VZ - Verizon Communications Inc.

NYSE - Nasdaq Real Time Price. Currency in USD
58.10
-0.12 (-0.21%)
As of 10:12AM EST. Market open.
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Previous Close58.22
Open58.09
Bid58.21 x 800
Ask58.22 x 1100
Day's Range57.96 - 58.35
52 Week Range54.26 - 62.22
Volume3,100,608
Avg. Volume12,344,585
Market Cap240.272B
Beta (5Y Monthly)0.45
PE Ratio (TTM)12.49
EPS (TTM)N/A
Earnings DateN/A
Forward Dividend & Yield2.46 (4.20%)
Ex-Dividend DateJan. 08, 2020
1y Target EstN/A
  • Can Telecom ETFs Gain on Mixed Q4 Earnings Results?
    Zacks

    Can Telecom ETFs Gain on Mixed Q4 Earnings Results?

    We study the impact of a few big earnings releases in the telecommunications industry on ETFs with decent exposure to these companies.

  • Thomson Reuters StreetEvents

    Edited Transcript of VZ earnings conference call or presentation 30-Jan-20 1:30pm GMT

    Q4 2019 Verizon Communications Inc. Earnings Call

  • T-Mobile Parent Deutsche Telekom Seeks New Terms for Sprint Deal
    Bloomberg

    T-Mobile Parent Deutsche Telekom Seeks New Terms for Sprint Deal

    (Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Telekom AG wants to renegotiate the terms for the sale of Sprint Corp. to its U.S. wireless unit T-Mobile US Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.The German carrier, the majority owner of T-Mobile, is seeking a lower price because Sprint’s shares have been trading below their level when the deal was proposed in 2018, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the deliberations are private.Getting one of the biggest U.S. wireless mergers ever over the finish line would be a boon to both companies. For Deutsche Telekom, the deal reduces its reliance on Europe, where carriers are struggling to grow amid fierce competition. For the chairman of Sprint owner SoftBank Group Corp., Masayoshi Son, it allows him to better focus on his technology investments and the $100 billion Vision Fund. The renegotiation talks are expected to start soon, the people said. They would follow a victory for the companies in a U.S. court this week, when a federal judge rejected a state lawsuit against the tie-up. Now the deal is in the home stretch, with only minor approvals left to secure and final financial terms to be ironed out. SoftBank declined to comment. Deutsche Telekom didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.Deutsche Telekom shares fell 1.4% in Frankfurt as of 12:58 p.m. on Thursday. What Bloomberg Intelligence Says:Deutsche Telekom has limited leverage to renegotiate the terms of its Sprint acquisition, we think, even as the valuation of the latter jumped to $75 billion from $60 billion in 2018 under the deal terms, despite worsening operational performance. The allure of consolidation, including the acquisition of an attractive spectrum portfolio, suggests only a modest potential improvement in stock-exchange ratio.\-- Erhan Gurses, BI telecoms analystClick here for the researchFrequency ConstraintsWhile Sprint’s standalone value has dropped, SoftBank also sees itself in a good position because T-Mobile needs Sprint’s wireless frequencies or would face capacity constraints within as little as two years, one of the people said.T-Mobile’s importance for Deutsche Telekom has grown steadily in recent years and it now accounts for about half of group sales, up from around a third in 2014. T-Mobile and Sprint haven’t renewed the merger agreement since it lapsed on Nov. 1, and there have been discussions regarding several issues that T-Mobile Chief Executive Officer John Legere described as “not hostile” that month on an investor call. T-Mobile has suggested there could be new terms.The combined company, which will operate under the T-Mobile name, will have a regular monthly subscriber base of about 80 million -- in the same league as AT&T Inc., which has 75 million subscribers, and Verizon Communications Inc., which has 114 million. T-Mobile will have more wireless frequencies than any other U.S. carrier, giving it an advantage as the industry transitions to the next generation of wireless technology, the much-faster 5G standard.Bloomberg News reported Wednesday that Sprint and SoftBank would likely have to accept a lower price than when the merger agreement was first forged in April 2018. Sprint’s monthly churn -- a closely watched measure of how many customers leave -- has risen to nearly 2%, which means roughly a quarter of its subscriber base is quitting the carrier each year.The German company is likely to leverage that to negotiate a lower price, but Sprint also has valuable radio frequency spectrum without which T-Mobile US will face serious bottlenecks, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg on Wednesday.The Financial Times previously reported that Deutsche Telekom is pushing to renegotiate terms of the deal, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.(Updates with analyst comment in fifth paragraph)\--With assistance from Stefan Nicola.To contact the reporters on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at palpeyev@bloomberg.net;Scott Moritz in New York at smoritz6@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at rpenty@bloomberg.net, Thomas Pfeiffer, Jennifer RyanFor 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 Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, AT&T and Dish Network
    Zacks

