& cplSiteName &

What's With AT&T's Capex Dip?

Dan O'Shea
6/2/2014
50%
50%

Is AT&T slowing down its capital spending, or is it just "truing up"?

In a research note issued this morning, George Notter, managing director of communications infrastructure equity research at Jefferies & Company Inc. , wrote that AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) was observed by some vendors to have slowed down its capital spending in early or mid-April. "This commentary has been quite uniform among our industry contacts that do business on the Wireline side of AT&T's capital budget," the note said. "Now, our contacts -- broadly -- are experiencing shipment/revenue declines on the order of 50-65% relative to the month of March."

If that's the case, a number of vendors -- Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN), Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), Adtran Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTN), Finisar Corp. (Nasdaq: FNSR), JDSU (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU), andAlcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) among them -- could be affected. Ciena is due to report quarterly earnings this Thursday, so its call with analysts that day will bear close listening for any related commentary.

However, there are other possible explanations for the apparent decline. Notter wrote that a couple of his contacts have heard information suggesting that AT&T's spending could pick up again by next month, in which case the company simply might be "truing up" its spending in accordance with its full-year capex plan.

There also has been a perception that changes in AT&T's spending patterns could have something to do with its Supplier Domain 2.0 program. The carrier recently added more vendors to that program, and though its didn't change capex guidance, AT&T has suggested the cloud-related program "could reflect a downward bias" toward capex in the years to come. (See AT&T Adds Amdocs, Juniper to Cloud Roster.)

Notter's finding contrasts with the observation this year by the Raymond James Financial Inc. (NYSE: RJF) research team that AT&T might be spending its capital budget this year in a more linear, less seasonal fashion than it traditionally has. The team found that AT&T spent 27% of its full-year capex budget during the first quarter, counter to the traditional average of about 21%. (See Capex Trend Points to Less Seasonality – Analysts.)

AT&T knows which explanation is the right one, but it isn't saying. The telco has been strangely quiet with the vendor community about the recent spending dip.

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/3/2014 | 1:47:26 PM
Re: DirecTV
Yes, it would seen that the DirecTV deal would certainly be a large influence one way or the other in coming expenditure planning. But whether this is just a coincidence or a trend that may reach massively into the future is probably a lot of tea leaf  reading for anyone outside the AT&T inner sanctum. 
KBode
50%
50%
KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/3/2014 | 8:51:39 AM
Re: DirecTV
Exactly, Carol. How precisely do you deploy 1 Gbps service to 100 cities while your CAPEX continues to decline? 
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
6/3/2014 | 4:37:17 AM
Re: DirecTV
This adds more fuel to the fiery debate around AT&T's big "gigabit" plans - how are they going to add double-digit cities to the gigabit service plan without spending capex? 
R Clark
50%
50%
R Clark,
User Rank: Blogger
6/3/2014 | 3:39:42 AM
The path of truing never ran smooth
Does 'truing' make you a 'truther'?

 
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
6/2/2014 | 9:40:37 PM
DirecTV
There's also the issue here of what effect will the DirecTV deal have on capex? Big acquisitions have a way of forcing everything else onto the back burner.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Download our complete guide to de-risking NFV deployment in 2016, including:
  • An eight-step strategy to deploying NFV safely, based on input from the companies that have already started virtualizing their production networks.
  • Interviews with leading executives at Colt, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Cisco, Nokia, ZTE, Ericsson and Heavy Reading.
  • Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Prepping for the Future: Upskill U Explained
    During this short kick-off video, Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Marketing, Cisco, and Light Reading’s CEO & Founder Steve Saunders give an overview of Upskill U.
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    Atrinet's NetACE – Migration to NFV & SDN With NetOps-Driven LSO

    5|4|16   |     |   (0) comments


    At Atrinet's headquarters, Ray Le Maistre sits down with Roy Silon to get an in-depth look into the company's focus and the secret recipe for their success.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Amsterdam ArenA, Powered by Huawei

    5|4|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Huawei's ICT solutions power the state-of-the-art Amsterdam ArenA, turning it into a smart stadium.
    LRTV Interviews
    Testing When There's No 'There' There

