They are and they aren't. The commons value was boosted but don't you find it ironic they claimed not to have the money but found a way to do buybacks? My point is perfume cover ups. By shrinking the float it boosts EPS etc. Great if you have the expendable cash....which they supposedly didn't have available for the pension gap. Let me guess......the buybacks financed by new debt issuance. I guess there is interest cost vs. dividend costs and if you can fix interest cost for 10 or 20 years cheaper than dividend yield then this is actually a smart move. The question will be is.....you can cut a dividend but you stop interest costs from these levels (outside of declaring bankruptcy) or does inflation on revenue pricing outrun the fixed financing installments? I wouldn't risk it on an acquisition of satellite TV bundling that is set to have its market moat imploded with expanding bandwidth to the masses.
Delivering a low cost bundled package is key because IP TV with adequate bandwidth and net neutrality eliminates the barrier to entry/market moat for TV bundling. The big payment goes to the ISP delivering the bandwidth and the bundling will be low margin or people go ala carte. Some only watch news and a couple selected sports. Some just one or the other etc, etc. About a half dozen to a dozen basic channels. Content suppliers can pipe directly to consumers without needing a bundler to deliver it in a package. All one needs is 30 mbps or less. With LTE-A rolling out that can use dual bands of spectrum you get 90-150 mbps delivery. Well in excess of the needs for lag free streaming live sports. Netflix is something like 15 mbps to be lag free I believe. The problem with use of LTE-A is spectrum carrying capacity. Requires data over fixed line which is what fiber is effective for completing. The whole thing with IP based TV, outside of sports, is that it can be watched on command once the content provider releases the video. With satellite feeds it is when the programming is scheduled you can record what they make available. HBO Go you can watch the new release two days after it was released without having set a recording up for when your bundler (satellite or cable) has scheduled programming. Pandora's box is truly opened in the TV content world once sufficient bandwidth is supplied to the masses. Bundlers no longer have a competitive moat. ISP with sufficient bandwidth will survive as the plumbing and quality content providers can bypass the middleman bundler. Cable repositions, fixed and mobile telecoms can move to high bandwidth ISP, satellite?=dead money.
The place to be is the ultra high speed ISP and not as a bundler. Bundling will become a low margin business. VZ has no interest in Dish's TV bundling market. Dish's Ergen knows very well why. DTV is holding on w/hope T doesn't wisely back out or that the sale isn't blocked by regulators.
Never say never on something like T but not holding my breath Nige. Given the new hot look coming to VOD that will become more apparent to the field, 300p is a touch low and a target would be closer to 350p than 300p. 300p might be a reasonable opening offer but not one Colao and BOD should accept.
You should know about perfume cover ups as T pulls out all the stops to maintain its dividend when it couldn't properly fund its pension shortfall. Instead, they stuffed the pension with unsafe level of company stock which required special approval to exceed the 10% benchmark and followed it up with a significant stock buyback program for two years to buoy the share price. If that isn't a perfume bath of a dividend and financial engineering masking the fish smell, then I don't know what you would call it.
As for VOD, since you brought VOD into the discussion on the T message board, has sold the crown jewel of 45% ownership of Verizon Wireless. However, VOD didn't buy perfume to mask any fish smell. They used the proceeds to purchase a gym membership (fixed line fiber infrastructure), add to their wardrobe already in place (building out to +90% 4G coverage) and indicated a bosom lift with dividend increase. VOD becoming a fit, clean and hot looking high end babe while T's perfume cover up self crawls in bed with a satellite TV company who may look good but carries a nasty, nasty STD that will break out in the future. Apparently T couldn't afford the good call girl but should have stayed at home instead of picking up the street corner huukr.
Hence VOD's divorce with VZ is going to parlay that money into a better looking gal than before. When all is said and done with the VOD makeover, nobody will bother to see the rock has been pawned as they are all checking out the rack and legs on VOD. Meanwhile T has lesions that will come to the surface by sleeping with DTV.
Do some easy searches on the web and you will find info about LTE-A capabilities as well as G.fast and DOCSIS 3.1. The Klown called G.fast a technology that still had problems that had already been resolved and initial products are being rolled out with high volume production of G.fast technology expected by 2016 among several of the companies developing G.fast products. Sckipio appears to be the first to market already providing G.fast chips to hardware makers of G.fast.
An eye opener piece to get you started, G.fast: The Dawn of Gigabit Copper? This article gives you some basics. The catch is that field trial results have already been carried out by European operators with some very good field results reported by BT (U.K. telecom) just last month. Sckipio says its design allows for updates to be made with the chip being deployed to comply with an final ratification changes for the G.fast ITU standards. Nevertheless, DSL is going to be left in the dust by one of many competing technology advancements be it G.fast, DOCSIS 3.1, GOOG's exploratory millimeter spectrum, or full FTTH. As these are deployed.....the masses then are capable of streaming (internet) TV being lag free. Now maybe you also understand some of the push for ISPs becoming a utility. ISPs are traditionally a localized monopoly much like electricity and home based basic services like water, sewer and trash. Telecom operators should be cutting out the fast lane trash and allow for net neutrality laws in order to avoid falling under reclassification of a utility which falls under heavier regulations.
One item I will add. Looks like Google is working on a millimeter spectrum answer to G.fast and DOCSIS 3.1. If Google can run a fiber trunk into the neighborhood utility pole and utilize spectrum capable of several gbps to avoid having to run fiber into the home, you have a game changer. Most of the cost of installing fiber is from the curb into the home. Google completes is research for the millimeter spectrum to avoid this last leg cost, the cost of deploying ultra high speed bandwidth to consumers implodes further than G.fast or DOCSIS 3.1 is going to do for capex budgets. A stand alone TV bundling business model is NOT the best market moat with the several new bandwidth increasing technologies coming to market. Dish Network's Charlie Ergen even acknowledges this same outlook. Take note Dish is introducing an IP based bundle in the next few months.
