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VimpelCom (VIP)

- NASDAQ
  • Fri, May 15, 2:52 PM
    • VimpelCom (NASDAQ:VIP) is among the highest-gaining telecoms of the day, up 5.1%, after a couple of analysts raised price targets following news of progress on VIP's (slow) Italy merger talks.
    • RBC Capital raised its price target on shares to $6.50, and maintains a rating of Outperform.
    • Meanwhile, Renaissance Capital today raised the price target to $5.10 (from $4.40) while downgrading the stock to Sell.
    • For well over a year, VimpelCom has been talking with Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa (OTCPK:HUWHY) about merging its Wind Telecomunicazioni with Hutchison's Three Italia (Nos. 3 and 4 in the Italy market) to take on market leader Telecom Italia. On Wednesday, discussions centered on an even split in the merger.
    • Shares are trading currently at $6.35.
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  • Wed, May 13, 11:36 AM
    • VimpelCom (NASDAQ:VIP) is up 7% now following news of progress on its Italy-unit merger and earnings that grew despite revenues that slipped 30%, pummeled by currency exchange.
    • EBITDA was down 30% Y/Y as well (to $1.396B, vs. expected $1.43B), but on an organic basis, revenues were down 2% and EBITDA down 6%, in line with management's expectations. EBITDA margin fell to 39.7% from a year-ago 41.6%.
    • Organic revenues were flat or down in the company's biggest geographies: Russia, $1.04B (flat on organic basis); Italy, $1.11B (down 5%); Algeria, $320M (down 11%).
    • Mobile customers increased 2% to 218M. Customer base in Algeria gained 6% to 18.7M and Bangladesh 8% to 31.8M. Italy customers slipped 3% to 21.4M, while Russia gained 1% to 55.7M.
    • The company stuck to current guidance for 2015: organic service revenue flat to a single-digit decline, EPS of $0.35-$0.40 (vs. consensus $0.40) and net debt/EBITDA of about 3.2x (1.7x, excluding Italy unit). It plans to update shareholders on strategy in August.
    • Press Release
    • Previously: VimpelCom, Hutchison Italy merger talk focuses on even split (May. 13 2015)
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  • Wed, May 13, 9:11 AM
    • VimpelCom's (NASDAQ:VIP) talks with Hutchison Whampoa (OTCPK:HUWHY) about merging their Italian wireless units are centering on an equal split, says VimpelCom CEO Jean-Yves Charlier.
    • A merger's been under discussion for some time, though recent speculation over wrapping a deal in the next three months has centered on the exact split of ownership as a top hurdle, along with net debt at VimpelCom's Wind Telecomunicazioni operator.
    • "We are in discussions with Hutchison regarding a possible equal joint venture between Three Italia SpA and VimpelCom's subsidiary Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA," Charlier said in a statement.
    • In premarket action, VIP ADRs are up 3.1%.
    • Previously: VimpelCom reports Q1 results (May. 13 2015)
    • Previously: Bloomberg: VimpelCom, Hutchison agree on Italy merger management (May. 12 2015)
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  • Tue, May 12, 9:16 AM
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  • Fri, Apr. 24, 3:50 PM
    • Moody's confirms its ratings on VimpelCom (VIP -3%) at Ba3 on the expectation that the telecom's financial metrics will be recovering in 2016.
    • The ratings agency notes that risks from the company's leverage (via VimpelCom Holdings) raising above a key threshold will be limited.
    • "Despite challenges, we expect VimpelCom to remain the third largest mobile operator in Russia in terms of subscriber numbers," says Moody's Artem Frolov.
    • The agency expects only a low single-digit percent decline in ruble revenues and earnings, for economic reaosns, and that VimpelCom has a solid cash balance, particularly after drawing $3.8B for the sale of its stake in Algeria's Djezzy.
    • Previously: VimpelCom completes sale of Algerian stake for $2.6B (Jan. 30 2015)
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  • Tue, Apr. 14, 2:16 PM
    • VimpelCom (VIP +2.1%) unit Telecel Zimbabwe has responded to regulators after being threatened with shutdown over license fees and compliance with black empowerment law.
    • "We’ve been engaging quite closely" with Telecel, says Baxton Sirewu, acting director of Zimbabwe's regulator.
    • The company has more than 2M customers and has brought in execs from other countries after being threatened with closure.
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  • Mon, Apr. 6, 1:55 PM
    • WTI crude oil is up 5.9% to $52.06/barrel. The ruble and Russian markets have followed oil higher - the MICEX index rose 1.1%, and the dollar-based Russian Trading System Cash Index rose 4.2% - and so have U.S.-traded Yandex (YNDX +6.5%), MTS (MBT +3.9%), and VimpelCom (VIP +6.7%).
    • Yandex is up 9.5% since Deutsche upgraded last Thursday, arguing a Russian antitrust probe of Google will act as a positive catalyst.
    | 3 Comments
  • Fri, Feb. 27, 7:31 PM
    • Wind Telecomunicazioni -- the Italian unit of Russian telecom VimpelCom (NASDAQ:VIP) -- may be selling its wireless towers to Spain's Abertis Infraestructuras (OTCPK:ABRTY) as soon as the coming week.
    • The companies are talking about 6,000 towers that Wind values at as much as €700M ($786M), though other observers peg the value even higher, at €800M ($914M).
    • An additional 1,700 towers under discussion could easily boost the deal to that latter figure or even to €900M ($1B).
