Yesterday, 11:13 AM
- T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) is off 0.6% as Macquarie downgrades shares to Neutral, from Outperform, on concerns that it could get diluted by a share sale from its parent Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) if timely mergers don't come around.
- One speculated partner is Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH), which has been gathering wireless spectrum despite offering no mobile services.
- T-Mobile's hit Macquarie's target price of $38, the analysts note, and while a move up from around $32 seems to be based on M&A speculation, "We have been down this road before with TMUS and recommend investors take profits at current levels."
- "We feel the risk/reward is now fairly balanced," says Macquarie's Kevin Smithen, "with a potential DISH bid at $41-$42 fully priced into the stock when adjusting for a lengthy regulatory approval process and potentially adverse reaction to Dish Networks' share price on a merger announcement."
- Smithen also pointed out T-Mobile has done "two dilutive equity-convert financings over the past 18 months at low prices, with Deutsche Telekom not participating in either offering," so if a Dish tie-up doesn't pan out, DT may not wait around for another go with Sprint.
Thu, May 21, 5:11 AM
- Deutsche Telkom (OTCQX:DTEGY) will consider any partner that can improve profitability of its U.S. operations, its chief executive said at the company's annual shareholders meeting.
- "It is our duty to go on improving the return on T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS). If we find a partner who will help us to do so, we will obviously consider it," Tim Hoettges announced.
- Deutsche Telekom last year tried to sell T-Mobile to Sprint, but the bid was dropped after regulatory resistance.
Fri, Apr. 24, 8:34 AM
- After a late Thursday board meeting, Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) has confirmed it's dropping its $45B plan to acquire Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) -- a stunning reversal of a 15-month plan, which got less stunning as hurdles began to mount in recent weeks.
- "Today, we move on," says Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. "Of course, we would have liked to bring our great products to new cities, but we structured this deal so that if the government didn't agree, we could walk away." It's a cheap walk-away for Comcast, which had no breakup fee in the deal.
- What next? Consolidation is still likely in a deeply uncompetitive industry. Other companies are now officially front and center in pursuit of TWC, notably John Malone's Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR), which could re-launch its own failed effort. CHTR-TWC would have 16.5M broadband subscribers together, less than Comcast's 22M.
- Charter's deal with Comcast aimed at divestment and easing the Comcast-TWC transaction also blows up. What about Charter's deal to acquire Bright House?
- As for Comcast, it could take its stored-up momentum outside of cable -- to someone like Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), as BTIG's Rich Greenfield hints? Or to a telecom like T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS)?
- Updated: Time Warner Cable statement. "We have always believed that Time Warner Cable is a one-of-a-kind asset," says Chairman and CEO Robert D. Marcus. "We are strong and getting stronger."
Fri, Mar. 27, 8:58 PM
- Glenn Lurie, CEO of AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T), says he's not worried about the outcome if Sprint (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) -- third and fourth in the U.S. wireless market behind AT&T and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) -- decide to merge.
- "We are a very, very different company than the other three," he tells FierceWireless. "So whatever happens with them, I'm not really that concerned. I'm concerned about how we execute and how we operate."
- His No. 1 goal, Lurie says, is to reduce churn and preserve the company's current subscribers in order to upsell other services.
- Chatter continues to suggest that Sprint and T-Mobile may have to think about combining to achieve competitive scale, and in the meantime they're firing salvos in a price war that Lurie says AT&T won't join: "This industry is not commoditized at all."
- Previously: Goldman upgrades T-Mobile; DT reiterates merger wish (Jan. 20 2015)
Fri, Mar. 6, 8:07 PM
- More merger hints -- or maybe more than just hints, as T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) CFO Braxton Carter essentially nominates his firm as Dish Network's (NASDAQ:DISH) wireless partner, among some very kind words for Dish CEO Charlie Ergen.
- Ergen has done a "masterful job of creating a very differentiated mid-band spectrum position,” Carter said.
- “He’s not interested in building his own network and we would be a very good partner for deploying his spectrum."
- Ergen's had similar kind words for T-Mobile before -- in a summer 2013 earnings call, he said: "Certainly, T-Mobile ... you could put that together with Dish in a number of ways, including acquisition and merger, and that's probably not possible with the other wireless providers."
- He added then that he didn't think their options had changed "unless you just look at a full-blown acquisition or a merger and really, that's probably only T-Mobile at this point in time."
- Ergen's been more circumspect lately, but says video service will be "core" to any tie-up they engage in.
Tue, Jan. 20, 11:28 AM
- Believing T-Mobile (TMUS +1.4%) will see "an inflection to positive and rapidly growing [free cash flow] in 2015," Goldman's Brett Feldman has upgraded the Un-Carrier to Conviction Buy from Neutral, and hiked its target by $10 to $37.
- Feldman also thinks T-Mobile will provide strong 2015 EBITDA guidance, thanks to slowing expense growth and higher MetroPCS synergies. He forecasts 2015 EBITDA of $7.7B (above a $7.09B consensus), and has upped his 2015 net postpaid subscriber add estimate by 500K to 3.5M (implies further share gains).
