Conservative · Income · Stocks to Consider and Updates

Verizon to Acquire AOL

VZ   Taking another significant step in building digital and video platforms to drive future growth, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ – $49.52) announced the signing of an agreement to purchase AOL Inc. for $50 per share — an estimated total value of approximately $4.4 billion. Verizon, the largest U.S. wireless provider, gets two of AOL’s technologies: its mobile streaming service, featuring live TV, original shows and pay-per-view, and its ability to automatically send targeted ads to mobile devices. With revenue of about $2.8 billion, AOL’s key assets include its subscription business; its premium portfolio of global content brands, including The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Engadget, MAKERS and, as well as its millennial-focused Over The Top, Emmy-nominated original video content; and its programmatic advertising platforms. As the world embraces mobile with increasing enthusiasm, the deal gives Verizon new revenue streams at a time when the company is facing increased competition from Sprint and T-Mobile. It also pits the company against two giants: Google and Facebook, in the web-ad space. This is a relatively small deal for Verizon with a $197 billion market cap and revenue approaching $134.5 billion per year, but will further differentiate the company from main rival AT&T, who is betting on more conventional media distribution with its planned purchase of DirectTV. The shares of VZ, yielding 4.4%, remain a core holding for both conservative and income accounts.


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