New User:

-or-
Username:
Password:
Forgot your password?

Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
July 29, 2014
12:23 EDTCTL, T, FTR, VZ, S, WINWindstream REIT spin off plan provides jolt for stock, telecom sector
Shares of Windstream (WIN), which provides network communications services to businesses and residential consumers, are jumping after the company announced that it would spin off some of its assets into a real estate investment trust, or REIT. Two research firms had very different reactions to the move. WHAT'S NEW: Windstream said that it would spin of some of its assets, including its fiber and copper networks and other real estate, as a REIT. Expected to be completed by the first quarter of next year, the tax-free spinoff will enable Windstream to realize significant financial flexibility by lowering its debt by approximately $3.2B and increasing free cash flow to accelerate broadband investments, transition faster to an IP network and pursue additional growth opportunities, the company said. The REIT will be positioned to provide an attractive dividend to shareholders and grow revenue through lease escalation, capital investment and acquisitions, Windstream added. Windstream noted that the IRS had granted preliminary recognition of the tax-free nature of the spinoff and the qualification of the spun off assets for REIT status. The company said it expects to pay a dividend of 10c per share after the transaction, while the REIT will pay an annual dividend equivalent to 60c per share. REITs do not pay taxes on income that they distribute to unitholders. ANALYST REACTION: In a note to investors today, Oppenheimer analyst Timothy Horan said that the move would enable Windstream to avoid about $200M each year in potential taxes. The analyst noted that Windstream was cutting its overall dividend to 70c from $1, but he believes that the dividend has become much safer. Furthermore, the move is intelligent from a strategic, operational, and financial viewpoint, he believes. With its new structure, Windstream is worth at least $15 per share and could be worth as much as $18 per share, Horan estimated. The analyst kept a Perform rating on the stock. Much more skeptical about Windstream's move was Mike McCormack, an analyst at research firm Jefferies. The REIT spin-off is "an elegant way" for Windstream to cut its dividend, McCormack contended. The move does not change the company's fundamentals and calls into question the stock's valuation, as the portion of the company not spun off into the REIT appears to be a non-facilities based provider, the analyst wrote. As a result, Windstream's valuation is questionable, he contended. McCormack kept a $6 price target and Underperform rating on the shares. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Horan and McCormack both believe that other telecom companies with wireline businesses could follow Windstream's lead and spin off assets into a REIT. By obtaining a favorable preliminary ruling from the IRS, Windstream has already cleared the biggest hurdle to a REIT conversion, possibly setting the stage for other companies in the sector to follow suit, McCormack stated. If Windstream is able to carry out the spinoff, it means that every non-REIT communications and cloud company covered by Oppenheimer is now about 20% undervalued, wrote Horan. However, UBS analyst Scott Arwin does not expect large telecom companies like Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T) to follow Windstream's lead, as he does not think the larger companies will want to open their networks to competitors at regulated rates. PRICE ACTION: In midday trading, Windstream rose 12% to $11.80. The stock was well off its high for the day of $13.30. Other stocks in the sector also rose, with Frontier Communications climbing 12% to $6.64, Century Link (CTL) advancing 4% to $39.15, AT&T (T) gaining 3.3% to $36.83, Verizon (VZ) rising 1.8% to $52.50 and Sprint (S) adding 1% to $7.75.
News For WIN;VZ;T;S;FTR;CTL From The Last 14 Days
Sign up for a free trial to see the rest of the stories you've been missing.
1 | 2 | 3 | all recent news | >>
November 12, 2014
09:30 EDTFTRViacom and Frontier Communications renew carriage agreement
Subscribe for More Information
09:28 EDTTAT&T to pause fiber investment till net neutrality laws ironed out, Reuters says
Subscribe for More Information
08:46 EDTSSprint in talks to buy FreedomPop, USA Today reports
Subscribe for More Information
07:48 EDTS, TWells Fargo to hold a conference
5th Annual Technology, Media & Telecom Conference is being held in New York on November 12-13.
06:00 EDTTAT&T implied volatility of 12 at lower end of index mean range
Subscribe for More Information
November 11, 2014
07:24 EDTTAT&T move will discourage others seeking in-flight Wi-Fi, says William Blair
Subscribe for More Information
05:59 EDTTAT&T implied volatility of 12 at lower end of index mean range
Subscribe for More Information
November 10, 2014
16:44 EDTVZOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Subscribe for More Information
14:09 EDTT, VZBoehner strongly opposes net neutrality
Subscribe for More Information
13:26 EDTVZCable providers fall after Obama weighs in on net neutrality
Subscribe for More Information
13:14 EDTTAT&T not entering Inflight Connectivity space, RGN reports
AT&T (T) decided not to enter the inflight connectivity after deeming the space too risky, RGN reports, citing sources. AT&T confirmed in a statement to the website, "After a thorough review of our investment portfolio, the company decided to no longer pursue entry into the Inflight Connectivity industry." AT&T's entrance into the space was seen as possibly competitive threat to Gogo (GOGO). Reference Link
