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AT&T : Virus fears play out ahead of shrinking global tech event

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02/11/2020 | 02:54pm EDT

LONDON (AP) — The impact on travel and commerce from the viral outbreak in China is playing out ahead of one of the world's biggest technology fairs.

Facebook, U.S. tech giants Cisco Systems and Intel, the U.S. wireless companies AT&T and Sprint and the Chinese smartphone maker Vivo said Tuesday that they have pulled out of the Mobile World Congress, which is to take place Feb. 24-27 in Barcelona, Spain. They join a host of other major communications and tech companies that have withdrawn.

This year's event was expected to host the largest contingent on record from China.

“Out of an abundance of caution, Facebook employees won’t be attending this year’s Mobile World Congress due to the evolving public health risks related to coronavirus," Facebook said in a statement.

AT&T cited the safety of its employees and customers in pulling out.

Already, Ericsson, Amazon, Sony and LG have scrapped plans to attend what has become the world's biggest mobile industry trade show. It was expected to attract more than 100,000 visitors, including 5,000 to 6,000 from China, the source of the viral outbreak that has infected tens of thousands of people and killed more than 1,000.

Event organizers for the Mobile World Congress have prohibited anyone traveling from the Hubei province, home to the virus epicenter of Wuhan. Attendees who have traveled in China must prove that they have not been there in the two weeks prior to the event.

Officials will be doing temperature screenings at the event, as well as increasing its efforts to disinfect high traffic areas and surfaces, like touch screens and handrails.

The cancellations will have an economic impact on Barcelona, the host city, though the extent is not known. The show was expected to generate 492 million euros ($538 million) this year, according to organizer GSMA, an industry trade group, and create more than 14,000 part-time jobs.

“While further planning is underway, we will continue to monitor the situation and will adapt our plans according to developments and advice we receive,” the GMSA said in a prepared statement." We are contending with a constantly evolving situation, that will require fast adaptability."

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed., source Associated Press News

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AT&T INC. -3.37% 27.83 Delayed Quote.-26.41%
FACEBOOK -3.02% 153.575 Delayed Quote.-22.93%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2019 181 B
EBIT 2019 30 388 M
Net income 2019 16 227 M
Debt 2019 155 B
Yield 2019 7,12%
P/E ratio 2019 13,1x
P/E ratio 2020 10,9x
EV / Sales2019 2,00x
EV / Sales2020 1,95x
Capitalization 206 B
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Technical analysis trends AT&T INC.
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Mean consensus HOLD
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Average target price 37,48  $
Last Close Price 28,76  $
Spread / Highest target 63,4%
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Randall L. Stephenson Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
John T. Stankey President & Chief Operating Officer
John J. Stephens Chief Financial Officer & Senior Executive VP
Laura D'Andrea Tyson Independent Director
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