T - AT&T Inc.

NYSE - NYSE Delayed price. Currency in USD
38.38
+0.35 (+0.92%)
At close: 4:05PM EST
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Previous close38.03
Open38.05
Bid38.36 x 800
Ask38.39 x 45100
Day's range37.98 - 38.44
52-week range28.92 - 39.70
Volume30,708,335
Avg. volume29,318,322
Market cap280.366B
Beta (5Y monthly)0.59
PE ratio (TTM)17.20
EPS (TTM)2.23
Earnings date28 Jan 2020
Forward dividend & yield2.08 (5.47%)
Ex-dividend date07 Jan 2020
1y target est38.98
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  • Big Companies to Mexico’s President: Stop Changing Rules
    Bloomberg

    Big Companies to Mexico’s President: Stop Changing Rules

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Representatives of two top business groups warned that it’s getting increasingly harder for foreign companies to put their money in Mexico and said that messages from President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s government that hinder investment need to stop.In a rare critique of the current administration, Carlos Salazar, head of one of the largest Mexican business groups, CCE, said companies need a message of certainty from the Lopez Obrador administration to move away from conflicts.At the same event in Mexico City, Claudia Janez, the head of a group representing global businesses, spoke out even more forcefully against government interference in investment, saying it’s the main cause of economic stagnation in Mexico.Mexico’s gross domestic product remained flat last year in large part because of the “systemic change of rules to doing business and the constant political messages against the markets and companies,” said Janez, president of the Executive Council of Global Companies (CEEG).The economy even dipped into a slight recession in the first half of 2019 after Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador scrapped a $13 billion airport project before becoming president in December, and then suspended private oil auctions once in power. His government staged a months-long dispute with several pipeline operators after it decided to change the terms of natural gas contracts signed with the previous administration.“Companies make long-term investment decisions. Changing rules doesn’t help growth,” said Salazar, who has served as a liaison between the business community and the government.Mexico’s AMLO Still Working to Win Over Private Sector SkepticsIn recent months, Lopez Obrador has been trying to win over private sector skeptics, but hasn’t delivered what they want, which is mainly a return to business-friendly policies such as the oil auctions. Gross fixed investment, which includes spending in factories and machinery, has fallen for nine consecutive months through October, the longest losing streak since the 2009 recession.Janez, who is also president for Latin America at DuPont de Nemours Inc., stressed Mexico needs to be clear on why it deserves investment over other countries and that free trade deals will mean nothing if the country doesn’t address its security issues.She said security has become the number one concern for many companies operating in the country and that some of them are now spending an extra 30% to 40% of their fixed costs to protect themselves. “Insecurity should not be the new normal,” she said.Decisions to allocate money for Mexico became even harder in the second half of 2019, Janez said, an unusual situation considering that the country was expected to become a natural destination for investment amid the China-U.S. trade war. Members of her business group include Exxon Mobil Corp. and AT&T Inc.Salazar said he remains optimistic Mexico can reach growth goals in the future. He cited an infrastructure plan from November as a token of hope.Salazar is helping broker a second investment plan, this time for the energy sector, that could be announced this month or next.(Adds comments from Janez and Salazar starting in 10th paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Cyntia Barrera Diaz in Mexico City at cbarrerad@bloomberg.net;Andrea Navarro in Mexico City at anavarro30@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nacha Cattan at ncattan@bloomberg.net;Ney Hayashi at ncruz4@bloomberg.netFor 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.

  • What to Expect from Netflix's (NFLX) Q4 2019 Earnings Results?
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  • Sprint’s Floundering Stock Cannot Tell a Lie
    Bloomberg

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    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Traders who make a living betting on mergers still won’t touch T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp.’s deal with a 10-foot pole. The wireless carriers may have been able to butter up two federal regulatory authorities by using the wonders of a 5G-powered America to distract from their deal’s likely competitive harm. Even so, merger-arbitrage traders live in a world of mathematical probabilities informed by laws and legal precedents, and on that basis, it’s hard to imagine that the judge presiding over a case brought by a group of state attorneys general opposing the deal will rule in the companies’ favor. Lawyers for both sides each delivered closing arguments Wednesday, with a decision from U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero expected to come some time in February. Analysts largely view the odds as a toss-up, if not slightly tipped in T-Mobile and Sprint’s favor. But the equity market paints a meaningfully different picture: The per-share value of T-Mobile's offer is 67% higher than where Sprint's shares are trading, by far the biggest spread of any pending U.S. deal. The wide gap implies that traders see an extremely low likelihood that the transaction gets done, and Sprint options activity is sending the same signal.Of course, this also means that if the companies do win in court, some traders popping antacids right now stand to make a substantial return. But for the most part, arbitrageurs have chosen to stay away. “This is one of those seminal situations in merger arb history,” said Roy Behren, a portfolio manager for the Merger Fund at Westchester Capital Management, which oversees $4 billion of assets. He found T-Mobile and Sprint’s arguments persuasive — that together the companies will be able to build out a nationwide 5G service faster, and that Sprint doesn't have the capital or scale it needs to compete. But the potential downside is painfully large, and so it’s simply too hard to make a bet on what will happen. “We like the case, but that doesn’t mean we want to risk shareholders’ money on something where we don’t have a huge conviction,” Behren said in a phone interview. The case may come down to Dish Network Corp. and its assigned role in ensuring the U.S. wireless market remains competitive. Makan Delrahim, the head antitrust enforcer at the Department of Justice, is placing incredible faith in Dish that it can fill the hole Sprint leaves behind and become a formidable new competitor to T-Mobile, AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc., even though it will most likely take years for Dish to live up to those expectations.T-Mobile has relied heavily on the argument that its brand as the customer-first “Un-carrier” means it can be trusted not to raise prices in the meantime, Blair Levin, an analyst for New Street Research, wrote in a report this week. The idea is that with Sprint, it will be able to spread out its network costs across a larger subscriber base and thus keep plan rates low. But as the state attorneys general have noted, AT&T and Verizon have greater scale and higher prices. Judges look at facts and precedent. Just as there was a compelling case to make against AT&T acquiring Time Warner last year in what amounted to a massive vertical consolidation of market power, it was hard to articulate this with facts and not just speculation about what might happen, because of the lack of precedent. The judge in that matter said early on, “I guess I have to get a crystal ball,” which judges do not like to do, and sure enough, he opted to stick with the facts as they were. The Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission have already given their blessing, which carries weight and could mean Judge Marrero will, too. But then if they could look in a crystal ball and see the consequence of doing so, they may not like what they see. Even the stock market knows that the deal shouldn’t go through.To contact the author of this story: Tara Lachapelle at tlachapelle@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at bewilliams@bloomberg.netThis 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.