12:45 EDTTFullscreen to acquire Rooster Teeth, terms not disclosed, Reuters reports
Subscribe for More Information
12:43 EDTTAT&T issues statement on White House Title II announcement
AT&T issued the following statement in response to the White House's announcement regarding Title II. AT&T executive VP Jim Cicconi said, "Today’s announcement by the White House, if acted upon by the FCC, would be a mistake that will do tremendous harm to the Internet and to U.S. national interests. It is a complete reversal of a bipartisan policy that has been in place since the Clinton Administration—namely, to treat Internet access as an information service subject to light-touch regulation. This classification of Internet service has been upheld by the Supreme Court and has enjoyed strong Congressional support for nearly a generation. Now, with one statement, the White House is telling the FCC to ignore this precedent and to instead impose on the entire Internet—from end to end—onerous government regulation designed in the 1930s for a Bell phone monopoly that no longer exists, not for a 21st century technology. This will have a negative impact not only on investment and innovation, but also on our economy overall. For a generation, the Internet has been an American success story. Light-touch regulation has encouraged levels of investment unprecedented by any industry and spawned incredible innovation. Today’s action puts all of that at risk—and puts it at risk not to remedy any specific harm that has occurred. Instead, this action is designed to deal with a hypothetical problem posed by certain political groups whose objective all along has been to bring about government control of the Internet. The White House is proposing to put the Internet and our economy at risk as a result of such political pressures. We feel the actions called for by the White House are inconsistent with decades of legal precedent as well as Congressional intent. Moreover, if the government were going to make such a momentous decision as regulating the entire Internet like a public utility, that decision is more properly made by the Congress and not by unelected regulators without any public record to support the change in regulation. If the FCC puts such rules in place, we would expect to participate in a legal challenge to such action.”
12:24 EDTVZOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were modestly higher at midday. The averages opened mixed, but very close to the flat line, and have continued to drift slowly higher from that point. There is little to stand in the way of the market’s drift, as the economic calendar is quiet, the earnings season is winding down, and the most closely watched geopolitical situations are currently status quo. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., little of note was on the economic calendar. The Federal Reserve's newly introduced Labor Market Conditions Index was flat at 4 in October. The Fed started updating estimates of the LMCI every month beginning with last month. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Netflix (NFLX) advanced about 1% after xxx President Barack Obama publicly urged the Federal Communications Commission to implement the "strongest possible rules" to protect net neutrality. In response, Verizon (VZ) said it supports the open Internet and continues to believe that the "light-touch regulatory approach in place for the past two decades has been central to the Internet’s success," adding that it believes the reclassification Obama called for would "apply 1930s-era utility regulation to the Internet" and be a "radical reversal of course" that would threaten great harm to an open Internet, competition and innovation." A number of Internet Service Providers, including Comcast (CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (TWC), Charter (CHTR) and Cablevision (CVC), moved lower after Obama weighed in on the hot-button issue. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN), which rose 22% after the company presented data from the ongoing Phase 2 study of its Hepatitis C virus treatment at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, or AASLD. Also higher was Dean Foods (DF), which rose more than 13% after the dairy products distributor’s third quarter results, as well as its fourth quarter and full year profit outlook, surpassed analysts’ consensus estimates. Among the noteworthy losers was Rayonier (RYN), which dropped 13% after management determined that there was a material weakness in the company's internal controls, restated certain previously made financial statements, and cut its dividend reflecting expectations of reduced cash available for distribution due to lower expected annual harvest levels. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 18.55, or 0.11%, to 17,592.48, the Nasdaq was up 10.77, or 0.23%, to 4,643.30, and the S&P 500 was up 4.01, or 0.2%, to 2,035.93.
10:06 EDTVZVerizon says utility Internet regulation would 'threaten great harm'
Subscribe for More Information
09:45 EDTT, VZObama urges FCC to enact 'strongest possible rules' to protect net neutrality
Subscribe for More Information
09:43 EDTT, VZObama urges FCC to enact 'strongest possible rules' to protect net neutrality
Subscribe for More Information
08:22 EDTTNetwork equipment makers slip after AT&T projects lower 2015 capital spending
Subscribe for More Information
08:12 EDTTAT&T 2015 capex reduction negative for select stocks, says JPMorgan
Subscribe for More Information
07:11 EDTVZOpen Mobile Media to hold a summit
Subscribe for More Information
1 | 2 | 3 | all recent news | >>

Sign up for a free trial to see the rest of the stories you've been missing.

I agree to the theflyonthewall.com disclaimer & terms of use