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, AT&T and Dish Network

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, AT&T and Dish Network

  • CORRECTED-US STOCKS-S&P 500, Nasdaq set course for new closing highs as coronavirus fears abate
    Reuters

    CORRECTED-US STOCKS-S&P 500, Nasdaq set course for new closing highs as coronavirus fears abate

    Wall Street advanced on Tuesday with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq on track to score their second consecutive record highs after officials said the deadly coronavirus could be contained by April. Amazon.com provided the biggest boost to both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, while McDonald's Corp led the blue-chip Dow's advance.

  • US STOCKS-S&P 500, Nasdaq clinch new highs on hopes coronavirus is peaking
    Reuters

    US STOCKS-S&P 500, Nasdaq clinch new highs on hopes coronavirus is peaking

    The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq indexes scaled new highs on Tuesday as investors took heart from remarks by a top Chinese health adviser that the coronavirus outbreak may be peaking. After more than 1,000 deaths and weeks of uncertainty that roiled global financial markets, China's foremost medical adviser on the epidemic said infections may be over by April.

  • US STOCKS-S&P 500, Nasdaq notch record highs as virus fears wane
    Reuters

    US STOCKS-S&P 500, Nasdaq notch record highs as virus fears wane

    The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq indexes scaled new highs on Tuesday as investors took heart from remarks by a top Chinese health adviser that the coronavirus outbreak may be peaking. The communication services index was among the only two major S&P sectors in the red.

  • T-Mobile Ready to Close Sprint Deal After Defeating State Suit
    Bloomberg

    T-Mobile Ready to Close Sprint Deal After Defeating State Suit

    (Bloomberg) -- T-Mobile US Inc. is poised to close its long-sought merger with Sprint Corp., a deal that will reshape the U.S. wireless industry, after winning approval from a federal judge who rejected a state lawsuit against the tie-up.The two companies said Tuesday they expect to close as soon as April 1 after U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero in Manhattan said the states failed to persuade him that a merger of the No. 3 and 4 carriers would harm consumers.“Today was a huge victory for this merger,” T-Mobile Chief Executive Officer John Legere said in a statement. “We are finally able to focus on the last steps to get this merger done!”The ruling comes almost two years after the merger was announced. The companies had bet on a favorable reception from the Trump administration, which signed on to the deal last year. Regulators under President Barack Obama in 2014 rebuffed an earlier merger proposal out of fear that consolidating the market would lead to higher prices.Now the tie-up will give T-Mobile added heft to take on industry leaders AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. The new T-Mobile will overtake AT&T in total number of regular monthly subscribers.For T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom AG, the deal reduces the German company’s reliance on Europe, where carriers are struggling to grow amid fierce competition and where its biggest rival -- Vodafone Group Plc -- bolstered its position by buying continental cable assets from Liberty Global Plc. T-Mobile’s importance for Deutsche Telekom has grown steadily in recent years and currently accounts for about half of group sales, up from about a third in 2014.Approval of the deal will come as a huge relief for Sprint parent SoftBank Group Corp. and its chairman, Masayoshi Son, who had faced the prospect of having to bail out Sprint if the deal were blocked. Now, the entrepreneur can better plug SoftBank as a technology investment powerhouse, allowing him to focus his energies on the $100 billion Vision Fund.Shares