29.39 -0.05 (-0.17%)
After hours: 6:15PM EDT
|Bid||29.31 x 1400|
|Ask||29.42 x 800|
|Day's range||28.31 - 29.68|
|52-week range||26.08 - 39.70|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||0.72|
|PE ratio (TTM)||15.54|
|Earnings date||21 Apr 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||2.08 (7.57%)|
|Ex-dividend date||07 Apr 2020|
|1y target est||36.70|
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Todd Garner was in Puerto Rico filming his latest comedy “Vacation Friends” — for 20th Century Studios and starring John Cena — when it started to become evident that the coronavirus was going to be a serious problem. While the U.S. government wasn’t quite yet relaying such severity, “I could see the anxiety on everybody’s faces” among the cast and crew, Garner recounted on a recent episode of his podcast. Questions arose that filmmakers haven’t had to confront before: Should so many people be working in such close quarters? Is it safe for makeup artists to be touching the actors’ faces? Two weeks into production, and with six weeks to go, they put the film on ice.It’s hardly the only movie that’s had to temporarily stop filming and send everyone home for an unknowable period of time. Indeed, “show business” is neither right now. Garner, who co-produced “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” said he also had two TV series for Netflix Inc. that were already far along and had to cease production. Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” HBO’s “Succession,” ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” AMC Networks Inc.’s “The Walking Dead,” Hulu’s “Handmaid’s Tale” and Apple Inc.’s “The Morning Show” are among other series with highly anticipated returning seasons that will be delayed by national stay-at-home orders. And it’s not just scripted shows. For example, it seems unlikely that the “Friends” reunion special can still be filmed in time for the arrival of HBO Max, a new streaming-TV service launching in May from AT&T Inc.’s WarnerMedia, which reportedly paid $425 million last year to snatch away from Netflix the streaming rights to the popular 1990s-early aughts sitcom.Movie theaters are closed and there aren’t any sports to watch. For an audience bored by the isolation on a good day, and entirely dispirited by it on the bad ones, it’s all the more devastating to not be able to look forward to our favorite shows.The Hollywood shutdown hit just as media giants like Comcast Corp. and Walt Disney Co. are getting their streaming products off the ground, each looking to spend billions of dollars on new content. Disney+ and Apple TV+ both launched in November, while Comcast’s NBCUniversal is introducing its Peacock service April 15. Quibi, a startup created by a pair of media and tech veterans that’s reportedly raised $1.75 billion in funding, launched Monday. With everyone home and glued to their TVs and devices, these companies will have a chance to attract more subscribers, while viewers gain more options for passing the time.Even so, none of these apps on its own may have enough to watch or offer sufficient variety for the average household. The most sought-after programs have been divvied up among the different services, which each charge their own monthly fees. Viewers might just grow tired with of any of these streaming apps when forced to spend so much extra time with one, potentially creating more volatile churn rates — the closely tracked measurement of customers canceling subscriptions. It’s a test for the streaming newbies and even Netflix that’s made all the more challenging if new content stops flowing in.New theatrical releases have gotten caught in the middle of this, too. For a big-budget film like “F9,” the latest installment of “The Fast and the Furious” franchise, bypassing hundreds of millions of dollars in box-office revenue isn’t really an option. That’s why Universal Pictures pushed back the release by almost a whole year to next April. But with “Trolls World Tour,” Universal decided to make the movie available to rent on-demand for $20 instead of just delaying its theatrical debut. Other studios are having to make similar decisions. It raises the question of how all these delayed movies will fit into exhibitors’ schedules once theaters do reopen. As movie-goers grow accustomed to being able to see first-run films at home, and as streaming services try to juice their subscriber bases, a potential outcome may be shorter theatrical windows and an industry that’s forever changed.The pain is also being felt by contractors and local businesses in Atlanta, which became the new U.S. hub for TV and film production in recent years. About 400 works were filmed, resulting in $2.9 billion invested in Georgia for the fiscal year ended June 2019, according to the state. “Film & Entertainment” is featured prominently on the Georgia Department of Economic Development website, but visit the “now filming” section and you’ll find a bare page that reads: “Production in Georgia has been largely suspended due to the Covid-19 outbreak.”Hollywood isn’t the only industry where workers’ safety has been suddenly put at odds with their livelihoods. Still, as housebound viewers devour more content than ever, new shows and movies aren’t getting made. That makes TV entertainment one area where the effects of the pandemic could be most striking for the everyday consumer.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of 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/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
At-home entertainment is seeing a dramatic surge amid the coronavirus pandemic, with streaming platforms like Disney+ (DIS) and Netflix (NFLX) benefitting.