- Meanwhile, in comments that might be aimed at U.S. politicians and regulators more than investors, Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) CEO Tim Hoettges insists T-Mobile's current approach isn't sustainable, and that a merger is the U.S. subsidiary's best long-term hope for achieving needed scale. "I was intrigued by the idea of having a combination with Sprint and being the ‘super-maverick’ in the market. I hope that the political environment will change at one point in time."
- T-Mobile and (especially) Sprint plunged last year after Sprint abandoned its merger efforts in the face of FCC/DOJ opposition. T-Mobile's recent postpaid share gains likely influenced regulatory thinking.
Sun, Jan. 18, 12:57 PM
- TechCrunch reports Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is interested in acquiring Softcard, the mobile payments platform launched by AT&T (NYSE:T), Verizon (NYSE:VZ), and T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) in 2010 - it was previously known as Isis, before changing its name for obvious reasons. Though Softcard's owners have invested hundreds of millions in the venture, sources state Google's purchase price could be below $100M.
- Like Apple Pay and Google Wallet, Softcard relies on NFC radios to enable transactions. And like Wallet, it has struggled to get off the ground, as U.S. consumers overwhelmingly stick with card swipes. Hard data on Apple Pay usage remains limited for now.
- Softcard recently laid off 60 employees. Meanwhile, it was reported in 2013 that Google had spent $300M on Wallet-related acquisitions, with little to show for it. The adoption of EMV (chip-and-PIN) readers by U.S. retailers could give NFC solutions a boost, by making card payments a little less convenient.
- The WSJ reports Google is partnering with consulting giant PwC to bid on a $2B+ contract to update the DoD's electronic health records system. PwC says Google's tools could both improve the system's security and performance, and lower costs. A group featuring IBM, HP (NYSE:HPQ), and CSC has made a rival bid.
- Ad tech firm Marin Software (NYSE:MRIN) provides some encouraging mobile search data ahead of Google's Jan. 29 Q4 report. A Marin study found mobile accounted for 49% of Q4 U.S. search ad spend, up from 42% in Q3, and that smartphone ad click rates were 38% higher than PC rates (thanks in part to accidental clicks?). On the other hand, mobile still only accounted for 32% of conversions.
- Medium writer Backchannel provides a deep dive into Google Search's evolution in an era where users increasingly want search engines to know the precise meaning of their queries. Part 1 looks at Google's efforts to optimize for mobile (aided by its Knowledge Graph and Google Now). Part 2 looks at Google's real-world research into the information needs of users. Part 3 looks at Google's investments in A.I./deep learning to deliver far more intelligent search results and spontaneously surface useful information.
Oct. 24, 2014, 6:58 PM
- Thanks in large part to a 41% increase in taxes, America Movil's (AMX -0.9%) Q3 net income fell 39% Y/Y to 10.1B pesos ($746M). EBITDA (adjusted for the Telekom Austria deal) rose 0.4% to 69.2B pesos ($5.1B).
- On an adjusted basis, service revenue rose 3.8% to 198.6B pesos ($14.6B), a slight improvement from Q2's 3.6% growth. Equipment revenue rose 6.2% to 22.2B pesos ($1.6B), and costs/expenses 5.8% to 151.7B pesos ($11.2B).
- Total wireless lines +0.1% Q/Q and +0.5% Y/Y to 286.8M. Mexican lines fell 1.1% Q/Q to 70.5M amid regulatory pressure, but Brazilian lines rose 1.3% to 69.6M, and U.S. lines (via TracFone's prepaid services)1.5% to 25.9M.
- Wireline revenue-generating units (RGUs) rose 1.8% Q/Q and 6.8% Y/Y to 77.6M. Mexican RGUs fell 0.1% Q/Q to 22.2M, while Brazilian RGUs rose 3.1% to 35.6M (~46% of total RGUs).
- Net debt fell by $2.3B during the quarter to $36.2B.
- AMX used its Q3 CC to state its isn't currently talking to anyone about a T-Mobile USA (TMUS +1.3%) acquisition. A German magazine speculated yesterday (while reporting Deutsche Telekom is still open to a T-Mobile sale) AMX could bid for T-Mobile.
- Earnings Release (.pdf)
Oct. 23, 2014, 10:40 AM
- Though it rejected Iliad's overtures, Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) is still trying to find a suitor for T-Mobile USA (TMUS +2.7%), Germany's Manager Magazin reports.
- The magazine speculates America Movil (AMX +0.8%), which no longer counts AT&T as an investor, could make a bid. For now, Carlos Slim's carrier only operates in the U.S. through its TracFone Wireless prepaid MVNO.
- AMX is also about to get a windfall from the sale of Mexican assets being unloaded to appease regulators.
Oct. 13, 2014, 1:26 PM
- France's Iliad (OTC:ILIAF) has abandoned its bid to acquire T-Mobile USA (TMUS -3.6%). T-Mobile has fallen sharply on the news.