    5|4|16   |     |   (0) comments


    The benefits of SDN/NFV are well known, but the transition comes with some challenges, prominent among them is: how do you test a network that has been abstracted and has the potential to be endlessly reconfigurable? Light Reading was at NFV World Congress in Santa Clara, Calif., where we bumped into Mats Nordlund, CEO and co-founder of Netrounds, a Swedish ...
    LRTV Interviews
    Ditching the Slash & the Orchestration Wars

    5|3|16   |     |   (2) comments


    SDN and NFV have been inextricably bound with each other for so long that on a conceptual level, smooshing them together into one catch-all phrase – SDNFV – is now justifiable, according to Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF). Light Reading spoke to Pitt at the NFV World Congress, where he explained that the next ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    ZTE TV Connect Highlights

    5|3|16   |     |   (0) comments


    ZTE gives us a tour of its booth and new products at TV Connect in London.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Deluxe's Unified Delivery Solution

    5|3|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and visit the Deluxe booth at NAB! Here you'll find Deluxe's Unified Delivery Solution, OTT video, virtual reality, HDR, 4K and much more!
    LRTV Interviews
    Verizon Puts Gray Boxes in the Shade

    5|2|16   |   04:33   |   (1) comment


    When it comes to the white box trend, "gray" boxes, which have a slight proprietary twist, don't give service providers and end users the advantages they're seeking, according to Verizon's Vice President of Product and New Business Innovation Shawn Hakl.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Dealing With a Disrupted Video Market

    5|2|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Ericsson's Simon Frost discusses how traditional pay-TV providers can cope with the big changes wrought by the rise of OTT video and IP technology.
    LRTV Custom TV
    The VNF Responsibility of Red Hat

    5|2|16   |     |   (0) comments


    At MWC, Caroline Chappell of Heavy Reading visits the Red Hat booth and sits down with Chris Wright to talk about the responsibility the VNF needs to take on in order to ensure the operators get the carrier-grade performance they expect for their network.
    LRTV Interviews
    AT&T Expert on the Key Pillars of UC

    4|29|16   |   03:58   |   (0) comments


    Vishy Gopalakrishnan, AVP of product marketing at AT&T, talks about the three developments that are making unified communications and collaboration secure and reliable for enterprise users.
    LRTV Documentaries
    LRTV Report: Mobile Core Innovation

    4|28|16   |   25:32   |   (0) comments


    Hear from multiple industry experts from Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom, Heavy Reading, Huawei, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, NEC and many more about developments in the mobile core as operators virtualize their IMS and evolved packet core systems and prepare for a 5G world.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    NFV World Congress Highlight

    4|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


    The highlight of the NFV World Congress contains exciting telecom news. Join us for an inside look at Huawei's ICT 2020 plan and its latest collaboration with industry leaders.
    Upcoming Live Events
    May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
    May 23, 2016, Austin Convention Center
    May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
    December 6-8, 2016,
    June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
    Hot Topics
    Ultra-Broadband Summit, Hong Kong
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/27/2016
    Amazon AWS Reports $2.6B Quarterly Revenue, Up a Colossal 64%
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/28/2016
    WiCipedia: Woman Cards & Bitch Switches
    Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 4/29/2016
    Sprint CEO: Our Spectrum Is for 5G
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/3/2016
    Amazon & Other 'Big 4' Cloud Providers Crushing Competitors
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/29/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    Animals with Phones
    Sloth Mail Click Here
    Sloth mail -- somehow even slower than snail mail.
    Live Digital Audio

    Of all the tech companies in the Valley, Intel has made the most aggressive commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. It's doing so by taking concrete, measurable steps, making a large financial investment and through a commitment to complete transparency about its progress. In this radio show, WiC Director Sarah Thomas will be joined by Shlomit Weiss, Intel's Vice President, Data Center Group, and General Manager of Networking Engineering, who will share with us why Intel is tackling this huge challenge, how and to what effect. She will also discuss her unique experiences leading development of Client SOC development in the past and today leading development of all of the chipmaker's silicon hardware for networking IPs and discrete devices and managing a team of 600 engineers across Israel, Europe and the US.