AT&T Struggles to Sell LatAm Satellite-TV Unit

AT&T has been shopping its Vrio Latin American satellite-TV unit for at least four months, a media report says.
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AT&T  (T) - Get Report reportedly is having a tough time finding a buyer for its struggling Latin American satellite-TV unit, Vrio, as part of the telecommunications titan's effort to trim its debt load by selling assets.

The Dallas company has been shopping Vrio for at least four months, knowledgeable sources told Bloomberg. 

AT&T’s debt load totaled $191 billion in the second quarter, up 16% from $164 billion in 2017, according to Morningstar. Its debt-to-equity multiple is 1.09.

Vrio has stagnated since AT&T bought it along with the rest of satellite-TV service DirecTV in 2015, Bloomberg reports. 

“It is more likely than not” that the fair value of Vrio “is less than its carrying amount,” AT&T said in its latest earnings report.

Given the economic woes triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, now is a tough time for AT&T to unload assets at buoyant prices.

Since Chief Executive John Stankey took office in July, AT&T has looked at jettisoning DirecTV, digital-advertising platform Xandr, and anime streaming service Crunchyroll, Bloomberg reports.

AT&T posted stronger-than-expected second-quarter earnings but booked a notable slump in WarnerMedia revenue, as coronavirus shutdowns hit the global entertainment industry.

AT&T said adjusted earnings for the three months ended in June totaled 83 cents a share, down 6.8% from the year-earlier period and 4 cents ahead of the Wall Street consensus forecast. 

Group revenue, AT&T said, fell 8.9% from last year to $41.billion, just shy of analysts' estimates of $41.1 billion.

AT&T shares recently traded little changed at $29.47. They had fallen 24% year to date through Tuesday.