AT&T (T) collaborates with RingCentral to incorporate the latter's video technology in cloud solution of the former for seamless work from home solutions during the COVID-19 pandemonium.
RingCentral's (RNG) latest launch of RingCentral Video is perfectly timed amid the coronavirus-led global lockdown, which will help it bank on the rising numbers of work-from-home employees.
While BlackBerry (BB) beats on fourth-quarter fiscal 2020 earnings on year-over-year revenue growth, Nokia (NOK) launches an innovative platform to aid users with reliable network connectivity.
RingCentral, Inc. (NYSE:RNG), a leading provider of global enterprise cloud communications, collaboration, and contact center solutions and AT&T (NYSE:T) today announced that AT&T Office@Hand powered by RingCentral now provides enhanced HD video capabilities through new RingCentral Video™ technology.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Just weeks from the launch of its all-important HBO Max product, WarnerMedia is getting a new boss straight from the streaming world. Jason Kilar, who ran Hulu in its early days, is set to take over as CEO of AT&T Inc.’s WarnerMedia division on May 1, the company announced Wednesday. He’ll have oversight of not only the various media networks — HBO, CNN, TBS, TNT, TruTV, Cartoon Network — and the Warner Bros. film studio, but also the product at the center of AT&T’s latest effort to become a dominant force in streaming TV. That’s HBO Max, a $15-a-month app that will serve as the new digital destination for viewers who want to binge on re-runs of “Friends,” relive “Game of Thrones” and have access to new content with the HBO flavor.Kilar, 48, is replacing John Stankey, the longtime AT&T executive who has been juggling two titles: head of WarnerMedia and chief operating officer of the Dallas-based wireless parent company. Killar will report to Stankey, who began his career at one of the Baby Bells and is now considered a top candidate to become AT&T’s next CEO when Randall Stephenson retires. The leadership of the new AT&T is taking shape, though the WarnerMedia gig wasn’t necessarily an easy sell for industry veterans watching the messy integration from afar.Kilar is an interesting choice. Nine years ago, he infamously wrote a memo that read like an obituary for traditional TV, according to Rich Greenfield, an analyst for LightShed Partners, who found a digital copy. “History has shown that incumbents tend to fight trends that challenge established ways and, in the process, lose focus on” customers, Kilar wrote, needling Hulu’s partners at the time (it’s now controlled by Walt Disney Co.). That means HBO, after being led for two years by a wireless executive who knew little about traditional media, will now be led by someone who cares nothing for it. After the Jerry Maguire-like manifesto, one news headline asked if Kilar was trying to get fired; now that kind of thinking has gotten him the top job at a Hollywood giant.Following his time at Hulu, Kilar went on to create a $3-a-month subscription-video service called Vessel. He sold it in 2016 to Verizon Communications Inc., which shut doMn the service days later and put the Vessel team to work on its own go90 mobile-video product. It was part of Verizon’s failed expansion into media, with go90 now also long gone. Kilar’s arrival marks another step on AT&T’s stormy path to become an entertainment juggernaut that can compete with Disney and Netflix Inc. That journey began when AT&T acquired Time Warner in June 2018, after initially facing government resistance and later, skepticism from AT&T’s own shareholders that the megamerger would work. (The company’s last major deal, for the DirecTV satellite service, was already creating enough headaches.) Since then, Stankey has reshuffled the Warner ranks, occasionally creating controversy among employees who weren’t on board with the changes. He told me in an interview last year that he was working to have Warner’s sub-brands work closer together toward a common mission of making HBO Max a success.With most everyone stuck home because of the coronavirus pandemic and binge-watching TV, some have wondered why Stankey hasn’t pushed up the release of HBO Max. Doing so might help it capture more subscribers faster. Although, more time spent watching doesn’t necessarily translate into more money for streaming services, since viewers pay a monthly rate to access an all-you-can-stream buffet of content. The CEO transition may be yet another reason that WarnerMedia is being patient. There’s also tremendous pressure on AT&T to prove it can get this right, not least because it’s saddled with about $180 billion of debt as the U.S. economy hurtles toward a recession.Last fall, I wrote a piece asking, “Is AT&T’s Hollywood plot too far-fetched?” In the coming months, Kilar will help provide the answer. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of 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/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Hulu co-founder and former chief executive Jason Kilar has been named the new chief executive of WarnerMedia . It's the latest executive reshuffling at the AT&T-owned media giant, which saw its previous CEO, John Stankey, promoted to president and chief operating officer while still holding the media subsidiary's reins. Stankey will remain in those roles, and Kilar will be reporting to him starting on May 1 — right before the launch of WarnerMedia's new streaming service HBO Max.
