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Verizon Communications (VZ)

  • Tue, Aug. 4, 7:26 PM
    • Major U.S. telecoms are reporting widespread phone outages in the Midwest and Southeast, for both wireless and wireline service.
    • The outages seem centered in Kentucky, Indiana, Alabama and Tennessee, but they affect customers of AT&T (NYSE:T), Verizon (NYSE:VZ), Sprint (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS). All four of those carriers acknowledged the outages on Twitter accounts.
    • AT&T suggested that the problem has been pinpointed to a hardware issue and that engineers are working with vendors to restore service.
    | Tue, Aug. 4, 7:26 PM | 15 Comments
  • Mon, Aug. 3, 6:25 PM
    • ProShares is shuttering its UltraShort Telecommunications ETF (TLL -5.7%), the fund that bets against big telecoms like AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ), due to lack of interest.
    • The fund -- a double-short fund working on the inverse of the Dow Jones U.S. Select Telecommunications Index -- will close after the market on Sept. 14. Trading had slowed to about 100 shares on average.
    • Top components of Dow Jones' telecom index that the fund bet against are AT&T, Verizon, SBA Communications (NASDAQ:SBAC), Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT), CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL), T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS), Frontier (NASDAQ:FTR) and Sprint (NYSE:S).
    • TLL was down 7.6% over the past six months. The iShares U.S. Telecommunications ETF (NYSEARCA:IYZ) -- tracking the same index from the other direction -- is down 0.5% YTD.
    | Mon, Aug. 3, 6:25 PM | 11 Comments
  • Sun, Aug. 2, 8:16 AM
    • Verizon (NYSE:VZ) has missed its midnight deadline to secure a deal with more than 37,000 of its wireline employees, but the unions representing them said they will keep working without a contract while talks continue.
    • Since June, the two sides have argued over the company's plans to cut costs by controlling healthcare and pension-related benefits over a three-year period.
    • A walkout is still on the table. Unions voted last week to go on strike, if needed, and a similar dispute ended in a two-week walkout back in 2011.
    • Previously: Verizon, wireline unions show little progress on eve of deal expiration (Jul. 31 2015)
    • Previously: Verizon workers threaten to strike (Jul. 26 2015)
    | Sun, Aug. 2, 8:16 AM | 8 Comments
  • Fri, Jul. 31, 5:52 PM
    • On the eve of a labor contract expiration, Verizon (NYSE:VZ) says it's making little progress on talks with its East Coast wireline workers.
    • Two unions representing the workers (the CWA and IBEW) have authorized a strike as needed, and Verizon says it's ready in case of work stoppage. The current contract -- covering 39,000 wireline employees in nine states along the coast -- expires at midnight tomorrow.
    • The unions say Verizon's demanding that workers sharply increase their health care contributions and make concession on pensions.
    • The CWA also says Verizon is refusing to build its FiOS network in lower-income areas, while letting the copper network degrade -- leaving many consumers in the hands of a cable monopoly.
    • For its part, the CWA has enlisted help from the mayors of Syracuse, N.Y., and Kingston, N.Y., who it had join them at a bargaining session pointing to their support. Three other state mayors have written letters to Verizon urging fiber-to-the-home buildouts.
    • "The CWA owes these mayors an apology," said a Verizon spokesman. "Unfortunately, the mayors were seemingly misled to think FiOS deployment is an issue that’s being negotiated. It’s not. Sadly, it seems the mayors were just a ploy as part of this bargaining publicity gimmick."
    | Fri, Jul. 31, 5:52 PM | 42 Comments
  • Tue, Jul. 28, 3:39 PM
    | Tue, Jul. 28, 3:39 PM | 1 Comment
  • Mon, Jul. 27, 5:41 PM
    • Verizon (NYSE:VZ) will customer-test its upcoming video service -- Go90 -- in the coming weeks via a beta version, ahead of a planned late-summer launch.
    • “This is unlike any other system,” says Verizon's Alberto Cana. “This is a completely new product, and the beta piece is about testing the platform and some of the functions, like sharing.”
    • The service has been delayed from an expected early-summer start, but CFO Fran Shammo has maintained it'll be ready by late summer, at least in a limited version, as the company integrates more content from AOL.
