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Documentary film director Ken Burns discusses his country music documentary and why PBS gives him more freedom than a streaming service would.
AT&T has reportedly explored a breakup with its DirectTV unit, according to the Wall Street Journal. Yahoo Finance's Julie Hyman, Adam Shapiro, Hennion & Walsh Asset Management President Kevin Mahn, and BNY Mellon Investment Management Chief Strategist Alicia Levine.
Yahoo Finance's Heidi Chung, Sibile Marcellus, Scott Gamm, and Brian Cheung talk AT&T's plans to reportedly separate from DirecTV.
Diligent Swampians might recall that in my last Swamp Notes I took up cudgels against those who compare China to Nazi Germany . Though I did not name the person who triggered my note, he requested the ...
The hottest trend in capital allocation, it should know, is to pay for streaming rights to old television shows ahead of a coming war for subscribers.
Dish Network is more than likely not dishing into purchasing DirecTV, sources close to Dish CEO Charlie Ergen told the New York Post.
Eighteen months after officially burying the hatchet in one of America's most bitter proxy contests, Procter & Gamble Co CEO David Taylor and billionaire investor Nelson Peltz proclaimed their mutual respect on Thursday, underscoring how activists and corporations can end up working collaboratively. Sitting next to each other on a hotel stage in New York at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha Conference, the men brushed away the acrimony of two years ago when Peltz' Trian Partners was battling P&G over its strategy and asking for a board seat. "That was the fog of war," Peltz said, dismissing the rough comments P&G had made about the veteran activist who works to present himself as a partner who can offer constructive advice rather than a corporate raider intent on breaking up companies.
The Fed cuts interest rates again, but what's next? Why Microsoft (MSFT) stock surged. The latest from AT&T (T) and FedEx (FDX). And why Skechers (SKX) stock is a Zacks Rank 1 (Strong Buy) right now - Free Lunch
Moody's Investors Service (Moody's) said that following activist investor Elliott Management Corporation's disclosure of its stake in AT&T Inc. (AT&T) and its criticism of AT&T's past M&A strategies, there are media reports stating that AT&T is exploring divesting its DIRECTV business, which would be credit positive if accompanied by material leverage reduction. Moody's believes that the secular pressure on DIRECTV's satellite pay TV business, which has resulted in subscriber erosion, is a headwind unlikely to abate and could be a distraction for management while it should be focused on pressing its 5G wireless agenda, turning around its stagnating consumer base and investing in the transition of WarnerMedia's media networks from bundled linear pay-TV to Direct-to-consumer on-demand platform(s).
AT&T is being targeted by an activist investor unhappy with the strategy. Nicholas Jasinski joins host Alex Eule to discuss why AT&T is suddenly under a microscope.
Options include spinning off DirecTV into a separately traded public company or merging it with its smaller rival Dish Network Corp., which has 12 million subscribers.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- AT&T Inc. CEO Randall Stephenson seems to be coming around to the right idea that the wireless carrier would be better off without its shrinking DirecTV business. Oddly enough, his decision could hinge on a legal trial in December that has little to do with his company but everything to do with how far antitrust regulators can be pushed in the Trump administration.It was the $67 billion takeover of DirecTV four years ago that first turned AT&T into a diversified communications conglomerate. Stephenson overpaid and underestimated how quickly the satellite-TV service would lose subscribers to cheaper online alternatives. With AT&T now squarely focused on expanding its 5G wireless network and integrating HBO and the other WarnerMedia assets it acquired last year, the company is finally considering parting ways with DirecTV, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing unidentified sources. The pivot comes as activist investor Elliott Management Corp. puts pressure on Stephenson and AT&T’s board to streamline its operations. I explained in January how a sale of DirecTV might help AT&T pay down its mountain of debt more quickly and remove a cloud over its stock price. AT&T also has far too many pay-TV products, and it’s already started to play down the DirecTV brand by changing the name of DirecTV Now, a skinny live-TV streaming platform, to AT&T TV Now:One option is spinning off the unit into a separate publicly traded entity, though it’s hard to see the appeal for investors of a stand-alone DirecTV. It wouldn’t have the same advantages AT&T gets through its scale and simultaneous control of popular programming. For example, HBO went dark on Dish Network Corp.’s satellite-TV services last year because of a carriage dispute between the companies, leaving many HBO fans the choice to either switch to DirecTV or subscribe to the HBO Now app for $15 a month — both properties of AT&T. DirecTV has also lost customers rapidly while turning to desperate price increases to shore up profit margins.AT&T’s other option for unloading DirecTV is to combine the business with Dish, which is beset by the same industry challenges. Charlie Ergen, the billionaire who controls Dish, said in an interview in July that he sees “industrial logic” for putting the two together. They could substantially cut costs, and the added cash flow would aid Ergen in his efforts to build a nationwide wireless network.Regulatory friction is seen as the biggest obstacle to a DirecTV-Dish merger, with Reuters reporting Wednesday that the companies aren’t discussing a deal for that reason. But the way I see it, Stephenson and Ergen may just be awaiting the outcome of T-Mobile US Inc.’s attempt to buy Sprint Corp., as I wrote in June. Should that deal proceed, it would set a precedent for allowing the merger of two direct competitors in a highly concentrated market. So far, T-Mobile and Sprint — the No. 3 and No. 4 U.S. wireless carriers, respectively, behind AT&T and Verizon Communications — have received clearance from both the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust division and the Federal Communications Commission. However, 18 state attorneys general — and counting — have joined a lawsuit to block the transaction on the grounds that it will lead to higher prices for consumers, discourage industry innovation and hurt workers. The trial is set to begin Dec. 9.(1) A triumph by the companies may embolden Stephenson and Ergen. They could even argue that the pay-TV market isn’t as concentrated, with numerous new streaming-TV apps posing competition to the traditional distributors. Walt Disney Co. has constructed a $13-a-month bundle for Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ that almost rivals denser cable-TV packages in content, and certainly does in price. The wild card, of course, is President Donald Trump. It’s been reported that he tried meddling in AT&T’s takeover of Time Warner, a unit now called WarnerMedia, because of personal grievances with the news network CNN, one of the assets AT&T inherited in the deal. As for DirecTV and Dish, “the biggest ‘regulatory’ obstacle may be the president and his undying desire to punish CNN,” analysts for New Street Research wrote in a report Thursday. Stephenson said in December 2016, when AT&T was integrating the DirecTV purchase, “We did DirecTV not because we love satellite technology, but because it gave us access to some premium content.” It’s a refrain both he and his deputy and heir apparent, John Stankey, have repeatedly recited. But the subsequent $102 billion acquisition of WarnerMedia gave AT&T all the premium content it needs. DirecTV is just a distraction now. (1) Ergen also plays a key role in the T-Mobile-Sprint merger trial. The carriers were required by the Justice Department to divest certain assets to Dish so that it can enter the wireless market and foster competition.To contact the author of this story: Tara Lachapelle at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tara Lachapelle is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the business of entertainment and telecommunications, as well as broader deals. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg spoke broadly about the impact of 5G, Verizon’s growing wireless competition, and the company’s approach to its media business at a media and telecom conference.
