Jun. 25, 2014, 1:53 PM
- Reuters reports the EU is set to unconditionally approve Vodafone's (VOD +0.8%) $9.8B purchase of Spanish cable provider ONO. The EU previously set a July 2 deadline for its decision.
- Vodafone, which has 25% of a Spanish mobile market that has been seeing steady revenue declines, plans to use ONO to offer quadruple-play packages. The carrier bought German cable provider Kabel Deutschland for $14.2B last year as part of its effort to offer mobile/wireline bundles in big European markets.
- Shares are up moderately today, aided by an upgrade to Outperform from Macquarie.
Jun. 18, 2014, 2:19 AM
- After reporting yesterday that AT&T will be the exclusive provider in the U.S. for its new smartphone, Amazon (AMZN) is now in talks to determine who will be its provider in Europe.
- The company has spoken to O2 (TEF) and Vodafone (VOD) in the U.K. If it chooses the latter, it would extend the two's relationship, as Vodafone provides the data plans shipped with the Kindle and the company's e-readers.
- Amazon is set to reveal the smartphone rumored to feature a 3D display at an event in Seattle later today.
Jun. 16, 2014, 3:44 AM
- Vodafone (VOD) has announced it plans to buy Cobra Automotive Technologies for €145M ($197.5M).
- The acquisition will increase Vodafone's machine-to-machine capabilities, and provide a greater amount of services to automotive customers.
- The offer is still pending antitrust approvals, and is expected to complete in the third quarter of 2014.
Jun. 6, 2014, 5:24 AM
- Vodafone (VOD) says that phones on its network are tapped in some of the 29 countries where it operates. The company exposed that secret wires allow government agencies to listen to live conversations and record them on its global network.
- The company also states that customers have a right to privacy, but it still has to obey the laws of each country in which it operates. "Refusal to comply with a country's laws is not an option," says Vodafone.
Jun. 2, 2014, 3:10 AM
- Samsung (SSNLF) has announced its first commercial smartphone using the Tizen open-source platform. The Samsung Z featuring the new system will be available in Russia in the third quarter before expanding to other markets.
- Tizen is being developed with companies including Intel (INTC) and Vodafone (VOD).
- The new platform is revolutionary for Samsung, as the company is the world’s biggest maker of mobile devices using Google’s (GOOG, GOOGL) Android operating system.
- Previously, Tizen was only used on Samsung smartwatches. The watches went on sale in April.
May. 29, 2014, 4:15 AM
- Sprint (S) Chairman Masayoshi Son reasons that the rise in telecom and cable mergers should allow his company to buy rival T-Mobile (TMUS). Three big mergers have taken place in recent months with Verizon (VZ) acquiring Vodafone (VOD) for $130B, Comcast (CMCSA) buying Time Warner Cable (TWC) for $45B, and the AT&T (T) purchase of DirecTV (DTV) for $49B.
- "Access to the Internet is currently dominated by three giants with no sizable competitor," says Son.
- Although the company has not yet made a formal bid on T-Mobile, it looks to lay the framework for a future purchase.
- Antitrust authorities have previously frowned on such a deal, as it would cut the number of national competitors in the wireless industry to three from four.
May. 20, 2014, 3:20 AM
- Vodafone's (VOD) FY EBITDA dropped 5.4% to £12.8B as revenue slipped 1.9% to £43.6B, hurt by the carrier's exposure to sluggish European markets.
- Net profit attributable to shareholders soared to £59.25B from £413M a year earlier, boosted by the sale of Vodafone's 45% stake in Verizon Wireless for $130B, for which the British carrier received a one-off contribution of £48.2B.
- Adjusted operating profit dropped 37% to £7.67B, mainly due to a much lower contribution from Verizon Wireless before it was sold.
- In Q4, organic service revenue declined 3.8%, although that was slightly less than consensus of -3.9%.
- Expects FY 2015 EBITDA to drop to £11.4-11.9B.
- "Our operational performance has been mixed," says CEO Vittorio Colao. While Vodafone's "emerging markets businesses have performed strongly," in Europe, the company continues "to face competitive, regulatory and macroeconomic pressures."
- Vodafone declared a final dividend of 7.47 pence a share, giving total dividends of 11 pence, up 8%. (PR)
May. 16, 2014, 5:37 PM
May. 14, 2014, 7:53 PM
- Citing lower acquisition odds, Goldman has downgraded Vodafone (VOD) to Neutral.
- The downgrade comes amid widespread reports AT&T is closing in on a deal to acquire DirecTV, a move that (provided regulators sign off) would make it quite unlikely Ma Bell would bid for Vodafone.
