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Vodafone Group plc (VOD)

  • Jan. 29, 2014, 12:22 PM
    • Though it recently gave up the opportunity to make a bid for Vodafone (VOD +1.9%) within the next six months, AT&T (T -1.6%) remains interested in a possible deal for the giant international carrier, sources tell Bloomberg.
    • The news service adds AT&T's recent decision came after U.K. regulators demanded the company either deliver a formal bid for Vodafone within 28 days on account of ongoing reports, or walk away for six months. Ma Bell reportedly chose the latter in order to avoid "negotiating under such a tight deadline and because of the possibility of exemptions from the moratorium."
    • Vodafone shares have caught a bid on the report, which comes a day after AT&T beat Q4 estimates, but also reported soft subscriber adds and forecast a ~19% 2014 free cash flow decline.
  • Jan. 27, 2014, 3:43 AM
    • Vodafone's (VOD) shares have slumped 6.4% in London after AT&T (T) said it has no intention of making an offer for the U.K. telecom operator.
    • AT&T made a statement to the London Stock Exchange in response to a request from the the U.K.'s Takeover Panel following much speculation that the U.S. provider was interested in Vodafone after the latter agreed to sell its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless to Verizon for $130B last year.
    • The statement means that AT&T can't make an offer for Vodafone for the next six months unless the British company agrees to it, another firm makes a proposal, or the authorities decide that circumstances have changed materially. (PR)
  • Jan. 27, 2014, 2:51 AM
    • AT&T (T) has no intention of making an offer for Vodafone (VOD), the U.S. company said today in response to speculation about a possible deal. (PR)
    • Meanwhile, Vodafone is in talks to acquire Spain's Grupo Corporativo ONO before the cable operator carries out an IPO, Bloomberg reports.
    • Any deal for ONO, which one analyst says could be worth an estimated €6.4B ($8.7B) including debt, would add to Vodafone's acquisition of other cable providers in Europe such as Kabel Deutschland in Germany.
  • Jan. 20, 2014, 5:34 AM
    • The enemy of my enemy is my friend : Vodafone (VOD) and BSkyB (BSYBF) have reportedly held talks about how to compete with BT's (BT) increasing reach in the British broadband market, the U.K.'s Sunday Times reports.
    • Vodafone (VOD) and Sky are considering deals involving the latter's sports and film channels and on co-operating on a high-speed broadband service.
    • However, the two are unlikely to construct a nationwide fiber network, as such a project would cost several billion pounds.
    • The talks come after a resurgent BT gained on its rivals by investing over £3B in a high-speed fiber-optic network and another £2B in sports broadcast rights.
  • Jan. 3, 2014, 4:30 AM
    • Vodafone (VOD) is in reportedly early discussions to acquire Tata Group's 59.45% stake in Tata Teleservices in a deal that would create India's largest telco with 248M subscribers.
    • However, Japan's NTT DoCoMo (DCM), which owns just over a quarter Tata Teleservices, has a right of first refusal on the majority holding.
    • Should Vodafone prevail, it would look to acquire all of Tata Teleservices, whose market cap is 16.28B rupees ($261M).
    • Meanwhile, Vodafone Egypt has been accused of inciting terrorism by incorporating secret messages supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in an advertisement.
    • Vodafone has denied the allegations, which Egyptian prosecutors are investigating amid an intensifying crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood by the military government that deposed it.
    • The accusations add another headache for multinationals that operate in Egypt to go with political instability, security worries and economic uncertainty.
  • Dec. 30, 2013, 12:02 PM
    • After delaying its decision earlier this month, India's foreign investment regulator has signed off on Vodafone's (VOD -0.4%) to $1.6B deal to acquire the 15.5% stake in its Indian subsidiary that it doesn't already directly or indirectly own.
    • In tandem with the deal, Vodafone has committed to investing $2B through its Indian unit. The subsidiary claims over 154M subs (#2 overall) in a market still seeing healthy growth, making it a crucial part of Vodafone's emerging markets expansion efforts.
  • Dec. 24, 2013, 9:24 AM
    • The Daily Mail reports there are "growing rumors" Vodafone (VOD) will use part of its $130B Verizon Wireless windfall on a bid for British satellite TV/broadband services provider BSkyB (BSYBY). BSkyB's shares are currently up 2.5% in London; the company's market cap stands at $21.6B.
    • Vodafone, fresh off spending $14.2B to acquire German cable provider Kabel Deutschland, has made no secret of its goal to be only European carrier to offer both mobile and wireline services across the continent, via a mixture of acquisitions, investments, and partnerships. The company has said it will return 71% of its Verizon Wireless proceeds to shareholders, but that still leaves plenty of cash for M&A.
    • BSkyB has 10.4M subs, over 1/3 of which subscribe to a triple-play package of TV, broadband , and phone services.
    • While Vodafone is rumored to be mulling acquisitions, AT&T is widely rumored to be interested in buying Vodafone. Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao has suggested he's open to an offer.
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  • Dec. 17, 2013, 6:55 PM
    • Morningstar's Ultimate Stock Pickers latest list of top 10 dividend yielding stocks is led by Philip Morris (PM), "a cash-generating machine... fortified by a bevy of powerful brands, a global manufacturing and distribution system, and... an addictive product set."
    • While 2014 is seen as an investment spending year at McDonald's (MCD), at least one analyst was reassured by the recent analyst day presentation which balanced discussions about growth and capacity initiatives with talk about returning value to shareholders.
    • Other selections: GSK, VOD, LLY, COP, INTC, MRK, UN, CVE.
  • Dec. 9, 2013, 11:18 AM
    • Citing a lack of interior ministry security approvals, India's foreign investment regulator says it's deferring a ruling on Vodafone's (VOD +1.2%) request to assume full ownership of its local subsidiary.