Looks like you won't try to defend the ignorant post about the revenue being 130B.
Also looks like you are jumping to other conclusions but few thought the same about AOL/Time Warner getting together. The market cap of the resulting company imploded as DSL crushed AOL's market position. The larger part of the population in the U.S. going from max broadband speeds of DSL running around 10 mbps or less to Fiber/fiber hybrids (fiber hybrids includes G.fast and DOCSIS 3.1) that can provide download speeds of appx. 1 gbps will allow for a new live TV video delivery pipe. That goes without mentioning 90-150 mbps for mobile as LTE-A networks are rolled out by mobile providers. With net neutrality and anything over 30 mbps, TV bundlers no longer have to own the delivery pipe to enter a market. Telecoms and cable can reposition as ultra high speed ISPs but not satellite. T is buying head count but DTV's pricing will be difficult to defend.
Hey, it took Time Warner a long time to overcome one bad move. The bean counters often don't make the best decisions because they are too busy looking at the numbers instead of the widget design. Stephenson's comment for buying DTV was that DTV is a means to AVOID bandwidth consumption and that the he would let the gearheads work out the technicals. If the necessary bandwidth is built then why the need to "avoid"? Check the comment in the media that the price of the pending DTV and Comcast deals would cover the cost of a national full fiber network. You could completely steal the field of ISP/TV bundler across the country for the price of those two deals. Do your homework on G.fast and DOCSIS 3.1 cost to deploy vs. full fiber and the DTV implosion doesn't seem so far fetched.
Misleading trash tvs. Revenue vs. expenses including capex to keep up with technology improvements needs to be considered for dividend support. Doesn't matter if revenue is 3 trillion because if your outlays are 3.65 trillion then you are at a .65T cash flow deficit. Stating revenue is 3 trillion a year, vs. your 130B, doesn't mean a dividend can be supported now does it?
Speaking of revenue, how about DTV's revenue growing as its subscriber base flatlines? What is going to happen to TV bundler revenues and net margins as competitor count increases with adequate broadband to carry IP TV is rolled to the masses? DTV=AOL rerun.
The bigger name analyst houses have, for most part, moved their targets into the target range I was indicating what VOD is worth after the big return of value from VZ cash and shares. When growth starts to kick in from the new EU fiber acquisitions and 4G infrastructure builds that price will move higher. India a sleeping giant should get more interesting as 3G is built out.
You're correct Nige, jam today or jam tomorrow. Looks like tomorrow but someone (T) missed the jam being on sale.
Just pushing the topic up to let the one poster realize the DTV could be blocked IF regulators use the HHI for market concentration portraying the deal as too concentrating. More concentrated than AT&T/TMUS deal that was blocked.
Looks like dividend yield is what is supporting the share price based on Forbes report. This financial trickery isn't the first time for AT&T as they plugged a major shortfall in pension with an unsafe level of preferred shares of company stock. Caimed they didn't have the cash to do it but shortly after plugging the shortfall AT&T began a major share buyback for the next two years. Someday the financial trickery will come home to roost. There is a reason T's yield is among the highest of blue chips. Risk in a dividend cut. If it was safer then the yield wouldn't be among the highest. Buying DTV at growth multiples while its TV bundler market moat is about to come crashing down will add further pressure in coming years for a dividend cut. Shareholders can only hope DOJ/FCC saves them from yet another blunder by Stephenson.
Consolidate? LOL Market concentration is at the red line for mobile providers. T has neglected the fixed line market and is now threatened by a Comcast/Time Warner tie up. Based on the HHI which DOJ uses, Comcast/Time Warner should have a better shot at approval than DTV/T deal. Keep the political trash at the door.
My SWAG, major throw down going on as the positioning for LTE-A providing live streaming TV for MOBILE is on the horizon. Interesting to say the least.
The flipside to DISH trading higher is how the DISH spectrum value is actually unlocked. T has grabbed DTV but VZ not interested in DISH. DISH can grab TMUS maybe but that doesn't mean the value is unlocked DISH then has the takeover costs and the need for a massive infrastructure build. Sounds a lot like Sprint's current position to me....
This is crazy pricing and leads one to wonder if this is DISH pumping the bid as some have indicated or if it is someone like Google stirring the pot. Believe the results / winning bidders won't be disclosed until January.
Tiglet, sometimes the obvious needs stated. Now maybe we discuss the risks to the dividend being cut using bobs statement as a platform.
You already dipped your toe on one concern and that is DTV. AT&T is buying subscriber counts and a decent cash flow in DTV. The structure of the acquisition however dilutes T shares and the dividend expenses consumes much of the profits acquired to where there will be little or no addition to earnings while it exposes T to subscriber defections as IP TV leaves satellite bundling delivery in the dust. The question here is how well can DTV/T defend its subscriber base from new technology delivering streaming TV. VZ and T are launching mobile TV in 2015. Sprint hasn't indicated but has technical ability. Then you have Google moving in the shadows and tons of other fiber/fiber hybrid ISPs that will open up Pandora's box on consumers having an open choice for TV bundlers. TV bundlers no longer have to own the pipe with +100 mbps internet and net neutrality in play. DTV buying an AOL rerun right before DSL crushed dial up.
The second concern would be a recent one I read in a piece discussing the nose bleed high spectrum auction. The author commented the higher the spectrum prices run up the higher the odds that a dividend cut happens.....and T would be very much in that listing.