- Bloomberg previously reported Iliad had set a mid-October deadline to up its initial (rejected) offer for T-Mobile, or walk away. Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) was believed to be skeptical about Iliad's ability to run T-Mobile, and also nervous about selling one of its few growth assets.
- Update: Iliad says it abandoned its bid after Deutsche Telekom and certain T-Mobile board members "refused to entertain" an offer for a 67% stake (up from a prior 56.6%).
Oct. 2, 2014, 1:53 PM
- Sources tell Bloomberg Iliad's (OTC:ILIAF) revised offer for T-Mobile USA (TMUS +3%) would involve taking a "significantly larger stake" than its previous offer of 56.6%. However, its $33/share offer price would remain unchanged.
- Parent Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY), reportedly open to a $35/share deal, is said to be undecided on whether Iliad's revised offer would be adequate.
- Notably, Bloomberg adds Iliad has "had some success signing up financial partners to back its efforts." The company has reportedly discussed raising as much as $5B in stock and debt for an improved bid.
- T-Mobile has added to its gains, and is nearing $29.
- Earlier: Iliad reportedly prepping bigger offer for T-Mobile
Oct. 2, 2014, 1:21 PM
- Bloomberg reports Iliad (OTC:ILIAF) is prepping an offer that would involve the French carrier acquiring a larger T-Mobile USA (TMUS +1.4%) stake. Iliad previously made a rejected $33/share offer for a 56.6% stake.
- Iliad is believed to have set a mid-October deadline for upping its T-Mobile bid or walking away, and has made outreaches to P-E firms. T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) is reportedly wary of Iliad's overtures.
- T-Mobile has caught a bid on the report. However, shares remain well below Iliad's original offer price.
Sep. 26, 2014, 4:00 PM
- Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) is "preparing for the possibility" of keeping its T-Mobile USA (TMUS +1.4%) stake for at least another year if Iliad (OTC:ILIAF) fails to sufficiently improve its offer, sources tell Reuters.
- Iliad has reportedly set a mid-October deadline to improve its T-Mobile bid, after an initial $33/share offer for a 56.6% stake was rejected. Multiple reports have stated DT has its concerns about selling to to Iliad, especially given T-Mobile (unlike many of DT's European assets) is showing healthy growth.
- T-Mobile has dipped on the Reuters report, but is closing higher. Earlier today, Pac Crest argued T-Mobile should reject any offer below $40/share, given its recent performance. The firm added its retail checks indicated a pickup in switching activity (to T-Mobile) and termination fee reimbursements following the iPhone 6 launch.
Sep. 19, 2014, 6:30 PM
- Iliad (OTC:ILIAF) has set a mid-October deadline to either make a new T-Mobile USA (NYSE:TMUS) offer or walk away, Reuters reports. The French carrier is said to be talking with U.S. banks to help finance a higher bid.
- Reuters adds Iliad "faces resistance" from Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY), which would keep a minority T-Mobile stake under Iliad's proposed deal terms and is skeptical of the company's prospects in a market it currently has no presence in.
- Bloomberg reported earlier today Iliad was struggling to line up 3rd-party investors, and that DT's board was divided on whether it should "sell its only growing asset." Sources (within Iliad?) tell Reuters Iliad's management has "finished road shows to meet U.S. investors and is waiting to hear back from potential investors."
Sep. 19, 2014, 2:22 PM
- Iliad's (OTC:ILIAF) talks with KKR and other investment firms to make a joint bid for T-Mobile USA (TMUS -1%) haven't yet borne fruit, Bloomberg reports. The French carrier's $33/share bid for a 56.6% stake was shot down last month.
- Meanwhile, Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY), recently reported to be open to a $35/share offer for T-Mobile USA, is said to be split on whether it should "sell its only growing asset."
- Bloomberg adds Iliad has "discussed raising as much as $5 billion in additional debt and equity for a sweetened offer." Likely acting as a hurdle: T-Mobile, which has over $17B in debt, is investing heavily to build out its 4G network and grow its spectrum portfolio, and is sacrificing margins to gain share, isn't a conventional P-E target.
- Prior T-Mobile/Iliad coverage
Sep. 5, 2014, 4:35 PM
- Dish (DISH +0.9%) CEO Charlie Ergen contacted Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) to let the carrier know he's interested in a deal to buy T-Mobile USA (TMUS +1.3%), sources tell Bloomberg. T-Mobile spiked shortly before the close on the report.
- Ergen hasn't been shy about making his interest in T-Mobile public, as Dish continues looking for ways to put its 4G spectrum to use. Sources caution Dish hasn't yet hired a bank to help pursue a bid, and that its seriousness is unclear.
- Bloomberg reported last week DT is open to a T-Mobile deal at $35/share. French carrier Iliad is trying to partner with P-E firms to sweeten its T-Mobile bid, after an initial $33/share offer for a 56.6% stake was rebuffed.
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T-Mobile US Inc provideswireless communication servicesin the postpaid, prepaid, and wholesale markets.The Company's products and services includevoice, messaging, data services,wireless devices, smartphones and other mobile communication devices.
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