    • Vodafone directly or indirectly owns 84.5% of its Indian unit, which is the country's #2 mobile carrier. It's offering $1.6B to buy out minority holders, and has promised to invest $2B in the business.
  • Dec. 6, 2013, 9:39 AM
    • H-P (HPQ +2.7%) has been upgraded to Hold by Edward Jones.
    • Nokia (NOK +1.4%) has been started at Overweight by JPMorgan.
    • Vodafone (VOD +2%) has been upgraded to Neutral by Berenberg.
    • Infosys (INFY +1.6%) has been upgraded to Outperform by Cowen.
    • BT (BT +2.4%) has been upgraded to Strong Buy by Raymond James.
    • FairPoint Communications (FRP +5.1%) has been upgraded to Buy by Stifel.
    • VOXX International (VOXX +4.6%) has been started at Strong Buy by Needham.
    • Vocera (VCRA +3.7%) has been started at Overweight by Stephens.
  • Nov. 21, 2013, 11:29 AM
    • Vodafone (VOD +2.2%) CEO Vittorio Colao: "We have a strategy and we are putting a lot of money into it, but if somebody comes and says, ‘You have really beautiful assets,’ then I will agree."
    • AT&T (T +0.2%) has been reported more than once to be weighing a bid for Vodafone, now that the giant international carrier has sold its Verizon Wireless stake for a $130B windfall.
    • Colao also says Vodafone is seeing "very early signs" of improvement in recession-hit Spain, where the company's sales have been steadily declining, but also admits Vodafone has "lost a bit of market share" in the country.
    • He adds Vodafone is open to M&A opportunities in Spain and other European markets - EU regulators are encouraging cross-market consolidation - as well as in India, where Vodafone is set to buy out its minority partners. Other EU carriers are also looking to get bigger.
    • Yesterday: Vodafone's capex could stay elevated, CEO outlines ambitious goal
  • Nov. 20, 2013, 2:25 PM
    • With his company having just reaped a $130B Verizon Wireless windfall, Vodafone (VOD -1.9%) CEO Vittorio Colao says his company is open to keeping its annual capex above traditional levels once its recently-announced Project Spring is finished at the end of FY16 (ends March '16).
    • Project Spring calls on Vodafone to spend an extra £7B ($11.3B) in capex through FY16. £3B of that sum will be spent on European 3G/3G investments. £1.5B will be spent on expanding 3G coverage in Asia-Pac and Africa, £1B on wireline broadband investments, £1B on improving customer experience platforms (customer support, payments, etc.), and £500M on bolstering Vodafone's enterprise services.
    • Colao, whose company recently spent $14.2B to acquire German cable giant Kabel Deutschland, also declares Vodafone will be the only European carrier in five years to offer bundled mobile/wireline services to consumers across the continent, via some mixture of investments, acquisitions, and partnerships. That could be a hint Vodafone is exploring additional European wireline acquisitions.
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  • Nov. 12, 2013, 2:39 AM
    • Vodafone's (VOD) H1 EBITDA dropped 4.1% to £6.6B but topped consensus of £6.4B.
    • Revenue +1.2% to £22.03B; on organic basis, revenue -3.2%.
    • Pretax profit £1.51B.
    • Takes £3B tax charge on $130B sale of its stake in Verizon Wireless.
    • Confirms full-year guidance for adjusted operating profit of £5B, free cash flow of £4.5–5B.
    • Vodafone intends to invest £7B ($11.18B) by March 2016 as part of its "Project Spring" to improve its network as it looks to cater to consumers who want to access the Internet with smartphones and tablets.
    • Declares interim dividend of 3.53 pence a share, up 8%; intends to pay full-year dividend of 11 pence. (PR)
  • Oct. 31, 2013, 3:38 PM
    • AT&T (T +0.2%) has stepped up work on a strategy for what would be a complex and expensive deal, says Bloomberg, in part trying to identify which assets it would retain and who would be buyers of the businesses to be spun off.
    • The combined AT&T and Vodafone (VOD +2.3%) would have a market cap in excess of $250B, huge operations here and across the pond, and more than 500M wireless subscribers, giving it the scale to challenge Google and Apple when negotiating cell phone subsidies, and squeezing out profits from rising technologies like mobile advertising.
    • Any deal, of course, would have to wait until Vodafone closes the sale of its Verizon Wireless stake, expected to occur early next year.
  • Oct. 29, 2013, 12:09 PM
    • Confirming a recent Bloomberg report, Vodafone (VOD -0.6%) has officially requested approval to assume full ownership of its Indian unit, Vodafone India.
    • The carrier is offering $1.7B to buy out minority holders; it paid $11B to buy a direct majority stake (currently at 64.4%) in the unit in 2007, and directly and indirectly owns an 84.5% stake. Thus, Vodafone's offers values Vodafone India at nearly $11B.
    • Vodafone India is India's second-largest mobile carrier, and had 154M subs (18% of the local market) as of August. Vodafone, flush with Verizon Wireless cash, has promised to invest $2B in its Indian ops.
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  • Oct. 27, 2013, 4:28 AM
    • Myanmar's government has reportedly invited leading foreign mobile carriers, including Vodafone (VOD) and Orange (ORAN), to bid to run a cellular network in partnership with state-owned Myanmar Posts & Telecommunications (MPT).
    • The invitation is a second chance for Vodafone and Orange to enter the country after they lost out for two licenses earlier this year.
    • There is much room for growth in Myanmar, where less than 10% of its population of 60M people have mobile phones. However, concerns include the government's ambitious timetable for building the network and the potential involvement of a conglomerate connected to the military.
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Company Description
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.