With the newly-acquired spectrum and existing holdings, AT&T (T) intends to build upon capacity while maintaining its largest network nationwide.
WarnerMedia has tapped the founder of Hulu as its new chief executive, bringing a longtime streaming expert on board to run one of the largest entertainment groups in the world. Jason Kilar will in May replace John Stankey, the AT&T veteran who has led WarnerMedia through a tumultuous transition after it was acquired by the telecoms group in a blockbuster $80bn acquisition last year. The hire underscores the importance of streaming for the future of a storied media business spanning the Warner Bros film and television studios, the HBO network and a portfolio of cable channels including CNN.
AT&T Inc.* is the winning bidder for spectrum licenses covering more than 99% of the U.S. population following the close of FCC Auction 103. The company’s winning bids will allow continued improvements and advancements to its wireless network — already the nation’s best1 and fastest.2
AT&T's (T) public safety communications platform, FirstNet, deploys a dedicated app catalog service that will help first responders to address mission-critical needs amid the ongoing pandemic.
Lawmakers and security experts have long warned of security flaws in the underbelly of the world's cell networks. Now a whistleblower says the Saudi government is exploiting those flaws to track its citizens across the U.S. as part of a "systematic" surveillance campaign. The Guardian obtained a cache of data amounting to millions of locations on Saudi citizens over a four-month period beginning in November.
(Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp.’s agreement to acquire 5G software maker Affirmed Networks Inc. valued the company at about $1.35 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.Microsoft announced the deal on Thursday without disclosing financial details.Microsoft already serves telecom customers and struck an agreement with AT&T Inc. last year with the aim of moving more the carrier’s network to its platform. Microsoft has been building its cloud computing operations through acquisitions. In 2018, it bought privately held GitHub for $7.5 billion.Affirmed Networks also held talks with Samsung Electronics before its deal with Microsoft came together, one of the people said.Pete Wootton, a spokesman for Microsoft, declined to comment on the price. A representative for Affirmed Networks also declined to comment. Samsung didn’t respond to a request for comment.Microsoft shares fell 4.1% Friday to close at $149.70.The introduction of 5G is just starting, with test projects by carriers such as AT&T generally limited to select big cities. Nationwide U.S. coverage may take years. But tech giants and telecom industry incumbents have been angling for a slice of the market for edge computing and going after big corporate customers. The White House has made 5G a linchpin of its tech policy, particularly as it tries to suppress the global expansion of China’s Huawei Technologies Co.The networking industry is transitioning away from expensive fixed purpose machines that take care of specific parts of the job of managing the flow of data to software that resides in remote data centers. The aim is to make the things cheaper and more flexible.Affirmed Networks helps build virtual networks for telecom customers using 5G technology. It was founded in 2010 and had raised about $240 million in funding, according to Pitchbook Data. It raised financing just last month at a $1.35 billion valuation, people familiar with the matter said.Affirmed Networks said on Thursday that it was replacing its chief executive officer with one of its founders, Anand Krishnamurthy.Affirmed Networks, based in Acton, Massachusetts, is backed by investors including Qualcomm Ventures and Centerview Capital Technology Management, the venture arm of investment bank Centerview Partners, as well as by Lightspeed Management, CRV and Bessemer Venture Partners,(Updates with line on Samsung’s interest in fourth paragraph, adds share price in sixth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
The board of directors of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) today declared quarterly dividends on the company’s 5.000% Perpetual Preferred Stock, Series A and the company’s 4.750% Perpetual Preferred Stock, Series C. The Series A dividend is $312.50 per preferred share, or $0.3125 per depositary share. The Series C dividend is $240.7986111 per preferred share, or $0.2407986111 per depositary share. The dividends are payable on May 1, 2020, to stockholders of record at the close of business on April 9, 2020.