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  • AT&T Invests in Kentucky to Improve 4G LTE Network Setup
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  • AT&T (T) Stock Sinks As Market Gains: What You Should Know
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  • AT&T-Owned CNN to Resolve TVS Dispute With $76M Settlement
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  • Bloomberg

    U.S. Proposes Overhaul of Antitrust Rules for Vertical Mergers

    (Bloomberg) -- U.S. antitrust enforcers are proposing new guidelines for determining whether to approve mergers that combine companies that don’t compete with one another but operate in the same supply chain.The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission announced criteria for how they would evaluate so-called vertical mergers in the future. If finalized, the guidelines would replace rules that haven’t formally been updated since 1984 despite new thinking about how such deals affect competition.The proposal marks a move by the two agencies to clarify their approach to assessing potential competitive harm from vertical deals. Those mergers had long been seen as mostly benign until 2017, when the Justice Department surprised the antitrust world by suing to block AT&T Inc.’s takeover of Time Warner Inc., a case the government ultimately lost.While the lawsuit was an aggressive move, it was criticized by some who said it was driven by President Donald Trump’s animus toward CNN, which was part of Time Warner. The Justice Department has long denied that there were any political considerations in the case.“The revised draft guidelines are based on new economic understandings and the agencies’ experience over the past several decades and better reflect the agencies’ actual practice in evaluating proposed vertical mergers,” the Justice Department’s antitrust chief, Makan Delrahim, said in a statement. Once finalized, they will provide “more clarity and transparency,” he added.Why New Roadblock for Dealmaking May Be Vertical: QuickTake Q&AVertical deals were typically approved because unlike traditional mergers between companies that compete -- so-called horizontal deals -- they don’t eliminate a competitor in the market, so there’s less risk for higher prices from a more consolidated market. In theory, a vertical deal can make a company more efficient by giving it cost advantages over rivals, and those lower costs can be passed on to customers in the form of lower prices.But lawyers and economists also point out that vertical deals can threaten competition by giving a company the power to raise the operating costs of its rivals. In the Time Warner case, for example, the Justice Department argued that AT&T would have the incentive and ability to charge higher rates for Time Warner programming sold to other pay-TV companies that compete with AT&T’s DirecTV unit.The new guidelines explain that a vertical deal can harm rivals in just this way. It can also give the combined company access to sensitive business information about its rivals that it wouldn’t have been able to get before the merger, according to the proposal.“Challenging anticompetitive vertical mergers is essential to vigorous enforcement,” FTC Chairman Joe Simons said. “The agencies’ vertical merger policy has evolved substantially” since 1984, “and our guidelines should reflect the current enforcement approach.”Democrats DifferThe proposal drew criticism from the two Democratic commissioners on the FTC, Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and Rohit Chopra. They wrote that they supported rescinding the old guidelines but that the new ones don’t go far enough. Slaughter’s biggest concern is that the draft says enforcers are unlikely to challenge mergers where the companies have a market share of less than 20%.“The draft guidelines do not account for all of the ways that existing dominance can be used to choke off market entry or distort competition,” Chopra said. “The nature of competition for capital, the new norms created by technological advancement, and the business incentives associated with data require a broader assessment of market power.”When approving vertical takeovers in the past, U.S. enforcers routinely imposed conditions on how companies operate. Those so-called behavioral fixes came under fire by Delrahim right before he sued AT&T. He argued that they require enforcers to become regulators who need to monitor compliance with the agreements.They’re also criticized for not working. In December, the Justice Department reached a settlement with Live Nation Entertainment Inc. after finding it violated behavioral conditions imposed on the company when it bought Ticketmaster in 2010.To contact the reporter on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at dmclaughlin9@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net, John Harney, Virginia Van NattaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Buy Netflix (NFLX) Stock with Earnings in Sight on Possible 2020 Comeback?
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  • AT&T CFO Addresses Stockholders, Expects Growth to Continue
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