Zacks
0
All posts from Zacks
Zacks in Our Research. Your Success.,

Telecom Stock Roundup: DISH Posts Strong Q1 Results While Shaw and Rogers Communications Disappoint

The telecom industry experienced a good run on the bourse last week as most of the key stocks traded in the green. On the earnings front, satellite TV behemoth DISH Network Corp. DISH reported strong financial results in the first quarter of 2016, with revenues meeting the Zacks Consensus Estimate and earnings beating the same.

However, DISH Network subscribers are now facing the risk of a blackout of Viacom Inc.’s VIAB channels after the two parties failed to ink a new carriage deal. Viacom has accused the satellite TV provider of making unreasonable demands for the pricing agreement.

On the other hand, Canadian telecom giants Shaw Communications Inc. SJR and Rogers Communications Inc. RCI posted weak quarterly results wherein both the top and the bottom line failed to beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Both telecom operators are facing the brunt of heightening competition in the country.

Apart from earnings releases, the telecom sector witnessed several significant developments last week. Making headlines was Verizon Communications Inc. VZ, which according to a report by The Wall Street Journal, is currently the frontrunner to acquire the core assets of Yahoo! Inc. YHOO. Apart from Verizon, private equity firm TPG Capital LP and Yellow Pages owner YP LLC are the other two suitors of Yahoo’s web businesses. But Verizon appears to be best suited to merge Yahoo into its online platform.

Moreover, Verizon Hearst Media Partners, a 50-50 joint venture between Verizon and private media group Hearst Corp., has decided to acquire Complex Media Inc. to attract younger subscribers to their online businesses. The deal is expected to close within the next two months subject to regulatory approval. Complex Media offers several online sites especially focusing on entertainment news, sneakers, hip hop music, food, fashion, sports and technology.

Meanwhile, a massive strike called by the workers of Verizon’s wireline division is still continuing. Nearly 40,000 workers have gone on strikefrom Apr 13, 2016. Verizon and workers unions are currently at a stalemate over a new labor contract. The company is yet to find a solution to this problem.

In a separate development, IP-based integrated communications solutions provider Mitel Networks Corp. MITL has announced that it will acquire videoconferencing giant Polycom Inc. PLCM for approximately $1.96 billion.The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2016, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Outside the U.S., the proposed merger deal between U.K. wireless giant Hutchison Whampoa, which is currently operating under the 3UK brand and Spanish telecom behemoth Telefonica SA TEF controlled O2 is likely to be vetoed by the European Union Competition Commission (EC), according to a Bloomberg report. The EC has set May 19, 2016, as the deadline to issue a final ruling regarding this merger deal. However, as per Bloomberg, the EU regulator may make an announcement by the end of this month.

Read the last Telecom Stock Roundup for Apr 07, 2016.

Recap of the Week’s Most Important Stories

1.    DISH Network’s first quarter net income came in at $389.3 million or 84 cents per share compared with $351.5 million or 76 cents in the year-ago quarter. Earnings per share of 84 cents steered past the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 65 cents. Total revenue in the first quarter was $3,787 million, up 1.7% year over year and on par with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. (Read More: DISH Network Q1 Earnings Beat, Revenues in Line.)

2.    Quarterly net income of Rogers Communications came in at $180.7 million or 35 cents per share, compared with $208.6 million or 39 cents in the year-ago quarter. Moreover, adjusted earnings per share of 35 cents fell short of the consensus estimate of 40 cents. Quarterly total revenue was $2,365 million, up 2.2% year over year but below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,502 million.  (Read More: Rogers Communications Earnings Miss to Hit Stock?)

3.    Quarterly adjusted earnings per share of Shaw Communications were at 17 cents, down 14.3% year over year and also below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 26 cents. GAAP net income from continuing operations was nearly $118 million, down 2.4% year over year. Total revenue in the reported quarter climbed 3% year over year to slightly above $828 million. However, the figure missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $861 million.  (Read More: Shaw Communications Q2 Earnings Miss to Hit Stock?)

4.    The core businesses of Yahoo perfectly complement Verizon’s focus areas. In the event of the deal materializing, we believe it will largely be beneficial for Verizon. Since the beginning of 2015, the company has been focusing on mobile video offerings, online digital advertising and web-based content business as a diversification strategy.

Yahoo’s online ad technology and popular content will be combined with the targeted ad technology and consumer data platform of AOL (now a Verizon company) and integrated into Verizon’s massive subscriber base and Internet-based mobile video offering to provide a powerful data-driven targeted mobile ad platform.  (Read More:Verizon Communications: Is a Yahoo Buyout in the Cards?)

5.    Verizon Hearst Media Partners will start two mobile channels this year - RatedRed.com, which will feature lifestyle content for U.S. millennial population and Seriously.TV, a comedy news network. In a separate deal, this Verizon and Hearst Media Partners is acquiring Complex Media. The company will develop premium video content to be distributed across Verizon’s digital platforms, including go90 and AOL.com. Complex Media now reaches more than 50 million monthly visitors garnering 300 million unique views.   (Read More:Verizon-Hearst JV to Buy Complex Media, Strengthen Business.)

Price Performance

The following table shows the price movement of major telecom players over the past week and the last six months.

Company

Last Week

Last 6 Months

VZ

0.90%

17.03%

T

1.23%

17.80%

S

11.11%

-12.84%

TMUS

3.35%

-1.35%

VOD

3.70%

6.28%

CHL

0.31%

-7.38%

AMX

-0.19%

-8.20%

CMCSA

-0.79%

0.75%

DISH

6.13%

-23.74%

Over the last five trading sessions, share price movement of the major telecom stocks was mostly positive. Sprint gained the most (11.11%) followed by DISH Network (6.13%) in the last five sessions.

Over the last six months, the price performance of most of the key telecom stocks showed a mixed trend. Among the stocks that depreciated were DISH Network (23.74%), Sprint (12.84%) and China Mobile (7.38%). On the other hand, AT&T (17.80%) and Verizon (17.03%) gained substantially over the last six months.

What’s Next in the Telecom Sector?

We expect a lot of activity in the telecom sector over the next week as big names like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile US, Comcast and Crown Castle International will release their first-quarter 2016 financial results. Outside the U.S., Orange, America Movil and China Unicom are also slated to report their first-quarter 2016 financial results. The markets will keep a watch on these quarterly results to assess industry dynamics and growth prospects.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. http://www.zacks.com/registration/pfp/?ALERT=RPT_7BST_LP194&...">Click to get this free report >>


Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
 
YAHOO! INC (YHOO): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
POLYCOM INC (PLCM): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
MITEL NETWORKS (MITL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
TELEFONICA S.A. (TEF): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
VERIZON COMM (VZ): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
SHAW COMMS-CL B (SJR): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
DISH NETWORK CP (DISH): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
ROGERS COMM CLB (RCI): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
VIACOM INC-B (VIAB): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
 
Zacks Investment Research