The board of directors of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) today declared a quarterly dividend of $0.52 a share on the company’s common shares. The dividend is payable on May 1, 2020, to stockholders of record at the close of business on April 9, 2020.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Shareholders of companies such as airlines have a case to make when they argue that the coronavirus pandemic is nobody's fault, and therefore any entity that needs government relief shouldn't be penalized when it seeks public assistance. Why put restrictions on stock buybacks or executive compensation for a publicly traded company seeking aid if small businesses making similar requests don't receive the same restrictions? But in a situation like this requiring significant new legislation and spending, maintaining public trust and support is paramount. If penalizing shareholders and executives is what it takes to ensure political support and keep the country united behind the work of Congress, then it's worth doing, regardless of whether it's fair.A key question is why publicly traded companies alone warrant restrictions. Nobody's clamoring for workers to pledge not to buy a car or smartphone until they pay back whatever assistance they get from the government. There's not even a requirement that they repay. The same goes for small businesses that have been forced to close because of voluntary or state-ordered mitigation efforts in the fight against Covid-19. What makes American Airlines any different?The most common complaint about airlines seeking assistance is that they spent tens of billions of dollars buying back their shares during the past decade. If they hadn't done that, the argument goes, they'd have the money to survive this shock.This specific argument against buybacks has only come about in response to the crisis. For most of the decade, the argument against buybacks was that it was shortchanging investment, and hence, economic growth. I'm not aware of anyone arguing in 2016 that airlines and hotels should hoard cash in preparation for a pandemic rather than buy back their shares.Stockpiling cash also would have been untenable. Activists have spent much of the past decade pushing companies to take more shareholder-friendly actions. Just this month Elliott Management Corp. successfully pressured Twitter to agree to buy back $2 billion of its shares. Companies that hold excess cash quickly find themselves under assault from activist investors demanding that spare cash be returned to shareholders.Perhaps the public just hates stock buybacks. Maybe the tax code should be changed so that buybacks and dividends are treated equally because there doesn't seem to be the same level of outrage over dividends. AT&T pays more than $10 billion a year in dividends without earning the wrath of the public.In all likelihood, the public anger over aiding large companies stems from both the level of buybacks during the past decade, and lingering resentment over taxpayer assistance to Wall Street in the financial crisis. Banks and investors got bailed out while Main Street was left with a jobless recovery and a decade of subdued wage growth. And during the ensuing decade, the public has rightly felt that big companies went right back to business as usual, focusing on shareholders and executive compensation rather than workers and the common good. It's not hard to see why there might be an uneasy sense of déjà vu, with critics of the financial-crisis bailout seeing an opening to exact some revenge for bad corporate behavior.So it's understandable why there are demands that publicly traded companies seeking government relief should have strings attached to that assistance. What we're going through isn't a typical recession. It's a forced cessation of commerce as a way of fighting a lethal virus. Congress is close to wrapping up a third bill to help the economy weather this storm, but in all likelihood it won't be the last. States and local governments are experiencing a large decline in tax revenue and it may turn out that the $2 trillion in the current package is insufficient. Keeping the public engaged and supportive of new rounds of legislative aid is critical. If part of that effort means shortchanging some investors and limiting executive compensation, that's good politics.To get through this fight, everyone's going to have to give up something. Medical workers are accepting great risk to their own health to treat sick patients. Families are having to cancel vacations and postpone weddings. Parents are working at home while taking care of their kids as schools close for weeks or months. Millions of workers are losing their jobs. Fiscal conservatives are having to stomach trillions of dollars in new spending. Progressives have to accept large companies getting government assistance. If that means executive compensation and shareholders of some companies gets restrained for a while to shore up public support for fiscal bills, nobody should shed any tears.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Conor Sen is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a portfolio manager for New River Investments in Atlanta and has been a contributor to the Atlantic and Business Insider.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The broadband sector could become a safe haven for investors looking to store cash in the event of a financial crisis.Demand for internet access will be recession-proof, if history is an indicator. A Bureau of Labor Statistics analysis from 2009 to 2010 showed total household spending declined year-over-year while computer information and cable services spending increased. That may be even more the case now amid the coronavirus outbreak, as many Americans are working remotely from home and relying on streaming services like Netflix Inc. for entertainment.