Spanish telecom giant
) reported disappointing first half 2012 results with adjusted
earnings of €0.62 per share (80 cents per ADS) declining 22.9% year
Net income dropped 24.1% year over year to €2.82 billion ($3.6
billion) due to the lingering economic downturn in several
countries, intense competition and adverse regulation that
partially offset strong growth from Latin American and Germany.
Consolidated revenue inched up 0.3% year over year to €30.98
billion ($40.21 billion) in the first half. The improved
performance was credited to solid development in Latin America,
which offset weaker operations in Europe.
Adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization
(OIBDA) declined 6.2% to €10.4 billion ($13.5 billion), resulting
in OIBDA margin of 33.7%, down from 36.0% in the year-ago period.
Telefonica Latin America
Latin America continued to grow at a faster pace and remained one
of the best performing regions. Revenues increased 7% year over
year to €15.0 billion ($19.4 billion), driven largely by Venezuela
(representing a growth of 41.4%), followed by Ecuador (23.9%),
Central America (23.3%), Peru (18.2%), Argentina (17.6%), Columbia
(15.4%), Uruguay (9.6%) and Chile (9.3%). However, revenue from the
key markets - Mexico and Brazil - registered a considerable
declines of 3.9% and 3.2%, respectively, in the first half 2012.
Revenues from Europe slid 6.1% year over year to €15.1 billion
($19.6 billion) mainly due to economic headwinds, mobile
termination rates (MTRs) cuts in Spain and UK and stiff
competition. The largest decline came from the operator's Spanish
revenues that slipped 11.7% year over year to €7.7 billion ($10.0
In Espana, wireless revenue fell 14.5% to €3.4 billion ($4.4
billion) resulting from a reduction in MTRs. Wireline revenues also
dropped 8.9% year over year to €4.9 billion ($6.3 billion) due to
weak traffic revenue and repositioning of the new tariff portfolio.
Revenues from the UK, Ireland, and Czech Republic and Slovakia
declined 0.4%, 15.9% and 6.0% year over year to €3.4 billion ($4.5
billion), €313 million ($406 million) and €1 1 billion ($1.3
billion), respectively in the reported period. On the other hand,
revenues from Germany showed a 4.7% increase to reach €2.5 billion
Other companies (ATENTO):
ATENTO revenue increased 6.3% to €948 million ($1.2 billion) from
the year-ago period.
At the end of the first half of the year, total customer access
reached approximately 311.7 million, up 5.7% year over year, driven
by a 10% year-over-year growth in Latin America.
On an annualized basis, mobile access rose 7.1% to 243.5 million
customers. Total Internet and data access grew 2.3% to 19.3 million
driven by a substantial 4.5% increase in mobile broadband access to
18.4 million. Pay TV access reached 3.3 million, up 7.2% year over
year. Fixed telephony access dropped 1.6% to 40.0 million
subscribers at the end of the first half.
Liquidity and Capital Expenditure (CapEx)
Telefonica exited the first half 2012 with net debt of €58.31
billion, up from €56.42 billion at the end of first half 2011. The
leverage ratio (net debt-to-EBITDA) improved to 2.65 times from
2.63 times as of December 2011.
CapEx fell 4.7% year over year to €3.6 billion in the reported
period. Operating cash flow (OIBDA-CapEx) deteriorated to €6.8
billion from €7.5 billion in the year-ago period.
Given the lingering economic conditions, Telefonica suspended
dividend payments and share buybacks for the second half of 2012
and the first half of 2013. The company will nevertheless resume
the payouts in the fourth quarter of 2013 with a lower dividend
rate. The company would pay a dividend of €0.75 per share, down 50%
from the €1.50 per share projected previously.
Telefonica distributed €2.8 billion in cash dividend so far in the
For 2012, Telefonica expects revenue to grow at least 1% year over
year with lower EBITDA margin decline. Additionally, the company
expects leverage ratio (net debt-to-EBITDA) to be equivalent to
Telefonica continues to remain challenged by intensifying European
woes, weak domestic operations, slowdown in Brazil, adverse
regulations, highly leveraged balance sheet and growing competition
France Telecom S.A.
Vodafone Group Plc
China Mobile Ltd.
America Movil S.A.B. de C.V.
). Further, the scrapping of shareholders return would demoralize
We currently have our long-term Underperform recommendation on
Telefonica. For the short term (1-3 months), the stock retains a
Zacks # 3 (Hold) Rank based on the company's cost-cutting
initiatives, restructuring efforts and the expansion of Global
Resources unit. Such efforts would lead to strong commercial
activity, the main goal of the company, and translate into strong
revenue and profitability.
AMER MOVIL-ADR (AMX): Free Stock Analysis
CHINA MOBLE-ADR (CHL): Free Stock Analysis
FRANCE TELE-ADR (FTE): Free Stock Analysis
TELEFONICA S.A. (TEF): Free Stock Analysis
VODAFONE GP PLC (VOD): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.