    • And now we know what that name means: Rotate your mobile screen 90 degrees in order to get a viewing angle suitable for watching videos.
    • Verizon fell 0.5% today and is up 0.2% after hours.
    • Previously: Verizon video details: Go90 service to be free to consumers (Jul. 24 2015)
    | Mon, Jul. 27, 5:41 PM | 5 Comments
  • Sun, Jul. 26, 8:26 AM
    • Verizon (NYSE:VZ) workers on the U.S. East Coast have voted to go on strike, if necessary, over a dispute about a new contract.
    • "Our members...reject management's harsh concessionary demands, including the elimination of job security, sharp increases in workers' health care costs, and slashing retirement security," Union Communications Workers of America said in a statement.
    • The contract covers 39,000 employees who work for Verizon's wireline business, which provides FiOS Internet, telephone and TV services.
    | Sun, Jul. 26, 8:26 AM | 63 Comments
  • Fri, Jul. 24, 4:24 PM
    • Verizon (VZ -0.7%) is pursuing a late-summer launch for a mobile video service it's calling Go90, Variety reports.
    • At least at first, the service will be free to consumers. It plans to offer full TV episodes along with music videos and other short-form content, and CFO Fran Shammo said on the company's earnings call that live events would be key to the service.
    • Variety drew details from a development website accidentally exposed to the public. Go90 -- based on the OnCue assets that Verizon got from Intel -- will offer “live music, exclusive events, best of web content, sports, prime time and more," the site said.
    • One notable content partner is the NFL, as Verizon owns mobile rights.
    • Chatter at Vidcon this week held that the service could launch as soon as next week, but late summer is more likely as Verizon integrates more AOL content.
    • Previously: Verizon: Video on track this summer; forecasts still tough (Jul. 21 2015)
    | Fri, Jul. 24, 4:24 PM | Comment!
  • Wed, Jul. 22, 11:05 AM
    | Wed, Jul. 22, 11:05 AM | 8 Comments
  • Tue, Jul. 21, 9:22 PM
    • On Verizon's (VZ -2.4%) earnings call today, CFO Fran Shammo took the opportunity to play down expectations of a big lift coming from a new iPhone in the fall: "I just don't see that the next iconic device is going to be substantially different and therefore ... I don't see the volume there in the fourth quarter that we had last year from a total iconic change of the 6 and the 6 Plus."
    • Mobile TV is coming this summer -- but "late summer." Live events (pay-per-view) and highly targeted ads (thanks to AOL) will be the drivers of the service, he said, and it would include a sponsored data model to provide free content as well.
    • The company now sees full-year revenue growth of 3% rather than 4%, as the prevalence of industry discounts is throwing off forecasts, and phone financing is changing the mix: "Edge (the company's no-money-down option) is much higher than we anticipated, but the market has moved us there," says Shammo. "More people are selecting the new price plan when they get a new handset. Generates more equipment revenue and puts more pressure on the service revenue."
    • Meanwhile, some observers thought the mobile price war was cooling, but "Trends this quarter may prove disappointing on that front," says New Street's Jonathan Chaplin.
    • While the company agreed to sell wireline operations in three states to Frontier Communications, Shammo says FiOS divestitures aren't on the way: "The broadband connection to those [Eastern U.S.] homes along with our wireless product and the population of that segment is critical to us and it is a strategic asset for us."
    • Previously: Verizon -2.4% after Q2 revenues miss expectations (Jul. 21 2015)
    | Tue, Jul. 21, 9:22 PM | 5 Comments
  • Tue, Jul. 21, 8:30 AM
    • Verizon (NYSE:VZ) is off 2.4% premarket after posting Q2 results where its revenue missed expectations slightly despite growing more than 2% as the company added subscribers.
    • Earnings of $1.04/share beat consensus, and 2.4% revenue growth would be 2.8% if excluding 2014 revenues from business that it has sold. Cash flow from operating activities was up to $18.9B in H1, compared with a year-ago $14.8B.
    • In wireless, the company added 1.1M net postpaid connections at retail to come to 103.7M total retail postpaid connections. Retail postpaid churn fell to 0.9%, lowest in three years.