For years, AT&T (NYSE:T) stock has been a "yield trap." This is a stock who's dividend is too good to be true. T stock's dividend yield of 51 cents per share, currently yielding 5.5%, has been thought unsustainable by many analysts. Since AT&T stock has 7.31 billion shares outstanding, the dividend costs almost $15 billion per year to maintain.Source: Roman Tiraspolsky / Shutterstock.com To that $15 billion, add interest on $159 billion of long-term debt as of June 30, plus a capital budget of $23 billion and something's got to give.That something, according to recent media reports, could be DirecTv, the satellite service. DirecTv cost AT&T $49 billion in 2015 but has lost 2.5 million subscribers in the last year. Trouble is, neither a spin-off nor a sale to DISH Network (NASDAQ:DISH) would bring in anywhere near $49 billion.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 7 CBD Stocks to Buy That Are Still Worth Your Investment Dollars AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson's planned glorious retirement next year is beginning to look more like former General Electric (NYSE:GE) CEO Jeff Immelt's more ignominious exit. The DebtAs I wrote back in July and repeated after Elliott Management proposed big changes this month, AT&T has an enormous technology debt, in addition to its financial debt.Take a walk outside and you'll likely see some of it. Those copper wires hanging on those old wooden poles are obsolete. Telephony is dying. International long distance calls are free with Skype, and even teleconferencing is free with Zoom (NASDAQ:ZM).Even when upgraded with fiber to deliver TV, the value of AT&T's physical network is deteriorating. That's in part thanks to AT&T itself, which is in the process of upgrading its mobile service to 5G. But the value of that is open to question, as Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) makes its Google Fi a better deal.Do I have to mention the plans of Amazon.Com (NASDAQ:AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos to create global internet access with low-Earth orbit satellites? The Mistake of the CenturyIn a 2016 New York Times profile of Randall Stephenson, he ordered his brother, a career lineman, to learn about the cloud.But Stephenson didn't buy or build cloud. He sold the company's data centers in 2018 and is putting his operations on the IBM (NYSE:IBM) cloud.Stephenson decided cloud was too expensive and risky early in the decade while Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) was investing in cloud before it had the cash flow to justify it. Today Facebook is worth twice AT&T.The lack of cloud investment was as big a mistake as GE's decision to buy Alstom, a French turbine maker, in 2015. That was hailed as the "best deal in a century," but GE Power has since made GE a shadow of its former self.Stephenson's plan was to use the content agreements of DirecTv, later the content of Time Warner, to keep people on his services at high and rising prices. He assumed he could license that content to other providers, also for high and rising prices. Since the Time Warner purchase Stephenson has been pushing other players hard, dropping services like NFL Network and even threatening to shut off Disney's (NYSE:DIS) ESPN. The company is also being accused of setting up fake DirecTv accounts, a charge reminiscent of the Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) scandals. The Bottom LineElliott Management wants to rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic. The appearance of change, the sale of some assets, could boost AT&T's stock price and let Elliott exit its $3.2 billion investment with a profit.But the problems would remain. The technology debt would remain. Much of the financial debt would remain. * 8 Dividend Stocks to Buy for a Recession AT&T is doomed.Dana Blankenhorn is a financial and technology journalist. He is the author of the environmental story, Bridget O'Flynn and the Bear, available at the Amazon Kindle store. Write him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @danablankenhorn. As of this writing he owned shares in AMZN.The post AT&T Stock Is Doomed to Become the Next GE appeared first on InvestorPlace.
AT&T has also considered a spinoff of DirecTV into a separate public company, the report said. Last week, at a conference AT&T Chief Financial Officer John Stephens cited regulatory hurdles for any deal.
(Adds background, share movement) Sept 18 (Reuters) - AT&T is exploring parting from its DirecTV unit, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. The wireless carrier has considered various options, including a spinoff of satellite television provider DirecTV into a separate public company and a combination of DirecTV's assets with Dish Network Corp, sources told https://on.wsj.com/2kS2Hbs WSJ. AT&T shares rose 1.5% in after-market trading. The company declined to comment on the report.