“The criticality of broadband has increased since the global financial crisis,” Gregory Williams, an analyst covering cable and satellite services at Cowen, said in a note to clients. It’s “now considered a fairly price inelastic utility-like necessity.”AT&T Inc., Charter Communications Inc., Comcast Corp. and Altice USA Inc. are among the long list of potential benefactors providing internet-based services across the U.S. Pure-play businesses like Charter are seen best positioned for upside. Shares of the Stamford, Connecticut-based company have fallen just 8% since the beginning of the year, compared to a 20% decline in the S&P 500 Index.Michael McKenzie, managing director of private investment firm Grain Management, said that broadband connections grew 15% from 2008 to 2009. While there’s no guarantee that will happen this time, the sector is likely to fare better than cable or entertainment peers as consumers look to cut discretionary spending.“I think it’s highly unlikely that [broadband connectivity] declines in a recession,” McKenzie said in an interview. It “should be a safe bet” given its historic stability, he said.McKenzie said there may be some “depressed” spending in certain sectors like hospitality. But in general, stocks linked to mobile network operators and tower owners will “tend to benefit from what we see coming out of this crisis.”(Corrects broadband connection growth in fifth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Media companies including AT&T Inc. and ViacomCBS Inc. are pressing the pause button on asset sales worth more than $5 billion because of the global coronavirus pandemic, according to people familiar with the matter.AT&T’s auction of four regional sports networks, ViacomCBS’s offloading of its publishing arm and closely-held Ion Media Networks Inc.’s $3.5 billion sale process have been held up amid a downturn in financing markets, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private.ViacomCBS was poised to kick off its sale process for the Simon & Schuster publishing division right before the crisis hit the U.S. ViacomCBS Chief Executive Officer Bob Bakish announced the plan in early March at an investor conference.The company had expected the business to fetch more than $1.2 billion, Bloomberg News had earlier reported. It’s unclear when ViacomCBS will now launch the Simon & Schuster sales process, the people said, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The company has received more than 25 indications of interest in the asset since Bakish’s announcement, one of the people added. A ViacomCBS representative declined to comment.AT&T has put on hold its sale of regional sports networks, which includes rights to teams such as hockey’s Pittsburgh Penguins, basketball’s Houston Rockets and baseball’s Seattle Mariners, the people said. AT&T had been seeking close to $1 billion for the assets. Live sports have taken a major hit as professional leagues have suspended play. An AT&T representative declined to comment.AT&T shares were up about 6% at $29.98 and ViacomCBS shares were down 6.4% at $13.80 at 1:45 p.m. in New York.Ion, which had hired advisers this year to sell itself, is also facing delays, according to people familiar with the matter. The company’s owner, hedge fund Black Diamond Capital Management, had been working on a potential $3.5 billion sales process, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter. Representatives for Ion and Black Diamond couldn’t be reached for comment.Ion has 70 stations in markets including Atlanta, Boston, New York and Chicago that reach more than 100 million homes, according to its website. An ad-based independent broadcaster, it primarily airs reruns of shows with no local news or sports.Broadcaster Gray Television Inc. last week withdrew its offer for Tegna Inc. citing the coronavirus, Bloomberg News reported. A number of other bidders are still circling Tegna. Najafi Cos., a private equity firm, last week said it’s teaming up with faith-based broadcaster Trinity Broadcasting Network to make an offer of $20 a share in cash while Apollo Global Management Inc. and TV producer Byron Allen also remain interested.Some smaller deals in the space are also getting done. FuboTV Inc., backed by 21st Century Fox Inc. and AMC Networks Inc., merged with FaceBank Group Inc., on Monday. FuboTV Chief Executive Officer David Gandler said the company wants to sell shares on the Nasdaq exchange as soon as possible so investors can have access to more “stay at home” stocks besides Netflix Inc. and Roku Inc.Deal activity across all sectors have been hit by the virus-induced market turmoil, with the volume of M&A and investment deals sinking 23% to $383 billion in the U.S. this year compared with the same period in 2019, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.(Updates new information on Simon & Schuster in third paragraph, adds share prices in sixth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
While AT&T (T) withdraws plans to repurchase stock worth $4 billion due to coronavirus, Verizon (VZ) is collaborating with first responders to provide seamless network connectivity.
AT&T (T) appreciates its employees' efforts, particularly front-line employees who are working hard to serve customers amid the coronavirus crisis.