BT revenues drop 6% on regulatory, economic woes

UK fixed-line incumbent BT reported a disappointing 6% fall in third-quarter sales, to £4.5 billion ($7.1 billion), as tough economic conditions, adverse regulation and dwindling revenues from line rentals and calls all took their toll.

Although pre-tax profit was 7% higher than a year earlier, at £675 million, the increase was partly attributed to “the reduced cost of sales due to the decline in revenue”, plus lower depreciation and amortisation charges as the company reins in capital expenditure.

KPN's debt-cutting solution could be a new share issue

Reuters

Dutch telecoms group KPN is widely expected to announce steps to cut debt when announcing full-year results next week, with some analysts bracing for a share issue.

KPN (The Hague, Netherlands), which will report 2012 results on February 5, breached its own debt target of 2.0-2.5 times debt to core profit (EBITDA) in the second quarter. The ratio hit 2.7 in the third quarter.

Carrier Ethernet 2.0 - Changing the World, Again

CE 2.0 is Makes it easier for Carriers to meet and exploit rising demand

First generation Carrier Ethernet already dominates WAN equipment revenue, and now Carrier Ethernet 2.0 is making it easier for Carriers to meet and exploit the demand that Carrier Ethernet has already fuelled

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Ten years ago The Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) was founded to develop and promote a new generation of Ethernet called Carrier Ethernet. Since then Carrier Ethernet has transformed WAN and enterprise connectivity as well as providing an infrastructure to fuel soaring user expectations for mobile applications.

AT&T rating cut by Moody's on concern about debt-financed buyback

Ratings agency Moody’s has downgraded AT&T on concern about debts the operator has incurred to finance its share repurchase program.

Lowering the credit rating from A3 to A2, Moody’s says it believes the debt- financed program will result in “materially higher leverage for several years before it can be offset by organic growth”.

AT&T subscriber growth beats but profit margins misses

Reuters

AT&T Inc's fourth-quarter profit was lower than expected but the telephone company promised earnings and revenue growth this year even if the economy does not improve.

Along with growth from its existing business, Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said on Thursday that AT&T (Dallas, USA) is also eyeing overseas opportunities. He said the idea would be to profit from wireless expansion in countries where services are not yet as advanced as in the United States.

Verizon posts weak fourth-quarter, promises a better 2013

Reuters

Verizon Communications Inc posted a weaker-than-expected wireless operating profit margin due to hefty costs from smartphones like Apple's iPhone, but the U.S. telephone company promised a big improvement this year as it cuts costs.

While Verizon's fourth-quarter bottom line was weaker than anticipated, investors were encouraged when Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said on Tuesday that the company could be in a position to buy back shares sooner than expected and that wireless margins could rise this year to as high as 50 percent.

Merger of Portugal's Optimus and Zon wins board approval

Portuguese operators Optimus and Zon Multimedia look set to merge to form the country’s second-biggest player, behind Portugal Telecom, after directors from both companies gave their blessing to the tie-up.

Under the terms of the deal, Optimus (Porto, Portugal) will be incorporated into Zon (Lisbon, Portugal) and its shareholders will hold a 40% stake in the combined entity, which will operate under the name of Zon Optimus.

Besides controlling 26% of the market, the new company will have revenues of €1.6 billion and an operating profit of about €540 million.

Oi rushes out financial results following CEO departure

Brazilian operator Oi has swiftly published preliminary details of its 2012 earnings after announcing an unexpected change in leadership.

The company surprised observers earlier this week by revealing that Francisco Valim, the chief executive since September 2011, has been replaced by chairman Jose Carneiro da Cunha.

According to Dow Jones Newswires, citing a person familiar with the matter, da Cunha’s appointment is only temporary while the company finds a permanent replacement.

Chorus of Clearwire investors against Sprint bid growing louder

Reuters

Investors holding 29 percent of the outstanding minority shares of Clearwire Corp are unhappy with Sprint's $2.2 billion bid for the wireless service provider and are pushing for a higher offer.

Sprint (Overland Park, USA), the No. 3 U.S. mobile service provider, announced on December 17 an agreement to acquire the outstanding shares of Clearwire (Bellevue, USA) it doesn't already own for $2.97 per share. While Sprint holds a more than 50 percent stake in Clearwire, the deal requires approval from holders of just over 50 percent of Clearwire's minority shares.

AT&T mulls takeover in Europe: report

Reuters

U.S. telecoms group AT&T is looking at an acquisition in Europe, possibly of Dutch peer KPN or the UK's Everything Everywhere, to offset weak growth at home, the Wall Street Journal reported.

AT&T (Dallas, USA) executives were considering a takeover in Europe, and some believed an opening existed now to buy a carrier in a major European market such as Britain, Germany or the Netherlands, the paper added.

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