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Leucadia National Corporation Message Board

  • trepanne trepanne Mar 29, 2003 12:33 AM Flag

    WTEL 10-K is out

    i know everyone is just thrilled.

    vastly improved disclosure - night & day. you no longer have to be an industry veteran with a bent for accounting and a paranoid streak to figure out what's going on.

    only glanced through it so far - about like what you'd think.

    i am alarmed by language seeming to indicate that LUK may use WTEL as a vehicle to invest further capital in acquisitions of distressed telecom assets.

    stretching horizontally - direct retirement of competing capacity - seems like a strategy doomed to failure.

    the idea that LUK is going to be able to stack a vertically integrated telecom on top of this platform induces a fair amount of disbelief.

    banking on capacity pricing firming by 2005 is not something i'm entirely willing to do. fiber capacity is like DRAM or CPUs. by the time the pricing firms up, we may be on the next generation of fiber & gear, in which case WTEL is going to eat a bullet because their network sucks.

    so if they can't get fixed costs down further, i guess they will have to start turning up them new services to bump unit volume, or things will look ugly.

    i would hope they would pare down the business scale & focus on SBC. M&A here makes me acutely nervous. i know all the smart money is doing it, but good god.

    am i reading too much into a couple lines here?


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    • I agree. You probably are "reading too much into two lines."

      These guys are low ball artists. They've lost good deals by offering too little. They haven't paid too much for bad deals.

      They may have left the door open for more telecom deals but you can be sure there's a big fat rubber band on the wallet.

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