of Sprint soared 74% to $8.33 at 9:56 a.m. in New York from Monday’s closing price of $4.80. T-Mobile gained 11% to $94.13.T-Mobile and Sprint haven’t renewed the merger agreement since it lapsed on Nov. 1. T-Mobile has suggested there could be new terms, including on the price. Before the merger can close, it still needs approvals from California’s utility board and a federal judge in Washington who must sign off on the Justice Department’s settlement allowing the deal.In his decision, Marrero rejected key arguments from the states: that the merged company would raise prices for lower quality service and that Sprint could remain as a viable competitor without the merger.“T-Mobile has redefined itself over the past decade as a maverick that has spurred the two largest players in its industry to make numerous pro-consumer changes,” the judge wrote. “The proposed merger would allow the merged company to continue T-Mobile’s undeniably successful business strategy for the foreseeable future.”Consumer advocates blasted the decision as dangerous for wireless subscribers even with a settlement approved by federal regulators that envision Dish Network Corp. entering the market as a new wireless competitor. With the core satellite-TV business in decline, Charlie Ergen, the Dish co-founder and chairman, has amassed a trove of airwaves to build a state-of-the-art wireless network.“Going from four established nationwide wireless networks to only three -- with the possibility that we might someday, eventually, get some version of a fourth network added back into the mix -- will be extremely damaging to competition,” George Slover, senior policy counsel at Consumer Reports, said.Marrero’s ruling is a major setback for New York Attorney General Letitia James and her California counterpart, Xavier Becerra, who led the litigation for states representing more than 40% of the U.S. population. James said in a statement her office is considering an appeal.“From the start, this merger has been about massive corporate profits over all else, and despite the companies’ false claims, this deal will endanger wireless subscribers where it hurts most: their wallets,” she said.The states argued without success that the merger would lead to billions of dollars in extra costs for consumers, with wireless customers in urban areas being hit particularly hard. They also said the deal wouldn’t work out as planned because Dish was unlikely to be able to follow through on its commitments to become a viable wireless competitor.During the two-week trial, Marrero at one point expressed doubt that the new T-Mobile would “be so bold” as to raise prices after the merger without also offering better service, pushing back on testimony by an expert hired by the states who predicted that customers of the four biggest providers could see combined increases of as much as $8.7 billion, with $4.6 billion from T-Mobile alone.The defense also presented evidence that Sprint couldn’t survive without the deal. Legere had testified that Sprint would be “sold for parts” if the merger didn’t go through.The states’ lawsuit was the last major hurdle to the deal after it was approved by regulators at the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department’s antitrust division. The states that sued had urged Marrero after the trial not to give any extra weight to the federal government’s decision, calling the government’s review of the deal “cursory.”\--With assistance from Chris Dolmetsch and Stefan Nicola.To contact the reporters on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at dmclaughlin9@bloomberg.net;Scott Moritz in New York at smoritz6@bloomberg.net;Erik Larson in New York at elarson4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, ;Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net, ;Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net, Joe Schneider, Paula DwyerFor 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.

