The Sunday Brief

Connecting technology, telecommunications, and the internet

Value Creation – Long-term charts, Fab Five vs. Telco Top Five (September 23)

by | Sep 24, 2022 | TSB

Greetings from the Midwest. While summer is finally beginning to turn into fall in this area of the country, the meltdown continues in the markets. The Fab Five lost another $229 billion in equity market value this week, bringing their two week total to $750 billion. There seemed to be floors established for both Apple (~$149/ share) and for Microsoft ($235/ share). How long those last is anyone’s guess. Crazy times.

The Apple iPhone 14 model lineup appears to be selling quite well, and there are signs that Verizon and AT&T are going to be able to use the launch to keep customers. The addition of LeBron James to AT&T ads also appears to be helping. We will post the first edition of the iPhone backlog (using Saturday night at 6 p.m. as a benchmark as we have done in years past) tomorrow.

The Telco Top Five have had a dismal two weeks (down $44 billion last week alone). Losses extended to each stock, with T-Mobile getting hit a bit harder than the others. Magenta is still up $20 billion for the year, however, and is essentially tied with Verizon as the world’s largest telecom company by market capitalization.

The big (yet not earthshattering) news this week was the retirement announcement of Charter CEO Tom Rutledge (announcement here, Wall Street Journal article here). Former CFO and COO Chris Winfrey will take his place. Tom reinvigorated Charter in 2012 (original CEO announcement here – Tom came to the company 26 months after they emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy), instituted uniform pricing, upgraded nearly all of their plant to technology capable of 1 Gbps speeds, and significantly upgraded customer service. On top of this, he led acquisitions of Bright House Networks and Time Warner Cable which allowed the company to scale. He also systematically introduced Spectrum Mobile to the customers and their performance has outpaced Comcast (yet plenty of runway remains). We will miss his wisdom.

File with all underlying weekly data is included below. Next week, Jennifer Fritzsche of Greenhill & Co. will be taking the pen as we focus on a parental move. Have a terrific week!

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