Verizon Up on No Other AOL Suitors in Sight, Telephone and Data Systems Falls as Proxy War Nears -- Telecom Winners & Losers

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Verizon Communications (VZ) edged higher Thursday after an analyst report noted it's unlikely a bidding war will erupt in its AOL (AOL) deal. Telephone and Data Systems (TDS) fell slightly as the wireless and broadband company approaches its proxy fight next week with Gamco Asset Management. Windstream Holdings (WIN) continued to plunge following its earnings.

Verizon gained 0.48% to close at $49.97 on a day when the Nasdaq Telecommunications Index IXTC fell a slight 0.08% to 279.90.

Earlier in the day, UBS analyst Eric Sheridan said it is "unlikely" Verizon will face a competing bid for its AOL buyout, according to a report in Benzinga. That said, however, the analyst also noted he could not "completely rule out the possibility."


Telephone and Data Systems fell 0.50% to end the session at $29.71. 

The company is preparing to hold its annual shareholders meeting on Thursday, in which it is asking investors to vote for its slate of four directors and not for the two board members  that activist shareholder GAMCO Asset Management is proposing.

The two opposition candidates that GAMCO is proposing are Philip Blazek of biotech company Special Diversified Opportunities and Walter Schenker, who runs hedge fund MAZ Capital Advisors.

Telephone and Data Systems still dropped Thursday, despite its announcement that influential Institutional Shareholder Services and also Glass, Lewis & Co., two firms that advise institutional shareholders how to vote their shares on the proxy, endorsed the company's choice of its four directors.


Windstream Holdings fell 1.2% to close at $8.36.

That decline added to the steep drop Windstream has seen with its shares since it reported its first quarter earnings on May 7. Based on where Windstream closed the day before its earnings through today, the company's stock has dropped 18.7%.

A report in Investopedia found that the company still faces difficult times, given its consumer service sales ended up flat compared with year ago figures and its revenue from its carrier service declined 7% as its telecom customers preferred Ethernet technology that was more modern. Overall revenue came in at $1.42 billion, a 3% decline year over year. It was also about $10 million short of what investors were expecting, according to Investopedia.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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