  • US STOCKS-S&P 500, Nasdaq notch new records on optimism coronavirus may plateau soon
    Reuters

    US STOCKS-S&P 500, Nasdaq notch new records on optimism coronavirus may plateau soon

    The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq indexes hit record highs on Tuesday as a top Chinese health adviser sparked expectations that the coronavirus outbreak may be peaking, while T-Mobile shares jumped after a federal judge approved its purchase of Sprint. T-Mobile US climbed 11.2% to the top of the benchmark S&P 500, while Sprint shares surged 73.8%.

  • Bloomberg

    Wireless Customers Won't Be Thanking Donald Trump

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- A U.S. judge has ruled in favor of T-Mobile US Inc.’s deal for Sprint Corp., joining President Donald Trump’s competition regulators in their perplexing move to approve a merger that has the potential to go down in history as among the most harmful to American consumers.  District Court Judge Victor Marrero issued his decision Tuesday morning, handing a surprise victory to T-Mobile and Sprint. News reports will call it a blow to the group of state attorneys general who brought the lawsuit to try to stop the merger, but it’s a bigger blow to wireless-phone customers. They  may see plan prices creep up as a consequence of a more concentrated industry to be dominated by the new T-Mobile, AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc., even though the judge wasn’t convinced that would be the case. The companies’ triumph comes as a shock to investors, who rightly saw all legal precedent and conventional wisdom about antitrust regulation pointing to the deal getting blocked. Indeed, previous government administrations did deem a T-Mobile-Sprint deal off limits for the same reasons. In recent weeks, shares of Sprint traded at a massive discount to the value of T-Mobile’s offer — some days a spread as wide as 80% — in a sign of traders’ apprehension about the deal’s fate. Sprint’s stock price shot up Tuesday on word of the ruling.The deal will give T-Mobile a level of market power it’s never had by removing its fiercest and cut-rate competitor, Sprint. It effectively calls off the industry price wars that their own rivalry sparked in recent years. These skirmishes benefited consumers who were presented with affordable unlimited-data plans as smartphones became the center of communication.In court, the state lawyers, led by Letitia James of New York, argued that allowing T-Mobile to buy Sprint would result in costlier service. “No, it won’t, just trust us,” was essentially the companies’ response, with T-Mobile CEO John Legere figuratively waving a 5G-embossed American flag in one hand, his other fingers crossed behind his back.The companies pushed the notion that a combined T-Mobile-Sprint will be better-equipped to deliver the ultra-fast next generation of wireless networks to Americans, creating the illusion that without the deal, the country’s 5G ambitions would be somehow diminished. And yet the biggest beneficiary of this deal’s approval is a Japanese billionaire by the name of Masayoshi Son, whose telecommunications conglomerate, SoftBank Group Corp. of WeWork investment-disaster fame, is also Sprint’s controlling shareholder. Selling to T-Mobile bails him out of a bet gone wrong on the U.S. wireless market’s weakest player and instead hands him a stake in the fastest-growing player. (To be sure, the terms of the all-stock deal are likely to be renegotiated to account for Sprint’s shrinking value since the transaction was initially struck in April 2018.)It all proved to be a persuasive enough argument for Ajit Pai, the chair of the Federal Communications Commission, and Makan Delrahim, the Department of Justice’s antitrust chief, who each approved the transaction in exchange for mild concessions. Both were appointed by Trump, who has been cheerleading for the U.S. to lead in the so-called 5G race, namely against China. The states emerged as an unusual last line of legal defense, and their defeat could embolden more companies operating as direct competitors in similarly highly concentrated industries to pursue tie-ups. Ironically, the Trump administration this week asked Congress for more funds to expand its antitrust oversight. “Because God has a terrific sense of humor, yesterday was the day the DOJ announced it was adding 87 new staffers and a 71% budget increase for the antitrust division,” Blair Levin, a U.S. policy and regulation analyst for New Street Research, wrote in a report Tuesday morning. “Is it to deal with all the new cases that, based on this precedent, will now be viable?”Regulators have placed incredible faith in Dish Network Corp. and its wily chairman, Charlie Ergen, to help maintain competition in the wireless market by putting the satellite-TV billionaire on the receiving end of T-Mobile and Sprint’s concessions. Dish, a wireless wannabe, will have access to T-Mobile’s network while it constructs its own using the spectrum licenses Ergen has stockpiled over the years. But Dish has a long way to go to ever fill the hole that Sprint will leave behind. Some say Sprint would be gone soon anyway because of its financial distress, and therefore T-Mobile should be allowed to acquire it before Verizon and AT&T get to dance on its grave. But if the only options are a) allow a merger that makes the market leaders even more powerful, or b) block the merger, allow Sprint to die and open the door for concentration to happen another way, then that right there signals too much market power is already held in too few hands. It’s also hard to imagine that Sprint, a willing seller that has 42 million retail wireless subscribers and a boatload of valuable spectrum, wouldn’t attract other acquirers if a T-Mobile deal were blocked. Now we’ll never know. When the FCC, DOJ and a federal judge all agree that a merger should get the A-OK, the decision may be presumed justified. But fascination with 5G and Dish’s maybe-someday entry doesn’t change this: reducing the market from four to three national carriers can’t possibly be good for consumers. As for Sprint shareholders, it's a good day to buy a lotto ticket.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.

  • US STOCKS-S&P 500, Nasdaq set for new heights on hopeful coronavirus news
    Reuters

    US STOCKS-S&P 500, Nasdaq set for new heights on hopeful coronavirus news

    The S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes were set to hit record highs at the open on Tuesday as a top Chinese health adviser said the coronavirus outbreak may plateau in the next few weeks, while Sprint shares soared after winning a federal judge's approval for its merger with T-Mobile. After more than 1,000 deaths and weeks when the outbreak centered in the Hubei province which roiled financial markets, the country's foremost medical adviser on the epidemic said infections may be over by April, with the number of new cases already declining in some places.

