jul. 17, 3:38 PM
    • AT&T (T -0.4%) opens a new front next week in its gigabit offerings with a move into the high-tech hub of Durham, N.C.
    • The move is a departure for AT&T as it doesn't operate wired services there, meaning a fiber network basically built from scratch. A university-driven Next Generation Network initiative does operate in parts of other cities in the Research Triangle area, including Raleigh and Chapel Hill.
    • Frontier (FTR +3.8%) began connecting Durham customers to fiber last year, and Google has signaled its own Fiber rollout there as well.
    | 4 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.