    • Abertis -- chiefly in toll-road management -- is reportedly considering transferring the towers into a unit to be listed on the Madrid exchange, in order to get more cash to shareholders.
    • The Spanish firm is winning the deal over competition from American Tower (NYSE:AMT), Mediaset's (OTCPK:MDIUY) EI Towers and a coalition of investment fund F2i SGR and Providence Equity Partners.
    • Shares of VimpelCom closed the day up 4.8%; they tracked lower in after-hours trading, -1.5%.
    | 3 Comments
  • Tue, Feb. 24, 10:50 AM
    • Units that are part of Russian mobile firms VimpelCom (NASDAQ:VIP) and Mobile TeleSystems (NYSE:MBT) have joined Turkcell (NYSE:TKC) in winning 3G licenses in Ukraine.
    • The Russian firms protected some market position despite a signal from Ukraine that it would favor non-Russian firms in an effort to break up their dominance. VimpelCom's Kyivstar is the biggest carrier in the country, with 42% share.
    • The companies praised the transparency of the auction process.
    • In current trading: MBT +3.5%; VIP -1%; TKC -0.4%.
    • Previously: Turkcell unit wins 3G spectrum in Ukraine (Feb. 23 2015)
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  • Mon, Feb. 23, 11:09 AM
    • Yandex (YNDX -4.6%), Qiwi (QIWI -8.2%), VimpelCom (VIP -5.7%), and MTS (MBT -7.9%) are seeing fresh selling pressure after Moody's joined S&P in downgrading Russia's debt rating to junk, and  the U.S. and U.K. raised the prospect of fresh Ukraine-related sanctions.
    • Yandex is now down 3% from where it traded before providing better-than-feared Q4 results and Q1 guidance last Wednesday. Qiwi hasn't yet posted its Q4 report.
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  • Tue, Feb. 17, 6:49 PM
    • Goldman Sachs upgraded Turkish telecom Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri (NYSE:TKC) to Buy, from its previous rating of Neutral.
    • Its move (along with Citi's price target hike) is a rare bit of analyst sunshine after shares faced downgrades the past few months.
    • The stock continues to be responsive to ruble moves; today shares were down 1.7% despite Goldman's upgrade, as today the ruble slipped to 63.41/dollar.
    • The company cited currency losses from its operations in Ukraine and Belarus in explaining net income that dropped by half.
    • Other ruble-related telecoms: (VIP -2.6%), (MBT -2.7%)
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  • Tue, Feb. 17, 10:02 AM
    • Talks are gaining steam between Hutchison Whampoa and VimpelCom (NASDAQ:VIP) to merge their Italian wireless operations.
    • There's no deal yet but a source says Hutchison's smaller 3 Italia (No. 4 of four competitors) would buy Wind Telecomunicazioni, VimpelCom's unit, in order to challenge market leader Telecom Italia (NYSE:TI).
    • Il Giornale says managers for the two firms were meeting in London and a deal could be announced as soon as today.
    • VIP currently -6.3%; MBT -3.4%, TKC -1.7% as the ruble sits at 63.14/dollar.
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  • Thu, Feb. 5, 12:14 PM
    • Mobile TeleSystems (NYSE:MBT) is having another volatile day, up 12.3% now after analysts at Macquarie upgrade the stock to Neutral from Underperform.
    • The shares also got an upgrade last week from Deutsche Bank, who raise the stock to Buy from Hold and raised price target to $12.70, from $9.00. MBT's currently trading at $9.77.
    • MBT -- and Russian peer VimpelCom (VIP +6.9%) -- have been very sensitive to trading of the ruble, which is up slightly today at 66.65/dollar.
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  • Tue, Feb. 3, 3:40 PM
    • Another ruble gain, another up day for ruble-related telecoms as VimpelCom (VIP +12.1%), Mobile Telesystems (MBT +11.6%) and MiMES Rostelekom (OTCQX:ROSYY +3.5%) are all up strongly.
    • The ruble gained to 65.22/dollar and the telecom firms have been heavily sensitive to the currency, all down more than 44% over the past year.
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  • Mon, Feb. 2, 11:30 AM
    • With the ruble gaining a bit of strength against the dollar (trading back around 68.8), telecoms with exposure to the currency are rising again.
    • VimpelCom (NASDAQ:VIP) is having a field day, up 11.9%; Mobile TeleSystems (NYSE:MBT) up 5.2%; MiMES Rostelekom (OTCQX:ROSYY) up a bit at +0.3%; Turkcell (NYSE:TKC) up 1.7%.
    • News of VimpelCom wrapping a $2.6B sale of its interest in Djezzy is still making the rounds. The firm was downgraded by Deutsche Bank on Thursday.
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  • Fri, Jan. 30, 12:52 PM
    • VimpelCom (NASDAQ:VIP) subsidiary Global Telecom Holding closed out its sale of a majority interest in Omnium Telecom Algeria, drawing $2.6B from the Algerian National Investment Fund.
    • GTH will continue to hold operational control over the Algerian telecom, creating a public-private partnership.
    • The deal makes room for VimpelCom pay down some gross debt and settles disputes the company filed against Algeria, following the payment of a $1.1B fine.
    • VIP Shares are up 3.2%, swimming against the tide of ruble-relevant telecoms suffering today in the aftermath of a Russian interest-rate cut.
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Company Description
VimpelCom Ltd provides voice, data and other telecommunication services through an array of wireless, fixed and broadband internet services, as well as selling equipment and accessories.
Sector: Technology
Country: Russia