  • T-Mobile Wins Court Approval for $26.5 Billion Sprint Deal
    Bloomberg

    T-Mobile Wins Court Approval for $26.5 Billion Sprint Deal

    (Bloomberg) -- T-Mobile US Inc. won court approval for its $26.5 billion takeover of Sprint Corp., defeating a state-led lawsuit that sought to block the industry-altering wireless deal.The decision by a district judge in Manhattan is a huge win for T-Mobile and its owner Deutsche Telekom AG, as well as SoftBank Group Corp., Sprint’s parent. The combined company, which will operate under the T-Mobile name, will have a regular monthly subscriber base of about 80 million -- in the same league as AT&T Inc., which has 75 million subscribers, and Verizon Communications Inc., which has 114 million.After the merger, T-Mobile will have more spectrum -- the frequencies through which wireless signals are transmitted -- than any other carrier. This larger capacity will give the combined company an advantage as the industry transitions to the next generation of wireless technology, the much-faster 5G standard.The ruling comes almost two years after the deal was first announced. The states’ lawsuit was the last major hurdle to the deal after it secured the blessing of regulators at the Federal Communications Commission and Justice Department’s antitrust division. It still needs approvals from California’s utility board and a federal judge in Washington who must sign off on the Justice Department settlement.Deutsche Telekom shares rose as much as 3.6% to 15.40 euros in Frankfurt. Shares of Sprint soared 66% to $7.95 in pre-market trading in New York after closing at $4.80 Monday in New York. T-Mobile extended gains to as much as 8.4% to $91.88.The ruling is also a victory for Dish Network Corp. co-founder and Chairman Charlie Ergen, who is buying assets from the two carriers to set up a new wireless network. With his company’s core satellite TV business in decline, Ergen has amassed a trove of airwaves to build a state-of-the-art network.ConcessionsTo win federal approval, T-Mobile and Sprint had agreed to sell multiple assets to Dish in order to create a new fourth competitor. The new Dish wireless network will start life with about 9 million subscribers.T-Mobile and Sprint haven’t renewed the merger agreement since it lapsed on Nov. 1. And while there have been “not hostile” discussions of several issues, including price, T-Mobile has suggested there could be new terms.T-Mobile Chief Executive Officer John Legere said last week he was still optimistic that the deal would go through, though the terms could change. If the agreement needs to be amended, “including possibly price, we would handle that very swiftly after the deal was approved,” he said.As far as negotiation leverage goes, Sprint’s in a tough spot, said Walt Piecyk, an analyst with LightShed Partners. “Sprint has no alternative but to take whatever DT and T-Mobile offers them,” he said. “There’s really nothing else they can do.”T-Mobile and Sprint had been the most aggressive U.S. wireless companies in terms of price competition in recent years, forcing AT&T and Verizon to follow moves like ending service contracts and adopting unlimited data plans. The proposed combination came under fire from lawmakers and consumer advocates who said it would lead to higher prices and fewer services, especially for poor and rural consumers.The companies had pursued a combination for several years, but a proposed deal was twice rejected as anti-competitive under the previous administration. After the FCC approved the deal, the all-Democratic group of attorneys general filed suit. The Justice Department then gave its approval, leading to a rare split between states and the federal government over antitrust enforcement.“This is exactly the sort of consumer-harming, job-killing mega-merger our antitrust laws were designed to prevent,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said at the time.Tackling ConcernsLegere tried to address these concerns by promising to not raise prices for three years. He is credited with helping to remake T-Mobile into an industry maverick, and pitched the Sprint takeover as a way to compete against industry leaders Verizon and AT&T.Legere announced in November that he will be handing off the job to Chief Operating Officer Mike Sievert in May, but plans to remain on the combined company’s board.One of their central pitches was that the deal would advance the introduction of 5G. The companies pledged to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in May that they would deploy a 5G network covering 97% of the U.S. population within three years and 99% within six.(Updates share prices in fifth paragraph)\--With assistance from Stefan Nicola, Chris Dolmetsch and Courtney Dentch.To contact the reporters on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at dmclaughlin9@bloomberg.net;Erik Larson in New York at elarson4@bloomberg.net;Scott Moritz in New York at smoritz6@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net, ;Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net, Rob Golum, Jennifer RyanFor 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.

  • Verizon Stock Falls 3%
    Investing.com

    Verizon Stock Falls 3%

    Investing.com - Verizon (NYSE:VZ) Stock fell by 3.10% to trade at $58.37 by 11:18 (16:18 GMT) on Tuesday on the NYSE exchange.

