Only two Portfolio holdings have yet to turn in earnings this reporting season. Aggressive Holding ENEL SPA (Italy: ENEL, OTC: ENLAY) will unveil its fourth quarter 2013 numbers on March 11. Conservative Holding Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE: PNY) releases its first quarter fiscal 2014 results on March 7.
Fourth quarter and full-year earnings normally dominate the news this time of year. And rightly so: They’re what ultimately shape shareholder returns.
No group of dividend-paying stocks has been more profitably shorted the past few years than high yield telecoms. Short sellers make their money when stock prices fall. And sector companies have not only cut dividends eight times since 2009, but we’ve seen a pair of bankruptcies as well.
AT&T Inc (NYSE: T) was the only Conrad’s Utility Investor Portfolio pick to report numbers last week. Takeaway one is quite positive: The results followed closely those of arch-rival and co-Big Two US communications company Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ).
We’ve yet to see third quarter results for most of the US communications industry. But it’s not too soon to ask what happened to the assertion the Big Two US Telecoms — AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) — would be skewered by rivals’ cut rate pricing and a cheaper iPhone.
Who says the bond market is washed out? Certainly not Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ).
The company’s record $49 billion bond sale has not only locked in financing for its $130 billion buyout of Vodafone Plc’s (London: VOD, NYSE: VOD) minority stake in Verizon Wireless. But it was actually doubled, eliminating the need to raise funds in Europe.
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