Mon, Jan. 5, 9:57 AM
- With Greece and oil-related fears once more taking a toll, The Euro Stoxx 50 is down 2.1%, and many continental indices posting ~2% declines. U.S.-traded European tech and telecom names are performing much the same way.
- Tech decliners: NOK -4.2%. ALU -3.3%. SAP -2.9%. STM -2%.
- Telecom decliners: VOD -2.4%. TEF -4%. ORAN -3.6%. TI -2.2%. PT -6%.
Dec. 5, 2014, 3:25 AM| 1 Comment
Nov. 28, 2014, 1:07 PM
- Bloomberg reports Vodafone (VOD +2.6%) is exploring a "combination" with European cable giant Liberty Global (LBTYA +7.4%). Liberty has soared on the news.
- Liberty operates in 14 countries (12 in Europe), passes 52M homes, and claims 27M customers and trailing annual revenue of $20B. Vodafone has already acquired Spanish and German cable giants ONO and Kabel Deutschland, and has declared it wants to offer mobile/wireline bundles throughout Europe.
- Earlier: UBS upgrades Vodafone
Nov. 28, 2014, 10:02 AM
- UBS has named Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) a Key Call Buy, and predicts the carrier will benefit from mobile data growth and improving German, Spanish, and Italian sales.
- Also: Consolidation in the U.K. mobile market now appears likely, with both BT and 3 U.K. owner Hutchison Whampoa expressing interest in buying either Telefonica's O2 or Orange/Deutsche Telekom's EE. Vodafone recently committed to offering bundles featuring mobile, wireline voice, broadband, and TV services to U.K. customers, as BT and EE make their own moves to offer the same.
Nov. 11, 2014, 9:17 AM
Nov. 11, 2014, 4:33 AM| Comment!
Oct. 16, 2014, 10:09 AM
- New worries about the health of Greece's troubled banks have contributed to a selloff in European markets, one that has taken a toll on the continent's debt-laden telcos. The ECB is reportedly mulling a funding package for Greek banks.
- Decliners: VOD -3.1%. TEF -4.2%. ORAN -4.5%. TI -6.5%. PT -3.9%.
Oct. 9, 2014, 9:48 AM
- Nomura's James Britton has downgraded Vodafone (VOD -2.8%) to Neutral, and lowered his target by 10p to 180p.
- Britton observes Vodafone trades at a slight forward EBITDA premium to peers (7x vs. 6.5x), and thinks competitive pressures could grow over the next 12 months.
- He forecasts new market entrants in the U.K., India, and the Netherlands, tougher competition from existing carriers in Germany, South Africa, and Turkey, and further cannibalization of voice revenue by data services among European business clients.
- U.S. shares are close to their 52-week low of $31.87.
Jul. 25, 2014, 11:02 AM
- On an organic basis (backs out forex and M&A), Vodafone's (VOD +2.6%) service revenue fell 4.2% Y/Y in FQ1 to £9.45B ($16.01B), a slightly bigger decline than FQ4's 3.8%.
- European service revenue fell 7.9%, while all other markets grew 4.7%. However, the latter was down double-digits if forex is accounted for; weak Indian, Turkish, and South African currencies were responsible.
- Vodafone's European mobile sub base fell by 1.77M to 127.1M - 878K subs were lost in Italy, 366K in Germany, and 236K in Spain. 80K were added in the U.K. With sub losses, declining voice/text revenue, and termination fee rate cuts taking a toll, service revenue fell 16.1% in Italy, 15.3% in Spain, 4.9% in Germany, and 3.2% in the U.K.
- Mobile subs in all other markets grew by 6.37M to 303.7M (166.6M in India). 3.3M subs were added in India, and 3M by the African Vodacom unit. Service revenue grew 10.3% in India, and was flat in Vodacom markets (hurt by South African termination fee cuts). Europe is still 68% of service revenue.
- £1.87B was spent on capex (£600M related to Project Spring), leading free cash flow to total -£582M. Net debt grew by £400M to £14.1B ($23.9B).
- Press release (.pdf), earnings slides (.pdf)
Jul. 21, 2014, 2:13 PM
- Vodafone (VOD -0.8%) and Portugal Telecom (PT +4.3%) plan to "deploy and share" and fiber networks covering 900K Portuguese homes through a 25-year deal that begins in December.
- Vodafone, which has set an ambitious goal of offering mobile/wireline bundles throughout Europe (through a mixture of M&A, investments, and partnerships), notes the deal furthers its effort to provide fiber to 1.5M Portuguese homes by mid-2015. 1M+ homes are already covered.
- The company has previously said it's open to buying a Portuguese cable provider, as it continues battling with both PT and local cable leader Zon Multimedia.
- Meanwhile, Vodafone's Egyptian unit (55%-owned) says it plans to spend $1.3B over the next 3 years to strengthen its mobile network, and is still exploring the idea of offering wireline services. Last year, Vodafone said it would spend £1.5B ($2.5B) through FY16 on expanding 3G coverage in Asia-Pac and Africa, via Project Spring.
May. 16, 2014, 5:37 PM
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.
Mar. 10, 2014, 12:02 PM
- As European 4G investments ramp, "the window may be closing" on acquiring continental wireless assets, AT&T (T -0.4%) CEO Randall Stephenson stated last week at a Morgan Stanley conference (transcript). At the same time, he argued "there are still other opportunities" in Europe, such as those tied to the development of "global" SIM cards that can work with any type of device worldwide.
- Those remarks were highlighted by a weekend FT column declaring Stephenson had "poured more cold water." on hopes of an AT&T bid for Vodafone (VOD -4.2%). The AT&T chief has already been reported to have told investors further cable acquisitions by Vodafone would complicate a bid.
- Meanwhile, Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao states recently-acquired Kabel Deutschland will act as the "core" of a wireline business in Germany and possibly other countries. He adds Vodafone's wireline ops will expand to include security, Web hosting, and entertainment services (previous).
- Colao was cryptic when asked about Vodafone's reported efforts to acquire Spanish cable giant ONO. "We'll see what happens."
Mar. 7, 2014, 11:19 AM
- Sources tell Reuters (translation) Vodafone (VOD -2.8%) has raised its bid for Spanish cable giant ONO, and has reached a preliminary deal with ONO shareholders collectively possessing a controlling stake.
- No word on the specific offer price. Vodafone was previously reported to have made a rejected €7B ($9.6B) bid for ONO.
- One source states Vodafone plans to formally present its offer before ONO's board meets on March 13 to approve recently-announced plans to pursue an IPO.
- Vodafone is selling off on the report. A successful Vodafone bid for ONO, coming on the heels of its $14.2B Kabel Deutschland acquisition, could lower the odds AT&T (T +0.3%) will make an offer for the company once its 6-month waiting period ends. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has reportedly told investors further cable acquisitions by Vodafone would complicate a deal.
Feb. 24, 2014, 9:11 AM
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.
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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