  • Debt Tantrum From Space Forces U.S. Hand in 5G Race
    Bloomberg

    Debt Tantrum From Space Forces U.S. Hand in 5G Race

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- A messy situation risked becoming irreversibly messier.The $35 billion(1)fight over fifth-generation mobile spectrum involves the Federal Communications Commission; a handful of foreign-domiciled satellite operators that think they deserve the bulk of the proceeds (at least one of which desperately needs the money); the U.S. national wireless services providers that want the bandwidth as soon as possible; and a host of politicians keen for American taxpayers to get what they see as their rightful due. Then, just before FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s Thursday announcement on how things should go down, one of those players appeared to threaten to throw a temper tantrum if it didn’t get its way. Luxembourg-based Intelsat SA was considering a possible Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing if the regulators doesn’t increase the compensation it receives for giving up some of its airwaves, according to a Wednesday report by my Bloomberg News colleague Todd Shields.If it was a negotiating ploy, it seemed to work. It placed the burden on the FCC to settle the situation quickly or risk putting the U.S. behind other leading nations in getting 5G off the ground, with all of the rewards that promises. Shields reported on Thursday, that the FCC had reached a settlement with the satellite firms. The details will reveal whether Intelsat’s gambit paid off.QuicktakeHow Race to 5G in U.S. Hit Speed Bump Called C-BandIntelsat and rival SES, also based in Luxembourg, currently hold the licenses for about 90% of what’s known as the C-Band, a tranche of mobile spectrum that’s ideally suited for 5G networks. They were granted these licences decades ago, and have been using them to transmit programming to TV and radio stations around the U.S.When the FCC’s Pai said two years ago that he planned to make the C-Band available for 5G, shareholders in the satellite peers sensed a bonanza from selling the spectrum licences. Intelstat’s stock climbed ninefold over the next seven months, although the increase in enterprise value was more muted due to its considerable debt pile, of which more later.But then came the complications. The satellite companies have been pushing for a private auction, which they said would be faster, and one that ensured as the current license holders they’d be the main beneficiaries. The FCC wants to hold a public auction, which could take years, with most of the proceeds going directly into public coffers. But because the satellite firms would have to replace billions of dollars worth of equipment, which might otherwise interfere with 5G, the FCC will have to reimburse them for those costs, while also giving them a strong enough financial incentive to carry out the work quickly.Intelsat needs the money more than the others. Its $14 billion net debt pile represents a staggering 12 times Ebitda — largely a legacy of its ownership by private equity firms before its 2013 initial public offering. SES’s debt is just three times Ebitda. On the other side of the equation, carriers such as Verizon Communications Inc. want access to the C-Band as quickly as possible in order to accelerate the pace of the 5G rollout. They don’t particularly care who receives the lion’s share of the proceeds, though they do want to keep costs down. And they might stomach higher costs if they get access sooner. Any move toward a Chapter 11 filing by Intelsat would significantly slow down the process by tying up its assets.And so while the FCC certainly doesn’t exist to enrich companies based on foreign soil, it’s been in a position of needing to carefully consider its important role of setting the best playing field for American businesses and consumers alike. And where 5G is concerned, speed is of the essence. At any rate, while both SES and Intelsat are technically domiciled in Luxembourg, their headquarters, management teams and most of their investors are in the U.S.To keep all stakeholders happy, the FCC probably needs to hand more of the proceeds to the satellite firms. Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Stephen Flynn estimates that Intelsat needs at least $6 billion to reduce its debt to manageable levels. The FCC has privately indicated the total pot available to the satellite firms would be less than $10 billion, of which Intelsat would get no more than 45%, Bloomberg News reported last month. Frankly, a private auction would have been the most expedient option. Political pressure means the FCC won’t follow that route. It’s a catch-22 situation, as my colleague Tara Lachapelle wrote in November.But given that the FCC has already done the U.S. telecommunications industry a huge favor by clearing the acquisition of Sprint Corp. by T-Mobile US Inc. and thereby reducing the competition, it should probably be prepared to seek greater 5G proceeds and hand more over to the satellite companies. Is that fair? Not really. But in the interests of a faster auction, and thereby a faster 5G rollout, Intelsat seems to have given it little alternative.(Updates to reflect reports that the satellite providers have reached a deal with federal regulators.)(1) Some have estimated the proceeds could reach $77 billionTo contact the author of this story: Alex Webb at awebb25@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.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.

  • What's in Store for Digital Turbine (APPS) in Q3 Earnings?
    Zacks

    What's in Store for Digital Turbine (APPS) in Q3 Earnings?

    Digital Turbine's (APPS) third-quarter fiscal 2020 results are expected to benefit from an expanded partner base and strong demand for Ignite and SingleTap.

  • Huawei Sues Verizon in U.S. for Multiple Patent Violations
    Bloomberg

    Huawei Sues Verizon in U.S. for Multiple Patent Violations

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