- Yesterday: AT&T, Vodafone slide following DirecTV reports
May. 13, 2014, 11:00 AM
- Bloomberg and WSJ reports suggesting AT&T (T -1.3%) is close to a mega-deal for DirecTV (DTV +0.7%) (possibly worth over $66B after factoring net debt) are leading investors to bet Ma Bell won't be interested in making a bid for Vodafone (VOD -2.2%), something the company has been frequently rumored to be interested in exploring.
- AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has already said "the window may be closing" on acquiring European assets, and has suggested he isn't thrilled with Vodafone's efforts to grow its wireline footprint via M&A.
- For his part, Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao has hinted he's open to a deal, but has also made it clear his company will continue its wireline expansion strategy in the interim.
- AT&T, which didn't sell off following prior DirecTV reports, is off moderately today, as the Street expresses some concern over the potential $100/share price tag mentioned in Bloomberg's report.
- DirecTV (DTV +0.7%), meanwhile, has pared its AH gains and is now only trading near $88. Worries about regulatory approval might be playing a role; a Bloomberg source states AT&T and DirecTV are expecting a 12-month regulatory process for the deal.
Apr. 20, 2014, 3:24 AM
- French mobile operator SFR is poised to announce a network-sharing venture with Vodafone (VOD) in the coming days, CEO Jean-Yves Charlier has said.
- The partnership will cover several areas and will give SFR's professional clients access to Vodafone's network world-wide.
- News of the prospective collaboration comes after SFR's parent, Vivendi, agreed to sell the unit to cable operator Numericable Group.
Apr. 17, 2014, 1:03 PM
- Netflix (NFLX +3.6%) is in talks with Vodafone (VOD +1.1%) about a deal that would give the giant international carrier's subs "free access to Netflix content for a period of time," Bloomberg reports.
- Vodafone has majority ownership of networks in 15 European countries, including three Netflix markets - the U.K., Ireland, and the Netherlands. The company already has deals with Spotify and Sky Sports that provide free content access to new U.K. 4G subs.
- The report comes as AT&T tries to get Netflix and other streaming service providers to sign up for its Sponsored Data program, which allows content providers to subsidize customer data usage.
- Netflix, boosted by a morning Pac Crest upgrade, is trading near its session highs.
Apr. 10, 2014, 3:34 AM
- Vodafone (VOD) has agreed to acquire an 11% stake in its Indian unit held by partner Piramal Enterprises for 89B rupees ($1.48B).
- The transaction is part of Vodafone's plan to obtain 100% control of the subsidiary for a total of 101.41B rupees. The U.K. company owns 84.5% of Vodafone India directly and indirectly.
- Vodafone also intends to purchase the holding of another minority investor, businessman Analjit Singh.
Apr. 7, 2014, 10:45 AM
- With all signs suggesting U.S. regulators remain opposed to a Sprint/T-Mobile USA merger in spite of Masayoshi Son's PR campaign, rumors have emerged SoftBank (SFTBF) will turn its sights on acquiring Vodafone (VOD +0.9%) if its efforts to fuse the #3 and #4 U.S. carriers are thwarted.
- It's worth noting Vodafone ($96B market cap) would be much harder for SoftBank ($87B) to digest than T-Mobile ($26B). If it was to try, SoftBank would doubtlessly make use of its 37% stake in soon-to-be-public Alibaba (could have a $50B+ pre-tax value).
- Sprint (S -2.6%) and T-Mobile (TMUS -1.5%) are seeing moderate declines.
Apr. 3, 2014, 3:25 AM
- Vodafone's (VOD) U.K. division intends to spend £1B ($1.66B) on networks and services this year, and create 1,400 jobs by opening 150 new stores. That would take Vodafone's total branded outlets in the country to over 500.
- The plan comes as Vodafone strengthens and expands its European operations following the sale of its 45% in Verizon Wireless for $130B. The strategy includes the acquisition of Spanish cable operator Ono for €7.2B ($10B).
Mar. 26, 2014, 6:14 PM
- Less than two weeks after sealing a €7B deal to buy Spanish cable giant Ono, Vodafone (VOD -1.4%) CEO Vittorio Colao says he's open to a deal in neighboring Portugal. "If smaller cable companies were available for sale we would look at them ... If they are not available for sale, we’ll build fiber in their areas and then we will see.”
- Vodafone already offers IPTV services in Portugal to go with mobile offerings. It competes against TV services from Portugal Telecom (PT -0.9%) and cable leader Zon Multimedia, and is planning to bolster its position by rolling out fiber-to-the-home services to 1.5M households. France's Altice SA owns a smaller Portuguese cable provider.
- Vodafone has made it clear it plans to use some of its Verizon Wireless cash to grow its European wireline footprint via M&A and internal investments.
VOD vs. ETF Alternatives
Vodafone Group PLC is engaged in providing voice and data communications services for all types of customers. The Company has presence in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Asia Pacific region and the United States.
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