    • Revenue breakout: Wireless, $22.6B (up 5.3%); Wireline, $9.4B (down 2.2%). Of wireline results, Mass Market results were up 3.2%, but global enterprise fell 6.4% and global wholesale slipped 4.5%.
    • FiOS revenues were up 10% Y/Y. Net adds were 72K FiOS Internet and 26K FiOS Video.
    • Conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET (beginning now).
    • Press Release
    | Tue, Jul. 21, 8:30 AM | 24 Comments
  • Tue, Jul. 21, 7:35 AM
    • Verizon (NYSE:VZ): Q2 EPS of $1.04 beats by $0.03.
    • Revenue of $32.22B (+2.4% Y/Y) misses by $230M.
    • Press Release
    | Tue, Jul. 21, 7:35 AM | 19 Comments
  • Mon, Jul. 20, 5:30 PM
  • Mon, Jul. 20, 3:25 PM
    • The FCC is pointing to March 29 -- very late in Chairman Tom Wheeler's Q1 2016 target -- to begin its incentive auction of 600 MHz broadcast airwaves, according to a list of agenda items it's circulating.
    • Observers had worried that a postponement of voting on auction rules until Aug. 6 would endanger the Q1 plan. The FCC had delayed the final vote so that stakeholders could submit filings on the rules, with the "duplex gap" a particular point of contention.
    • The exact start date is still subject to change before the final FCC vote.
    • Spectrum players: VZ, T, TMUS, S, DISH, SBGI, EVC
    • Previously: FCC delays rules vote for broadcast spectrum auction (Jul. 15 2015)
    | Mon, Jul. 20, 3:25 PM | 8 Comments
  • Wed, Jul. 15, 5:38 PM
    • Under congressional pressure, the FCC is delaying tomorrow's vote on rules -- including the contentious issue of set-asides -- for the upcoming broadcast incentive spectrum auction until Aug. 6.
    • "I believe that even with this delay we will be able to stay on course for the first quarter of 2016," Chairman Tom Wheeler says about the pushback.
    • A few House Republicans pressed for a delay after a late-Friday release of data covering potential outcomes around repacking the "duplex gap" -- an about-to-be-crowded frequency band that FCC staff chose last year to dedicate to Wi-Fi and unlicensed uses as well as licensed broadcast news mics, but recently reversed position on.
    • The delay seems to have made no stakeholder very happy. The move also means that settling the issue of reserve spectrum (Smaller carriers than AT&T and Verizon have urged a bigger reserve than the current 30 MHz planned).
    • Spectrum players: VZ, T, TMUS, S, DISH
    | Wed, Jul. 15, 5:38 PM | 1 Comment
  • Wed, Jul. 8, 11:59 PM
    • TechCrunch reports AOL, fresh off being acquired by Verizon (NYSE:VZ) for $4.4B, is interested in acquiring mobile ad network owner Millennial Media (NYSE:MM).
    • The site, which is owned by AOL, reports hearing of a $300M-$350M price range, while cautioning "it will still be some weeks" before a deal is announced, should one happen. AOL is said to have begun "kicking the tires" on a Millennial deal weeks ago, before getting slowed down by the Verizon deal.
    • Millennial closed on Wednesday with a $217M market cap. With the company forecasting 2015 revenue of $311M-$342M, the reported price range is equal to a modest ~1x forward sales.
    • Millennial would significantly increase AOL and Verizon's mobile display ad footprint. Though Millennial has been struggling to deal with competition from Google (AdMob), Facebook, Apple (iAd), and Twitter (MoPub), the company still claimed to support 65K apps and reach 670M+ monthly unique users (175M in the U.S.) as of March 31. It has 750M+ anonymous user profiles for delivering targeted ads.
    • It was only last week that AOL announced a deal to "assume management and sales responsibility" for Microsoft's display, mobile, and video ad inventory in the U.S. and 8 other markets.
    • Two months ago: Millennial rises in wake of AOL/Verizon deal
    | Wed, Jul. 8, 11:59 PM | 3 Comments
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Company Description
Verizon Communications Incis a provider of communications, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses and governmental agencies. Its two segments are Wireless and Wireline.